Let’s take a look. Here we have the same pivot table showing sales. Let’s add Product as a Row Label and Region as a Column Label. As you’ve seen previously, both fields are sorted in alphabetical order by default. If you don’t want to sort by label or by value, you can sort the table manually by dragging items around. We can, for example, move Peanut Butter Chocolate to the top of the list. Just select the cell, then hover the mouse over the border of the cell until you see a four-headed arrow, then drag the item to a new location. Notice that all value moves along with the label. This same approach works for columns as well. If we want to show the West region as the first region in the table, just Select the cell that contains West, and drag it to the left. The entire column of values will follow. Using this approach, you can order rows and columns in any way you like. When you’ve sorted items manually, you won’t see the special sorting icon that appears when you’re using automatic sort options. If you select a Row or Column Label in the pivot table, and then click the Sort button on the ribbon, you’ll see that sort options are set to Manual. To return a pivot table to its original sort order at any time, just sort the field alphabetically again. You can also restore default sorting for all fields at once by clearing and rebuilding the pivot table.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.