Sort Property

Indicates one or more field names on which the Recordset is sorted, and whether each field is sorted in ascending or descending order.

Settings and Return Values

Sets or returns a String value that indicates the field names in the Recordset on which to sort. Each name is separated by a comma, and is optionally followed by a blank and the keyword, ASC, which sorts the field in ascending order, or DESC, which sorts the field in descending order. By default, if no keyword is specified, the field is sorted in ascending order.


This property requires the CursorLocation property to be set to adUseClient. A temporary index will be created for each field specified in the Sort property if an index does not already exist.

The sort operation is efficient because data is not physically rearranged, but is simply accessed in the order specified by the index.

When the value of the Sort property is anything other than an empty string, the Sort property order takes precedence over the order specified in an ORDER BY clause included in the SQL statement used to open the Recordset.

The Recordset does not have to be opened before accessing the Sort property; it can be set at any time after the Recordset object is instantiated.

Setting the Sort property to an empty string will reset the rows to their original order and delete temporary indexes. Existing indexes will not be deleted.

Suppose a Recordset contains three fields named firstName, middleInitial, and lastName. Set the Sort property to the string, "lastName DESC, firstName ASC", which will order the Recordset by last name in descending order, then by first name in ascending order. The middle initial is ignored.

No field can be named "ASC" or "DESC" because those names conflict with the keywords ASC and DESC. You can create an alias for a field with a conflicting name by using the AS keyword in the query that returns the Recordset.

Applies To

Recordset Object (ADO)

See Also

Sort Property Example (VB)
Sort Property Example (VC++)
Optimize Property-Dynamic (ADO)
SortColumn Property (RDS)
SortDirection Property (RDS)