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Data sorting is one of Microsoft Excel's many useful features. It allows users to order data to make it easier to scan.

Aspose.Cells allows you to sort worksheet data alphabetically or numerically. It works in the same way as Microsoft Excel does to sort data.

Contents Summary

Sorting Data in Microsoft Excel

To sort data in Microsoft Excel:

  1. Select Data from the Sort menu.
    The Sort dialog is displayed.
  2. Select a sorting option.

Generally, sorting is performed on a list - defined as a contiguous group of data where the data is displayed in columns.

The Sort dialog box in Microsoft Excel

Sorting Data with Aspose.Cells

Aspose.Cells provides the DataSorter class used to sort data in ascending or descending order. The class has some important members, for example, methods like setKey1 ... setKey2 and setOrder1 ... setOrder2. These members are used to define sorted keys and specify the key sort order.

You have to define keys and set the sort order before implementing data sorting. The class provides the sort method used to perform data sorting based on the cell data in a worksheet.

The sort method accepts the following parameters:

  • Cells, the cells of the worksheet.
  • CellArea, the range of cells. Define the cell area before applying data sorting.

This example shows how to sort data using Aspose.Cells API. The example uses a template file "Book1.xls" and sorts data for data range (A1:B14) in the first worksheet:

This example uses the template file "Book1.xls" created in Microsoft Excel.

Template Excel file complete with data

After executing the code below, data is sorted appropriately as you can see from the output Excel file.

Output Excel file after sorting data





To sort LeftToRight, use the DataSorter.SortLeftToRight attribute.

Sorting data with background colour 

Excel provides feature to sort data based on background colour. Same feature is provided with using Aspose.Cells using DataSorter where SortOnType.CellColor can be used in addKey() to sort data based on background color. All the cells which contain specified color in the addKey(), function are placed on top or bottom according to the SortOrder setting and order of the rest of the cells is not changed at all.

Following are the sample files which can be downloaded for testing this feature:



 Sample Code

// Load the source Excel file

Workbook workbook = new Workbook(srcDir + "sampleBackgroundFile.xlsx");


// Instantiate data sorter object

DataSorter sorter = workbook.getDataSorter();


// Add key for Column B, Sort it in descending order with background color red

sorter.addKey(1, SortOnType.CELL_COLOR, SortOrder.DESCENDING, Color.getRed());


// Sort the data based on the key

sorter.sort(workbook.getWorksheets().get(0).getCells(), CellArea.createCellArea("A2", "C6"));


// Save the output file + "outputSampleBackgroundFile.xlsx");



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