Introduction to Sorting Records



Data analysis consists of examining the values stored in an object of a database. The object can be a table, a form, or a query. Data analysis includes sorting the records, filtering the records, and others.

To analyze the records, display the table or query in Datasheet View, or the form in Form View. To assist you with data analysis, when a table, a query, or a form is displaying in Datasheet View, the Ribbon is equipped with a section titled Sort & Filter in the Home tab:

Sort & Filter

Also, when a table or a query displays in Datasheet View, each column header displays a down pointing arrow button on its right side:


There are two main aspects involved with data analysis: what you provide to the users and what the users may decide to do with data. In some cases, you may want to create objects such as forms and/or reports that isolate records instead of showing all records.

Record Sorting

Sorting consists of rearranging records in alphabetical, incremental, chronological, or Boolean order. Sorting can be performed on fields that have numbers, strings, date, time, or Boolean values. Fields can also not display any value but must be sorted also.

When sorting records in alphabetical, incremental, or chronological order, the empty fields always come first.

To sort records, you must specify the field that would be used as the reference. To do this, on the table or query, click a field under the column of your choice. To arrange the list in alphabetical, incremental, chronological, or Boolean order, on the table or query, click the column header or a field under the column. Then, in the Sort & Filter section of the Ribbon, click the Ascending button Ascending

Sort Ascending

You can also right-click to sort the list.

Besides the regular arrangement of records, you can also sort records in reverse alphabetical, incremental, or chronological. When you do this, the empty fields will always come last in the list.

When you have finished sorting the records, it is sometimes important to reset the table before continuing unless you want to keep the list sorted.

When you have sorted the values of a column, the down-pointing arrow button on the right side of the column header becomes equipped with an arrow:

You can keep the list sorted while you are performing other operations. It would remain sorted until you decide to put it back to the way it was previously.

Removing the Sorting

In most cases, you should "unsort" a list before continuing. To put the list back in the sequence it previously had:

  • In the Sort & Filter section of the Ribbon, click the Clear All Sorts button Clear All Sorts
  • Right-click the query or form and click Clear All Sorts



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