Often you may want to sort the names in a column in Google Sheets based on last name.
Fortunately this is easy to do and the following step-by-step example shows how to do so.
Step 1: Enter the Names
Suppose we have the following list of names in Google Sheets:
Step 2: Create New Column that Contains Last Name
We can use the following formula to extract the last name from each full name:
=TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",REPT(" ",LEN(A2))),LEN(A2)))
We can type this formula into cell B2, then drag and fill it down to the remaining cells in column B:
Column B now contains the last name of each full name in column A.
Notice that the formula works whether or not the name contains a middle name.
Step 3: Sort by Last Name
Lastly, we can highlight the range B2:A11, then click the Data tab and then click Sort Range and then click Sort range by column B (A to Z):
The rows will be sorted by last name from A to Z:
Note that you can also delete the column titled Last Name if you don’t actually want to keep a separate column with the last names of each person.
The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Google Sheets: