Excel: How to Sort Bars in Bar Chart


Often you may want to sort the bars in a bar chart in Excel in ascending or descending order. 

Fortunately this is easy to do using the built-in Sorting options in Excel and the following example shows how to do so.

Example: How to Sort Bars in Bar Chart in Excel

First, let’s create the following dataset that shows the total sales made in various regions for some company:

Next, let’s create a bar chart to visualize the total sales by region.

To do so, highlight the cell range A1:B7, then click the Insert tab along the top ribbon, then click the first chart icon under 2-D Column within the Charts group:

A bar chart will appear that shows the sales for each region in the exact order that they appear in the dataset:

If you would like to sort the bars from smallest to largest then simply click on any of the cells in the Sales column of the original dataset and then click the Data tab along the top ribbon and click the icon that says Sort Smallest to Largest:

Both the dataset and the bars in the bar chart will be sorted from smallest to largest:

Excel sort bar chart smallest to largest

If you would instead like to sort the bars from largest to smallest then click on any of the cells in the Sales column of the original dataset and then click the Data tab along the top ribbon and click the icon that says Sort Largest to Smallest:

Both the dataset and the bars in the bar chart will be sorted from largest to smallest:

Excel sort bar chart from largest to smallest

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

How to Create a Clustered Stacked Bar Chart in Excel
How to Add Total Values to Stacked Bar Chart in Excel
How to Add Average Line to Bar Chart in Excel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *