Excel sorting function question

Hello,

When sorting a column of cells (with the sort order set to "A to Z") in Excel, the following values would be sorted thus:

C-121
C-122
C-123
C-124

But suppose you wanted the search function to interpret the hyphens as minus signs so that sorting them (again with the sort order set to "A to Z") would produce this:

C-124
C-123
C-122
C-121

How could that be done?

I tried setting it up in a number of different ways as shown below but nothing would sort in the order described, i.e. with the exception of sorting by column E, it always treated the minus sign as a hyphen and sorted in the order shown.1(The formulas in cells B11:E11 are shown below in blue and those in cells G8:L8 are shown above in red.  Column B is only present for scrambling.)

Thanks
Steve_BradyAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Rory ArchibaldCommented:
I think you would have to use two columns, since it will always treat those as pure text.
0
Martin LissOlder than dirtCommented:
Why not just sort Descending (Z to A)?
0
Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the responses.

>>>use two columns
>>>sort Descending (Z to A)


If either of those two solutions were an option, I would not be asking the question.  

As a simplified example of what I am trying to do, suppose you have a single column in a spreadsheet which contains values representing a range of dates (say the 7th to the 9th of some month) and a series of events (say we call them events 1 thru 3) occurring in each of the days.  Furthermore, suppose you want the capability to sort the column in a recent-to-oldest order by date but first-to-last order by events in those days:

Day-event#
9-1
9-2
9-3
8-1
8-2
8-3
7-1
7-2
7-3

Obviously, that would be easy to do by using Text-to-Column to parse the data (with the hyphen as the delimiter) followed by a two column sort in which the first column (date) sort order is Z to A and second column (event number) sort order is A to Z.

However, suppose that using a two column approach is not an option.  Is there any possible way to configure or format the entries in a single column so that the sort process will produce the results shown?  That is my question.
0
OWASP: Forgery and Phishing

Learn the techniques to avoid forgery and phishing attacks and the types of attacks an application or network may face.

Martin LissOlder than dirtCommented:
If either of those two solutions were an option, I would not be asking the question.
 
Sorry about that but from here I can't tell. In any case you can do what you want via VBA code.



Option Explicit

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
 Dim r As Range
 Dim i As Long
 Dim strData() As String
 
 
 Set r = Range("A1").End(xlDown).Offset(0, 0)
 ReDim strData(1 To r.Row)
 
 For i = 1 To r.Row
    strData(i) = Range("A" & i)
 Next
 
 BubbleSortDec strData
 
 For i = 1 To r.Row
    Range("A" & i).Value = strData(i)
 Next
 
End Sub
Public Sub BubbleSortDec(ByRef pvarArray As Variant)
    Dim i As Long
    Dim iMin As Long
    Dim iMax As Long
    Dim varSwap As Variant
    Dim blnSwapped As Boolean
    Dim strParts1() As String
    Dim strParts2() As String
    
    iMin = LBound(pvarArray)
    iMax = UBound(pvarArray) - 1
    Do
        blnSwapped = False
        For i = iMin To iMax
            strParts1 = Split(pvarArray(i), "-")
            strParts2 = Split(pvarArray(i + 1), "-")
            If strParts1(0) < strParts2(0) Then
                varSwap = pvarArray(i)
                pvarArray(i) = pvarArray(i + 1)
                pvarArray(i + 1) = varSwap
                blnSwapped = True
            End If
            If strParts1(0) = strParts2(0) Then
                If strParts1(1) > strParts2(1) Then
                    varSwap = pvarArray(i)
                    pvarArray(i) = pvarArray(i + 1)
                    pvarArray(i + 1) = varSwap
                    blnSwapped = True
                End If
            End If


        Next
        iMax = iMax - 1
    Loop Until Not blnSwapped
End Sub

Open in new window

0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
dlmilleCommented:
For interest only, as I don't think this is a valid solution for every day in the month for below stated reasons:

For the Day/Event you could code as MONTH-DAY and custom format M-D.

However, you'd max out at 12 for the Day (12 months max in a year) and 28 events (at least for Day 2/Event 28).

Within those constraints, you could sort the way you're describing.

Dave
0
Martin LissOlder than dirtCommented:
Actually dlmille I don't think the asker is using dates. I believe he just used them for clarification.
0
Rory ArchibaldCommented:
Short answer: no, I don't believe there is anything you could do to one column of data to make the built in sort function do what you want.

As an aside, if there are constraints on the solution, it helps to state those up front. ;)
0
Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
Thanks
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Excel

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.