# How to Sort Dates by Month in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sorting dates by month in Excel can be a handy tool when you need to organize data for analysis or reporting. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently sort your date-related data by month, regardless of the year.

## How to Sort Dates by Month in Excel

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to sort dates by month in Excel. We will walk through a series of clear and easy-to-follow steps that will convert your dates into sortable month data.

### Step 1: Select Your Date Column

First, highlight the column that contains the dates you want to sort.

To do this, simply click on the letter at the top of the column. The entire column should now be highlighted.

### Step 2: Insert a New Column

Next, insert a new column next to your date column.

Right-click on the letter of the column adjacent to your date column and select "Insert" from the context menu.

### Step 3: Enter the Month Formula

In the first cell of the new column, enter the formula =TEXT(A2, "MMMM").

Replace "A2" with the actual cell reference of your first date cell. This formula will extract the month from your date.

### Step 4: Fill Down the Formula

Drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of your selected cell) down to apply the formula to the rest of the column.

This will copy the formula, converting all your dates into their respective month names.

### Step 5: Sort by Month Column

Finally, select your entire dataset including the new month column and go to the ‘Data’ tab. Click ‘Sort’ and choose the new month column as your sorting criterion.

In the Sort dialog box, make sure to select "Sort A to Z" to sort alphabetically by month.

Once these steps are completed, your dates will be sorted by month. You can now easily analyze or report your data based on months.

## Tips for Sorting Dates by Month in Excel

1. Check Date Format: Ensure your dates are in a recognizable format (e.g., mm/dd/yyyy) to avoid errors with the formula.
2. Use Custom Sorting: If you prefer months sorted by their calendar order (January, February, etc.), use custom sorting instead of alphabetical.
3. Backup Data: Always make a copy of your original data before applying any sorting or formulas.
4. Utilize Filters: Use filters to quickly focus on data from specific months.
5. Error Handling: Double-check for any blank cells or incorrect date entries that might cause the formula not to work.

### What if my dates are in different formats?

Ensure all dates are consistently formatted before applying the formula. Use the ‘Text to Columns’ feature if needed.

### Can I sort by month without creating a new column?

No, you need a separate column for the months to sort them correctly.

### What if the formula returns errors?

Check if all cells contain valid dates. The formula won’t work on text or empty cells.

### How do I sort by month and year together?

Create two new columns: one for the month using =TEXT(A2, "MMMM") and another for the year using =YEAR(A2). Then sort by the year column first, followed by the month column.

### Is there a way to automate this process?

Yes, you can create a macro in Excel to automate these steps.

## Summary

2. Insert a new column.
3. Enter the month formula =TEXT(A2,"MMMM").
4. Fill down the formula.
5. Sort by the new month column.

## Conclusion

Sorting dates by month in Excel is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance your data analysis capabilities. By converting your dates into month values, you can easily organize and make sense of your data. Whether you’re looking to identify trends, prepare reports, or simply keep things orderly, these steps will help you get the job done.

For further reading, check out Excel’s help documentation on date functions and data sorting techniques. Being proficient in such tasks not only saves you time but also makes your work more accurate and presentable. So, go ahead and give it a tryâ€”sorting dates by month in Excel might just become your new favorite trick!