Sorting Microsoft Excel

Occasional Contributor

Why is it that when I have a spreadsheet that has about five columns (Date, Amount, Customer, Ref #, Invoice # and Notes) and I try to sort according to date, it  does not sort correctly.  Even if I sort with the Amount column still does not work properly.  What would be causing this to happen?

3 Replies


It's possible the dates and numbers are being stored as text (rather than numbers). There's several ways to determine how Excel sees your data.

You could add a data filter to your data and then inspect the Dates filter. If Excel does not consolidate the dates, you've got text.

You could also use ISNUMBER on a cell or range:

Thank you Patrick2788. Although I am not faamiliar with data filters. Is that some that is in Excel? Or something I have to download?


Click any place in your data and go to the Data menu and select Filter.


When you click the drop filter for the dates column, Excel will consolidate dates.


If the dates are text, you'll get this:


If you have legitimate dates, you'll get this:



If needed, this article provides a few ways to convert 'numbers stored as text' to numbers.

Convert numbers stored as text to numbers - Microsoft Support