Sort data in Excel in "High, Medium, Low" order

Occasionally I have data that looks like this, sorted on the "Value" column:

It's always annoyed me that Excel couldn't read my mind and figure out that I wanted to sort them in "High, Medium, Low" order. Recently I found out that it is possible to do this by creating a "Custom List" in excel:

  1. In Excel, go to Data | Sort (I'm using Excel 2007)

  2. In the Order column, select "Custom List"

  3. On the right-hand side, enter "High, Medium, Low"

  4. Click Add and OK

  5. Make sure High, Medium, Low is selected in the "Order" column and press OK

Then the data will be sorted as you'd expect:


Excel also has some handy built-in lists for days of the week, months, abbreviated months, etc.

Comments (2)
  1. mqingqing123 says:

    Hi,I now use microsoft outlook 2003 and exchange 2003. as some required, I was asked to  develop an outlook add-in component,that is I add a new button to the outlook stand toolbar, so if someone received a mail and he think  this is junk email,he click this new button, and this mail will send to administrator email box, at the same time, the orgin mail title will add "[Junk]"  marked.

    now I can send mail,but how can I change the mail’s subject, e.g. I receive a mail "Come from Happy",and I click new button, the title is changed "[Junk]Come from Happy", this will help me to identitfy that I have told administrator  this is junk mail.


  2. karen says:

    I have been known to subvert this alphabetizing accident by doing "aHigh, bMedium, cLow" or even better yet (back when I had free time) doing a lookup table where a = high, b = medium, c = low, inserting another skinny column w/these new values, then sorting on THAT column (while reducing it to it’s minimum width or moving it to the far right or left of my list.)

    But hey, your way is geekier. 😉

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