Did you know you can sort by color in Google Sheets? Google introduced this feature to the Sheets app in March 2020. You may use color sorting to organize cells by filling the background and text color.
This is something that clients have been able to do in Microsoft Excel for some time. Getting to do it in Google Sheets makes it much easier to migrate Excel sheets to an online spreadsheet.
If you’re curious why you would ever want to sort or filter by color, consider the scenario where you’ve set up condition-based formatting. Having to sort in this way helps you to filter alarms or rankings by type or priority rather than by number.
How to Sort by Color in Google Sheets
Let’s look at a spreadsheet with a list of product orders. In this spreadsheet, we have configured the condition-based formatting to assign the required color code for each product.
With a sheet that’s formatted in this way, if you sort by column B you’ll see the different kinds of products, but it’s hard to make out which category they belong to.
The best way to do this is by sorting by color.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Click Data from the menu, choose Filter views, then select Create new filter view.
2. Let’s say you want to put all of the products from the Women’s category on top. Select the filter icon at the top of the column, select Sort by color, select Fill Color, and then select the color you want to sort by. In this case, choose light red 1.
3. The color you chose will be sorted at the top of the list.
You might find that you can’t sort all the colors, and that makes sense because the colors don’t have an order to sort.
However, if you sort the column by numbers, the colors will still be organized by their integer ranges. The key point of sorting by color in Google Sheets is to easily classify a particular category of objects in a large list by cell formatting (which is usually based on conditional formatting).
How to Filter by Color in Google Sheets
Another way to group colored objects is the use of the filtering function. Google Sheets lets you filter out all other colors from the one you’re interested in.
In larger lists, this is very helpful for sorting all the things you’re interested in while avoiding the cluster of all the other data.
To do this, click the filter icon at the top of the column, select Filter by color, select Fill Color, and then select the color you want to filter. We’ll choose light magenta, for example.
Once you’ve filtered by one color, you’ll see all rows where the column you’ve filtered is the color you selected displayed. All the other rows with other colors will be filtered out of the view.
This is a good way to focus on data groups, to exclude anything else that could get in the way of your research.
Sorting or filtering by color in Google Sheets is a less granular solution than sorting by numbers alone, but often displaying data in sections or classes like this is more useful.
Sort or Filter by Color in Google Sheets
Using a color-based sort or filter function in Google Sheets lets you group and organize data. It’s not like sorting or filtering normally, since it doesn’t group data by rows, but by row blocks instead. This is a perfect way to categorize and arrange information in blocks.
Start sorting your data for a clutter-free sheet!