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Help needed.

Posted: 24 Feb 2015, 20:21
by Travis
Hi, I have a database that I have been building for years on Excel. My trouble is that over the years it has gone badly out of flunter alphabetically and I have no idea how to reorganise it into the correct order with my very limited skills.. The file has around 800 entries and is list of men and details who fell in WW1 from my hometown.

Is there anyone with the required skill who would like to have a go at this? I'll pay for your time or donate to charity or whatever.

Andy Fitton.

Re: Help needed.

Posted: 24 Feb 2015, 20:44
by Tripps
First of all of course - make a copy of your data in case anything goes wrong.

I just did something similar with a list of all my books. Not sure which version of Excel you have, but I found that if you put the arrow into the first box of the column you want to sort - then go to the icons above the top of the screen, and find Editing - A/Z sort and filter - Sort A to Z. That will sort the data in the column alphabetically. It also seems to leave the all the 'across' fields still associated with the correct field in the first column. I hope that makes sense - and applies to all versions.

It worked for me. As long as you have a backup copy you can experiment, and come to no harm. :smile:

Re: Help needed.

Posted: 24 Feb 2015, 20:47
by plaques
Travis, its a lot easier than you think. Just try this on a trial database and then move on to a COPY of you real database.

1 Make a sample of your entries roughly the same number of columns and say 5 rows.
2 Block them out by holding the left click down and covering the full data.
3 From the top header select 'DATA'
4 Select sort.
5 Choose the primary column you want it sorting by. Tick the button for ascending or descending
6 Repeat for any secondary sorting columns
7 Hit the OK button.

This sorting will remove any empty break lines you have in the database so it may look shorter. (less rows)

Try this until you get the hang of it then move to you big data base but make a copy of it and sort the copy.

Hope this helps.

Re: Help needed.

Posted: 25 Feb 2015, 23:39
by Whyperion
As long as you dont save the spreadsheet, excel does have good Undo Functions.

I normally insert a colum to the left and auto-fill 1-800 or however many rows (I have some 1200 in a family BMD file for example) Including that colum in sort ranges means I can revert to original order if anything goes a bit wrong on sorting.

Data Filter function is also handy if one just wants to view a sub-set of data.

If you open a second worksheet tab you can then use that for data dumps of Extract according to values (extracts MUST be written to truly otherwise blank spreadsheet areas otherwise one can loose data and sometimes the undo function doesn't work(guess how I found that out, and had autosave on), or write little HLookup functions, its a little complex but once you get the hang of things it can be useful.

Re: Help needed.

Posted: 05 Mar 2015, 18:17
by Travis
Thank you guys for the help, I managed to get it all into alphabetical order...It wasn't as hard as I thought. All I have to do now is to put the corresponding photos to match the new numbers. :geek: