Excel: Sorting with a Formula

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Problem: In "œRank Scores," I learned how to use the RANK function to find the relative rank order of four writers. Now I want to use a formula to produce a sorted list of the writers in high-to-low sequence.

Strategy: In cells A8:A11, you enter the ranks 1 through 4. Then you use the VLOOKUP function to return the name in column B and the pages in column C.

  1. The table in rows 8:11 sorts the original data.
    1. Set up a new table with numbers 1 through 4.
    2. The formula in B8:B11 is =VLOOKUP($A8,$A$2:$C$5,2,FALSE).
    3. The formula in C8:C11 is =VLOOKUP($A8,$A$2:$C$5,3,FALSE).

    After using a RANK function to assign rank values to a list, you can use a second table with the numbers 1 through n and a series of VLOOKUP formulas in order to return a sorted list of the data.