Sort columns

You can sort a table in Power Query by one column or multiple columns. For example, take the following table with the columns named Competition, Competitor, and Position.

Sample source table for sorting

Table with Competition, Competitor, and Position columns. The Competition column contains 1 - Opening in rows 1 and 6, 2 - Main in rows 3 and 5, and 3-Final in rows 2 and 4. The Position row contains a value of either 1 or 2 for each of the Competition values.

For this example, the goal is to sort this table by the Competition and Position fields in ascending order.

Sample output table after sorting

Table with Competition, Competitor, and Position columns. The Competition column contains 1 - Opening in rows 1 and 2, 2 - Main in rows 3 and 4, and 3-Final in rows 5 and 6. The Position row contains, from top to bottom, a value of 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, and 2.

To sort a table by using columns

To sort the table, first select the column to be sorted. After the column has been selected, you can select the sort operation from one of two places:

  • On the Home tab, in the Sort group, there are icons to sort your column in either ascending or descending order.

    Sort column button on the Home tab

  • From the column heading drop-down menu. Next to the name of the column there's a drop-down menu indicator . When you select the icon, you'll see the option to sort the column.

    Sort commands on the column heading drop-down menu

In this example, first you need to sort the Competition column. You'll perform the operation by using the buttons in the Sort group on the Home tab. This action creates a new step in the Applied steps section named Sorted rows.

Sorted rows step in the Applied steps section

A visual indicator, displayed as an arrow pointing up, gets added to the Competitor drop-down menu icon to show that the column is being sorted in ascending order.

Now you'll sort the Position field in ascending order as well, but this time you'll use the Position column heading drop-down menu.

Sort commands on the Position drop-down menu

Notice that this action doesn't create a new Sorted rows step, but modifies it to perform both sort operations in one step. When you sort multiple columns, the order that the columns are sorted in is based on the order the columns were selected in. A visual indicator, displayed as a number to the left of the drop-down menu indicator, shows the place each column occupies in the sort order.

Sorted columns with numbers that represent the sort order

To clear a sort operation from a column

Do one of the following actions:

  • Select the down arrow next to the column heading, and then select Clear sort.
  • In Applied steps on the Query Settings pane, delete the Sorted rows step.