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# Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

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# Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

I have a problem with my Excel spreadsheet where I do not get an option to sort numerically in descending order - largest to smallest. I only get an option to sort alphabetically. The cell values are either blank or numeric. Each cell is using the following formula - =IFERROR(VLOOKUP(\$P10, May3List, 6, FALSE), “”).

12 Replies

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

@RohitNaval Then I suspect that your "numbers" are in fact texts. What do you get when you enter =ISNUMBER(<cell reference>) where the cell reference is a cell where you have the number? FALSE? Then it's not a number. If not, perhaps you can upload an example of your schedule.

best response confirmed by Grahmfs13 (Microsoft)
Solution

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

In addition, you don't have blank cells, you have cells with empty texts returned by =IFERROR(...,""). As soon as we have texts within the range, even empty, Excel suggests to sort alphabetically. With =IFERROR(...,0) most probably that will be numeric sorting.

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

ISNUMBER returns TRUE for cells where I have a number and FALSE where the cells are empty.

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

@Sergei Baklan That is exactly what's happening. Most of the cells are empty and Excel is defaulting to sort alphabetically. Any way to change that sort option to numeric?

I did change the IFERROR formula from "" to 0 and now the sort works numerically. However I have so many zeros showing now.

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

You may hide zeroes through settings or by custom number format, here is how https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/pro-tip-three-ways-to-hide-zero-values-in-an-ex...

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

Oh that's perfect. Thank you so much for that settings tip.

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

While I have you, when a cell shows a green flag in the upper left corner, what does that indicate and how do I get rid of it? I have to manually get rid of it by selecting 'ignore error'.

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

Green "flag" is usually when one of this error appears if your settings are ON

You may switch above settings off, but I'd not recommend. You may select at once all such cells and ignore if that's only alert or correct if these are actually errors.

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

@RohitNaval I tried filtering my numbers but it just went 1, 220, 34, 460 etc instead of smallest to largest. I fixed it by converting the column I was trying to filter into NUMBER and then doing text to column. For some reason it wasn't converting to numbers until I did text to column. After that it allowed me to filter smallest to largest (1, 34, 220, 460 etc).

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

If you sort texts which option shall appear

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

"For some reason it wasn't converting to numbers until I did text to column." YES this finally works now. I was getting so frustrated. @annabellas

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

I do the first option
1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by Grahmfs13 (Microsoft)
Solution

# Re: Not getting an option to sort largest to smallest, only A to Z

In addition, you don't have blank cells, you have cells with empty texts returned by =IFERROR(...,""). As soon as we have texts within the range, even empty, Excel suggests to sort alphabetically. With =IFERROR(...,0) most probably that will be numeric sorting.