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I have a Google spreadsheet that has the A column as an ID field (incrementing numbers 1...1000; no formula, just numbers). That column is frozen as is the first row of headers.

I sorted by column B and now am unable to re-sort by column A again. There is no sort option in the context menus or under the Data menu above.

When I try to View, no columns Frozen I get a message that says that “this is not permitted because it would alter the structure of the table”. Not sure if this is related.

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migrated from superuser.com Nov 2 '11 at 15:26

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

I am going to guess from the presence of an ID field and from the error message that your sheet is linked to a form.

Duplicate the sheet and perform the desired operations on the duplicate.

Spreadsheets containing form responses don’t currently allow for filtering, column shifting, or other such changes. The reason for these restrictions is that changes like filtering the main spreadsheet’s data will actually disrupt its ability to accept form responses properly.

These restrictions exist whenever you have linked your spreadsheet to a form. If you’d like to sort your data, you can always duplicate or copy your sheet by clicking on the sheet tab and selecting “Duplicate.” This duplicate sheet will contain all of your form data and will allow you to sort and filter as you wish.


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You don't need to remove frozen columns or rows. Simply select the column and click on the small arrow at the right side of the column title bar then choose the sort option.

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There is not sort option when I do that. Selected arrow on the 'A' column, but it doesn't show. It shows for the other columns, though. – Gern Blandston Nov 7 '11 at 13:37

I have seen this when the sheet was linked to a form.

When I unlinked the form, I could sort the spreadsheet.

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This worked for me. – Spinner Jan 30 '15 at 22:03

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