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I am a heavy user of Sheets and use advanced sorting by multiple columns all the time, but if I need to view HOW the range is ALREADY sorted or MODIFY the sort in any way, I cannot do it. I always have to re-enter all the sort criteria from scratch, making the desired changes.

I hope that I am just unaware of the method for doing this. I am less familiar with Sheets than Excel, so I sometimes don't realize that Sheets may provide a very different way to do things I commonly do in Excel.

I have searched for hours trying to find any info that leads me to think others have encountered this issue and can provide me with the proper method. I find no one even discussing the issue, so perhaps I am totally on the wrong track.

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You may find the sort functionality in Data > Create a filter more visual and easier to use than that of Data > Sort range > Advanced sorting options.

Google Sheets uses stable sorting, which means that you do not need to specify all sort criteria at once. Instead, sort first by the least important sort criteria, then by the second least, until you sort last by the most important sort criteria. All the criteria will be taken into account in the final sort order.

To save multiple predefined sort orders, use Data > Filter views. The filter views you create can be saved for re-use. This feature also lets multiple simultaneous users sort, filter and edit the sheet without disturbing each other.

For additional ease of use, you can insert links in the frozen section of the sheet to easily switch between filter views, instead of having to go to Data > Filter views to switch. See the Filter views example spreadsheet for an illustration.

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  • Thanks. I will learn how to use filter views. I wonder, though, if I am simply providing data to someone who is not a knowledgeable Sheets user, will they be able to determine in what order the data is sorted? And modify that sort order to meet their needs? Perhaps I'll learn that along the way. I just don't want to make life more difficult and "techy" for users who just want the data and don't have time or interest in becoming Sheets pros. Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 17:48
  • Also, @serenesat, I'm wondering why you editted my question only to remove the TY? Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 17:56
  • Please ask only one question per post. Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 21:04
  • I gather that this is your first question at Stack Exchange. See What should I do when someone answers my question? Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 21:04

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