Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

This article is for people with visual or cognitive impairments who use a screen reader program such as Microsoft's Narrator, JAWS, or NVDA with the Microsoft 365 products. This article is part of the Microsoft 365 screen reader support content set where you can find more accessibility information on our apps. For general help, visit Microsoft Support home or Fixes or workarounds for recent office issues.

Use Excel with your keyboard and a screen reader to sort and filter tables. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. Sorting data helps you organize and find the data that you want quickly, for faster analysis. Filtering data helps you focus on a particular set of data, which is especially useful in large worksheets.

Decorative icon Need instructions on how to sort or filter data in Excel, but not using a screen reader? See Sort data in a table or Filter data in a range or table.

Notes: 

In this topic

Keyboard shortcuts for sorting and filtering

This table shows keyboard shortcuts for sorting and filtering.

To do this

Press

Turn off the AutoFilter dropdown menu in a column heading

Ctrl+Shift+L

Open the AutoFilter dropdown menu from a column header

Alt+Down arrow key

Sort smallest to largest, or A to Z

Alt+A, S, A or Alt+Down arrow key, S

Sort largest to smallest, or Z to A

Alt+A, S, D or Alt+Down arrow key, O

Open the Sort dialog box

Alt+A, S, S or Alt+H, S, U

Reapply a sort after you change the data

Ctrl+Alt+L or Alt+A, Y, 3

Filter by color

Alt+Down arrow key, I

Filter by number or text

Alt+Down arrow key, F

Open the Format Cells dialog box

Alt+H, O, I

Use the TRIM function

Alt+M, T, and then move to TRIM with the Down arrow key

Learn about sorting in Excel

You can sort data by text (A to Z or Z to A), numbers (smallest to largest or largest to smallest), and dates and times (oldest to newest or newest to oldest) in one or more columns. You can also sort by a custom list (such as Large, Medium, and Small) or by format, including cell color, font color, or icon set. Most sort operations are column sorts, but you can also sort by rows.

When you sort a table, Excel saves the criteria that you used with the workbook so that you can reapply it each time that you open the workbook. This is especially important for multicolumn sorts or for sorts that take a long time to create. However, this only works for data in a table, it doesn’t apply to just a range of cells. If you want to save sort criteria so that you can periodically reapply a sort when you open a workbook, it's a good idea to use a table.

Note: Once you sort the data, you cannot restore the original order. If you haven't saved the file after sorting, you can use undo (Ctrl+Z) to go back.

Sort text in a table or range

Sort text in a table

  1. Navigate to the header row in the table using the arrow keys. When you are on the header row, you hear "Header item" after the cell location.

  2. Press the Right or Left arrow key to move to the column header for the data that you want to sort.

  3. Press Alt+Down arrow key to open the filter menu, and then press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear: "Menu, Sort A to Z, unchecked menu item."

  4. The options that appear depend on the kind of data in the column. For example, you can sort numeric data from smallest to largest or largest to smallest. You can sort alphanumeric data from A to Z or from Z to A. You can also sort by color.

    Use the Down arrow key to browse the options, and then press Enter to select an option. You hear "Sorted," followed by the selected option.

Sort text in a range

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of alphanumeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing alphanumeric data.

  2. Press Alt+A. The Data tab opens, and with Narrator you hear: “Ribbon tabs, Selected, Data tab item.” With JAWS, you hear: “Upper ribbon, Group box, Data tab.” With NVDA, you hear: "Ribbon tabs tab control expanded, Data tab selected."

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To sort in ascending alphanumeric order (Sort A to Z), press S and then A.

    • To sort in descending alphanumeric order (Sort Z to A), press S and then D.

Make a case sensitive sort

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of alphanumeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing alphanumeric data.

  2. Press Alt+H, S, U. The Sort dialog box opens, and with Narrator, you hear: “Sort, OK button.” With JAWS, you hear: “Sort dialog, OK button.” With NVDA, you hear: “Sort dialog, Sort window.” 

  3. Press Alt+O to open the Sort Options dialog box. With Narrator, you hear: “Sort options. Unchecked, Case sensitive checkbox.” With JAWS, you hear: “Sort options dialog, Case sensitive checkbox, not checked.” With NVDA, you hear: "Sort Options dialog orientation, Case sensitive checkbox, not checked."

  4. Press Spacebar to select the Case sensitive checkbox.

  5. Press Enter. The Sort Options dialog box closes, and with Narrator, you hear: “Sort, Options button.” With JAWS, you hear: “Sort dialog.” With NVDA, you hear: “Sort dialog, Sort window.” 

  6. To close the Sort dialog box and apply your changes, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Enter.

  7. Sort text as explained in Sort text in a range.

Tip: If the column you sort contains a mixture of numbers and text, you might have to format them all as text. Otherwise, Excel sorts the numbers as numbers first, and then sorts the text. To format the data, press Ctrl+Spacebar to select all the data in the column, and then press Alt+H, F, N. Press the Left arrow key until you hear "Selected, Number tab item," press the Tab key once, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Text." Press the Tab key once to move to the OK button, and press Enter.

Tip: When you import or copy data from a different location, it can have leading spaces inserted before data. For example, the name "Sue Lidman" might be entered as "(space)(space)Sue Lidman." If you use a screen reader, you might not know about the spaces, because JAWS doesn’t read empty space in cells. To help you find them, Excel places cells that have leading spaces at the top of a sorted column.

Sort numbers

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of numeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing numeric data.

  2. Press Alt+A. The Data tab opens, and with Narrator, you hear: “Ribbon tabs, Selected, Data tab item.” With JAWS, you hear: “Upper ribbon, Group box, Data tab.” With NVDA, you hear: "Ribbon tabs tab control expanded, Data tab selected."

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To sort from smallest to largest, press S and then A.

    • To sort from largest to smallest, press S and then D.

Check that numbers are stored as numbers

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of numeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing numeric data, and then press Ctrl+Spacebar to select all the data in the column.

  2. Press Alt+H, F, N. The Format Cells dialog box opens, and you hear: “Format cells.”

  3. To move to the Number tab, use the Left arrow key (or press Ctrl+Tab). With Narrator, you hear: "Number tab item." With JAWS, you hear: “Number tab.” With NVDA, you hear: “Number tab, selected.”

  4. Press the Tab key. The Category list opens, and you hear the currently selected category, such as "General" or "Date."

  5. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear: “Number.”

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear "Decimal places," followed by the number of decimal places currently used. If you want to change this value, type the new number of decimal places. To remove decimals completely, type 0.

  7. To close the Format Cells dialog box and apply your changes, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and press Enter.

Sort dates and times

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of dates or times in a range of cells, or to a table column containing dates or times.

  2. Press Alt+A. The Data tab opens, and with Narrator, you hear: “Ribbon tabs, Selected, Data tab.” With JAWS, you hear: “Upper ribbon, Group box, Data tab.” With NVDA, you hear: "Ribbon tabs tab control expanded, Data tab selected."

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To sort from oldest to newest, press S and then A.

    • To sort from newest to oldest, press S and then D.

    • To reapply a sort after you change the data, select a cell in the range or table and then press Ctrl+Alt+L.

Sort by more than one column

You might want to sort by more than one column or row when you have data that you want to group by the same value in one column or row, and then sort another column or row within that group of equal values. For example, if you have a Department column and an Employee column, you can first sort by Department (to group all the employees in the same department together), and then sort by name (to put the names in alphabetical order within each department). You can sort by up to 64 columns.

Note: For best results, the range of cells that you sort should have column headings. To sort by rows, make sure the My table has headings checkbox is cleared in the Sort dialog box. Press Alt+H, S, U to open the Sort dialog box, and press the Tab key until you hear "Checked, My data has headers checkbox" or "Unchecked, My data has headers checkbox." If you need to clear the checkbox, press Spacebar, press the Tab key until you hear "OK, button," and press Enter to apply the change.

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a range of cells with two or more columns of data, or to a table with two or more columns.

  2. Press Alt+A, S, S. The Sort dialog box opens, and with Narrator, you hear: “Sort, OK button.” With JAWS, you hear: “Sort dialog, OK button.” With NVDA, you hear: “Sort dialog, Sort window.” 

  3. Press the Tab key until you find the Column: Sort by combo box. You hear: "Sort by," followed by the column name, and then "editable combo box." Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select the first column that you want to sort.

  4. Press the Tab key until you find the Sort On combo box. You hear: "Sort on, Cell Values, editable combo box." If you don't hear "Cell Values," press the Up and Down arrow keys until you do.

  5. To select how you want to sort the cell values, press the Tab key until you find the Order combo box. You hear: "Order," followed by the currently selected option, and then "editable combo box." Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select A to Z, Z to A, Smallest to Largest, or Largest to Smallest.

  6. To add another column to sort by, use the Tab key to move to the Add Level button, press Enter, and then repeat steps three through five.

    Note: The Sort By combo box is called Then By for the additional columns.

  7. To reapply a column sort after you change the data, select a cell in the range or table and then press Ctrl+Alt+L.

    Note: Ctrl+Alt+L does not reapply a row sort.

Tips for issues with sorting

If you get unexpected results when sorting your data:

  • Check to see if the values returned by a formula have changed. If the data that you have sorted contains one or more formulas, the return values of those formulas might change when the worksheet is recalculated. In this case, make sure that you reapply the sort to get up-to-date results.

  • Unhide rows and columns before you sort. Hidden columns are not moved when you sort columns, and hidden rows are not moved when you sort rows. Before you sort data, it's a good idea to unhide the hidden columns and rows.

  • Check the locale setting. Sort orders vary by locale setting. Make sure that you have the proper locale setting in Regional Settings or Regional and Language Options in Control Panel on your computer.

  • Turn on or off the heading row. It's usually best to have a heading row when you sort a column to make it easier to understand the meaning of the data. By default, the value in the heading is not included in the sort operation. Occasionally, you might need to turn the heading on or off so that the value in the heading is or is not included in the sort operation.

  • To exclude the first row of data from the sort because it’s a column heading, press Alt+H, S, U. In the Custom Sort dialog box, select the My data has headers checkbox.

  • To include the first row of data in the sort because it is not a column heading, press Alt+H, S, U. In the Custom Sort dialog box, clear the My data has headers checkbox.

Filter data in a table

When you put your data in a table, Excel automatically adds an AutoFilter dropdown menu to each column header. You can open this menu to filter quickly. To remove the AutoFilter dropdown menu from a column heading, select the header and then press Ctrl+Shift+L.

  1. In the table header of the column you want to filter, press Alt+Down arrow key. The AutoFilter dropdown menu opens, and with Narrator, you hear: “Menu.” With JAWS, you hear: “Context menu.” With NVDA, you hear: "Unknown."

  2. On the AutoFilter menu, if the column has numbers, use the Down arrow key to move to Number Filters and press Enter. If the column has text entries, use the Down arrow key to move to Text Filters and press Enter. The submenu opens, and you hear: “Equals.”

  3. To move to the filtering option you want, use the arrow keys and press Enter. The Custom AutoFilter dialog box opens, and you hear: “Custom AutoFilter.”

  4. Type or select your filtering conditions.

    For example, to show numbers above a certain amount, select Greater Than Or Equal To, and then enter the number you have in mind in the next combo box.

    To filter by two conditions, enter filtering conditions in both sets of edit combo boxes. For both the conditions to be true, press Shift+A to select the And condition. For either of the conditions to be true, press Shift+O to select the Or condition.

  5. To close the dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Enter.

Filter data in a range

  1. Select the cells you want to filter. Navigate to the cell which you want to be the top left cell of the selection, and then hold down Shift and use the Right and Down arrow keys to expand the selected range of cells.

  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+L. Excel adds an AutoFilter dropdown menu to the first cell of each column in the range.

  3. In the table header of the column you want to filter, press Alt+Down arrow key. The AutoFilter dropdown menu opens, and with Narrator, you hear: “Menu.” With JAWS, you hear: “Context menu.” With NVDA, you hear: "Unknown."

  4. Use the arrow keys and the Tab key to move to the filtering options you want. Use Spacebar to clear or select a filter value checkbox.

  5. When you’ve made your selections, press Enter to apply the filter.

To clear the filter and remove the AutoFilter dropdown menus, select any cell in the range and press Ctrl+Shift+L.

See also

Use a screen reader to title a table in Excel

Use a screen reader to add comments to an Excel worksheet

Use a screen reader to create column headers in a table in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

What's new in Microsoft 365

Use Excel for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to filter data in a range or table. Filtering data helps you focus on a particular set of data, which is especially useful in large worksheets.

Decorative icon Need instructions on how to sort or filter data in Excel, but not using a screen reader? See Sort a list of data in Excel for Mac or Filter a list of data.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Filter data in a table

When you put your data in a table, Excel automatically adds an AutoFilter dropdown menu to each column header.

  1. Create a table as instructed in Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet.

  2. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the header of the table column you want to filter.

  3. Press Option+Down arrow key to open the AutoFilter dropdown menu. You hear the column header name, followed by “Window.”

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To filter your data by color, press the Tab key until you hear “Filter by color, pop-up button,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the color filtering options and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

    • To filter your data by numerical or alphabetical values, press the Tab key until you hear “Choose one, pop-up button,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the filtering options and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

      For example, to show numbers above a certain amount, select Greater Than or Equal To, and then enter the number you have in mind in the text field that is in focus after selecting the filter.

      When you add a numerical or alphabetical filter, the And and Or conditions appear and you can add multiple conditions to your filter. To switch from the And condition to the Or condition, press the Tab key until you hear "And, selected, radio button," and then press the Right arrow key once.

    • To filter the column by selecting the values listed in it one by one, press the Tab key until you hear: “Entering table.” Then press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to open the table and use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse through the values. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to make a selection or to clear a checkbox.

    The Auto Apply checkbox is selected by default and Excel updates the values automatically. 

  5. To exit the AutoFilter dropdown menu, press Esc.

Filter data in a range

It is also possible to filter data in a range. For the best results, each column should have a header.

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the first cell in the range of data you want to filter.

  2. Press Fn+F8 to turn on the capability to extend your selection using the arrow keys. Then, use the arrow keys to select all the data needed for your range.

    Notes: Alternatively, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to select specific portions of your worksheet:

    • Press Command+A to select the entire worksheet.

    • Press Shift+Command+Asterisk (*) to select only the visible cells.

    • Press Control+Spacebar to select an entire column.

    • Press Shift+Spacebar to select an entire row.

  3. Press Control+Shift+L.

    Excel adds an AutoFilter dropdown menu to the first cell of each column in the range.

  4. Go to the header of the column you want to filter and press Option+Down arrow key. The AutoFilter dropdown menu opens, and you hear the column header name, followed by "Window."

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To filter your data by color, press the Tab key until you hear “Filter by color, pop-up button,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the color filtering options and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

    • To filter your data by numerical or alphabetical values, press the Tab key until you hear “Choose one, pop-up button,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the filtering options and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

      For example, to show numbers above a certain amount, select Greater Than or Equal To, and then enter the number you have in mind in the text field that is in focus after selecting the filter.

      When you add a numerical or alphabetical filter, the And and Or conditions appear and you can add multiple conditions to your filter. To switch from the And condition to the Or condition, press the Tab key until you hear "And, selected, radio button," and then press the Right arrow key once.

    • To filter the column by selecting the values listed in it one by one, press the Tab key until you hear: “Entering table.” Then press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to open the table and use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse through the values. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to make a selection or to clear a checkbox.

    The Auto Apply checkbox is selected by default and Excel updates the values automatically. 

  6. To exit the AutoFilter dropdown menu, press Esc.

Filtering options for ranges and tables

There are several options to filter your data in Excel for Mac.

Text filter options

  • Equals/Does Not Equal: Filters column data to display or hide the exact text you type in the text field that is in focus after choosing this option.

  • Begins With/Ends With: Filters column data to display data that begins with or ends with the exact text you type in the text field that is in focus after choosing this option.

  • Does Not Begin With/Does Not End With: Filters column data to display data that does not begin with or end with the exact text you type in the text field that is in focus after choosing this option.

  • Contains/Does Not Contain: Filters column data to display or hide data that includes the exact text you type in the text field that is in focus after choosing this option.

Number filter options

  • Equals/Does Not Equal: Filters column data to display or hide the exact number you type in the text field that is in focus after choosing this option.

  • Greater Than/Less Than: Filters column data to display all numbers with a greater or lesser value than the number you type in the text field that is in focus after choosing this option.

  • Greater Than or Equal To/Less Than or Equal To: Filters column data to display all numbers with a greater than or equal value or lesser than or equal value to the number you type in the text field that is in focus after choosing this option.

  • Between: Filters column data to display all numbers within a specific numerical range typed into the two text boxes. Type the starting number for your range to the text field that is in focus after choosing this option, then press the Tab key three times, and then enter the closing number for your range.

  • Top 10/Bottom 10: Filters the column data to display the top 10 or bottom 10 numerical values or percentages.

    Note: To filter percentages instead of numerical values, press the Tab key until you hear “Items, pop-up button,” press Control+Option+Spacebar, and then press the Down arrow key once. You hear: "Percent." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

  • Above Average/Below Average: Filters column data to display numerical values that are above or below the average value of all the numbers in the column.

Color filter options

  • Cell Color: Filters the column data to include the cells that are filled with a specific color. When you open the Cell Color submenu, you hear the first cell color displayed in your column. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the available colors, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select a color. If you choose the No Fill menu item, Excel displays cells without a custom background color—this displays cells that have the default white background.

  • Font Color: Filters the column data to include the cells that contain data written in a specific font color. When you open the Font Color submenu, you hear the first font color displayed in your column. Use the Up and Down Arrow keys to browse the available colors, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select a color. If you choose the Automatic menu item, Excel displays cells that contain data written in the default font color, black.

  • Cell Icon: Filters the column data to include the cells that contain a specific icon from a conditional formatting icon set.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet

Use a screen reader to print an Excel workbook

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

What's new in Microsoft 365

Use Excel with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to sort data in a range or table. Sorting data helps you organize and find the data that you want.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

Sort data in Excel

  1. In your worksheet that contains a table or a range of data, place the focus somewhere in the table column or sheet column which contains the data you want to sort by.

  2. Tap near the top of the screen with four fingers to move the focus to the workbook title bar, swipe right until you hear "Show ribbon, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the name of the current tab, for example, "Home, tab."

  3. Double-tap the screen to open the tab menu, swipe right or left until you hear "Data, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. To sort the data alphabetically or numerically, swipe right until you hear "Sort Ascending, button" or "Sort Descending, button," depending on what you want to do, and then double-tap the screen. The table or range of data is sorted. The data is sorted as follows:

    • When you select Sort Ascending, the data sorts from smallest to largest or from A to Z.

    • When you select Sort Descending, the data sorts from largest to smallest or from Z to A.

    • If the active column contains text only, your data is sorted alphabetically. If the active column contains numbers only, your data is sorted by value. If the active column contains a combination of text and numbers, the Sort Ascending option sorts your data first by value and then alphabetically, and the Sort Descending option sorts your data first alphabetically and then by value. 

  5. To close the ribbon and return the focus to the worksheet, swipe left until you hear "Hide ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to print an Excel workbook

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

What's new in Microsoft 365

Use Excel for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to sort and filter tables. Sorting helps you organize and analyze data. Filtering data is especially helpful when your worksheets contain large amounts of data.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

In this topic

Sort data in Excel

You can sort textual and numeric data in an Excel worksheet to arrange it in a specific order, such as texts from A to Z or Z to A, numbers from smallest to largest or largest to smallest, and dates and times from earlier to later or later to earlier.

Note: Once you sort the data, you cannot restore the original order.

  1. Tap somewhere in the Excel sheet. TalkBack announces the selected cell.

  2. Swipe left or right until you are in the column you want to sort. Double-tap the screen to activate the selection.

  3. Drag one finger near the top of the screen until you hear "More options, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear "Tab menu," followed by the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, selected."

  4. If you are not on the Home tab, double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens. Swipe right or left until you hear "Home, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers repeatedly, until you reach the end of the list. TalkBack plays sounds when you swipe, and stays silent when you have reached the end of the list.

  6. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen until you hear “Sort and Filter menu,” and then double-tap the screen.

  7. Do one of the following:

    • To sort alphanumeric data from A to Z, or from smallest to largest, or to sort dates and times from earlier to later, swipe right until you hear “Sort Ascending, switch," and then double-tap the screen.

    • To sort alphanumeric data from Z to A, or from largest to smallest, or to sort dates and times from later to earlier, swipe right until you hear "Sort Descending, switch,” and then double-tap the screen.

  8. To return to the worksheet, swipe right until you hear “On, more options switch,” and then double-tap the screen.

Sort a range of cells

If there are empty cells in your workbook, you can select a range first, and then sort the range.

  1. Drag one finger near the top of the screen until you hear "More options, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear "Tab menu," followed by the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, selected."

  2. If you are not on the Home tab, double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens. Swipe right or left until you hear "Home, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers repeatedly, until you reach the end of the list. TalkBack plays sounds when you swipe, and stays silent when you have reached the end of the list.

  4. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen until you hear "Select Range,” and then double-tap the screen.

  5. The Select Cell or Range dialog box opens, and the focus is in the range field. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the range you want to select, such as A1:C15. Drag your finger around the lower-right corner of the screen until you hear “Done,” and double-tap the screen. The range is now selected.

  6. Drag one finger near the top of the screen until you hear "More options, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  7. On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers repeatedly, until you reach the end of the list. TalkBack plays sounds when you swipe, and stays silent when you have reached the end of the list.

  8. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen until you hear “Sort and Filter menu,” and then double-tap the screen.

  9. Do one of the following:

    • To sort alphanumeric data from A to Z, or from smallest to largest, or to sort dates and times from earlier to later, swipe right until you hear “Sort Ascending, switch," and then double-tap the screen.

    • To sort alphanumeric data from Z to A, or from largest to smallest, or to sort dates and times from later to earlier, swipe right until you hear "Sort Descending, switch,” and then double-tap the screen.

Format data

Sometimes you might need to reformat the data to get the right results when sorting.

  1. Navigate to the cell or column you want to format. Double-tap the screen to activate the selection.

  2. Drag one finger near the top of the screen until you hear "More options, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear "Tab menu," followed by the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, selected."

  3. If you are not on the Home tab, double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens. Swipe right or left until you hear "Home, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers repeatedly, until you reach the end of the list. TalkBack plays sounds when you swipe, and stays silent when you have reached the end of the list.

  5. Swipe left until you hear “Number Format menu,” and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear the format you need, and then double-tap the screen.

    You can choose from the following formats: General, Number, Currency, Accounting, Date, Time, Percentage, Fraction, Scientific, Text, and Special.

Tips for resolving issues with sorting

If you get unexpected results when sorting your data, check the following:

  • If the data you have sorted contains one or more formulas, the return values of those formulas might change when the worksheet is recalculated. In this case, make sure that you sort again to get up-to-date results.

  • Hidden columns are not moved when you sort columns, and hidden rows are not moved when you sort rows. Before you sort data, it's a good idea to unhide the hidden columns and rows. To unhide, in the Excel workbook:

    1. Navigate to a row or column next to a hidden column or row. TalkBack announces: “Adjacent to hidden cells.”

    2. Drag your finger to the column header, or left to the row number, and then double-tap the screen to select the entire column or row. The context menu opens.

    3. Swipe right until you hear “Unhide, button,” and double-tap the screen.

  • Check the locale setting on your phone. Sorting results can vary depending on the locale setting.

Filter data in a table

  1. In Excel, slide one finger on the screen until you hear "Entering table," followed by the table and cell details.

  2. Swipe left or right to go to the column you want to filter, and double-tap the screen.

    Tip: If you hear “Cut button,” swipe down-then-left to close the context menu. 

  3. Drag your finger around the bottom of the screen on the taskbar until you hear “Filter options button,” and double-tap the screen.

  4. The Sort and Filter menu opens. Swipe right until you hear "Filter items button," and double-tap the screen. The focus is in the Search field. Double-tap the screen to activate the Search field and to bring up the keyboard.

  5. Type the criteria you want to filter with.

  6. When done, drag your finger around the upper part of the screen until you hear "Select All Results, button," and do one of the following:

    • To select all search results, double-tap the screen.

    • To browse the search results, swipe right until you hear the result you want, and then double-tap the screen. You can select multiple search results.

  7. Drag one finger at the upper-right corner of the screen until you hear “Done button,” and double-tap the screen.

    The Sort and Filter menu closes and you return to the table with the selected filter criteria applied.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

What's new in Microsoft 365

Use Excel for the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to place, sort, and filter data in a table. We have tested it with Narrator in Microsoft Edge and JAWS and NVDA in Chrome, but it might work with other screen readers and web browsers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. Filtering data helps you focus on a particular set of data, which is especially useful in large worksheets.

Decorative icon Need instructions on how to filter data in Excel, but not using a screen reader? See Filter data in a range or table.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When you use Excel for the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Excel for the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Excel for the web.

In this topic

Place data in a table

  1. Select the data you want to filter.

  2. Press Ctrl+L to open the Create Table dialog box. You hear: "Create table."

  3. If your table contains no headers, then press Enter after opening the Create Table dialog box. 

    Tip: If your table contains no headers, Excel for the web creates them by inserting placeholder texts in the first row. Default placeholder texts are Column 1, Column 2, Column 3, etc. You can change the name of the header text by clicking on it and entering the name you want.

  4. If your table contains headers, press the Tab key until you hear: "Unchecked my table has headers checkbox." Press Spacebar to select the checkbox, and then press Enter.

Sort text in a table

  1. Navigate to the header row in the table using the arrow keys. When you are on the header row, you hear "Header item" after the cell location.

  2. Press the Right or Left arrow key to move to the column header for the data that you want to sort.

  3. Press Alt+Down arrow key to open the filter menu, and then press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear: "Menu, Sort A to Z, unchecked menu item."

  4. The options that appear depend on the kind of data in the column. For example, you can sort numeric data from smallest to largest or largest to smallest. You can sort alphanumeric data from A to Z or from Z to A. You can also sort by color. Use the Down arrow key to browse the options, and press Enter to select an option. You hear "Sorted," followed by the selected option.

Sort text in a range

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of alphanumeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing alphanumeric data.

  2. Press Alt+Windows logo key, A. The Data tab opens, and with Narrator you hear: “Ribbon tabs, Selected, Data tab item.” With JAWS, you hear: “Upper ribbon, Group box, Data tab.” With NVDA, you hear: "Ribbon tabs tab control expanded, Data tab selected."

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To sort in ascending alphanumeric order (Sort A to Z), press S and then A.

    • To sort in descending alphanumeric order (Sort Z to A), press S and then D.

Filter data in a table

  1. Select the header cell of the column you want to filter.

  2. Press Alt+Down arrow key to open the Filter and Sort dropdown menu.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Text Filters" or "Number Filters," and then press Enter to access the submenu. You hear "Text Filters" if the column contains only text or a combination of text and numbers. You hear "Number Filters" if the column contains only numbers.

  4. Press the Down arrow key in the submenu until you hear the name of the filter you want to apply to your data, and then press Enter. A Custom Filter dialog box opens for each filter option. When the dialog box opens, you hear "Dialog custom filter focus on editing," and when the action is complete, you hear: "Filter applied."

    Press the Tab key to move between fields in the Custom Filter dialog box, including the And/Or radio buttons.

  5. Clear an applied filter by first selecting the header cell of the column you want to reset. If you select cell A1, for example, press Alt+Down arrow key to expand the dropdown menu, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Clear filter from Column 1." Press Enter to make a selection. When the action is completed, you hear: "No filter applied." If you renamed the header text for cell A1, you hear the name of the header instead of "Column 1."

Filter data in a range

  1. Select the cells you want to filter. Navigate to the cell which you want to be the top left cell of the selection, and then hold down Shift and use the Right and Down arrow keys to expand the selected range of cells.

  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+L. Excel adds an AutoFilter dropdown menu to the first cell of each column in the range.

  3. Select the cell with the AutoFilter dropdown menu. Press Alt+Down arrow key. The AutoFilter dropdown menu opens, and with Narrator you hear: “Menu.” With JAWS, you hear: “Context menu.” With NVDA, you hear: "Unknown."

  4. Use the arrow keys and the Tab key to move to the filtering options you want. Use Spacebar to clear or select a filter value checkbox.

  5. When you’ve made your selections, press Enter to apply the filter.

  6. To clear the filter and remove the AutoFilter dropdown menus, select any cell in the range and press Ctrl+Shift+L.

Filter options for tables

Number Filters options

  • Equals - Filters column to display the exact number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Equal - Filters column to display all numbers except the exact number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. 

  • Greater Than - Filters column to display all numbers with a greater value than the number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. 

  • Less Than - Filters column to display all numbers with a lesser value than the number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. 

  • Between - Filters column to display all numbers within a specific numerical range. Input the range in the two provided Custom Filter dialog boxes. 

  • Top 10 - Filters column to display numbers with the highest or lowest numerical values or percentages. You hear the name of the active cell and "Focus on editing 10" when the dialog box opens. The dialog box defaults to the top 10 numbers (called items), but you can change this number to any value. To filter percentages instead of numbers, press the Tab key until you hear "Items," and then press Alt+Down arrow key. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Percentage," and then press Enter. To filter bottom numbers or percentages, press the Tab key until you hear: "Top editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key. Then, press the Down arrow key to select "Bottom," then press Enter.

  • Above Average - Filters column to display the numbers that are above the average value of all numbers in the column.

  • Below Average - Filters column to display the numbers that are below the average value of all numbers in the column.

  • Custom Filter - Use this option to choose the filter you want to apply to your numerical data from a dropdown menu. To use this option, you must first type the number you want to filter into the dialog box. Next, press the Tab key until you hear: "Editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key to view the dropdown menu. Use the Down arrow key to select your desired filter, and then press Enter. When the action is completed, you hear: "Filter applied."

Text Filters options

  • Equals - Filters column to display the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Equal - Filters column to display everything except the text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Begins With - Filters column to display data that begins with the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. The text can have any ending.

  • Ends With - Filters column to display data that ends with the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. The text can have any beginning.

  • Contains - Filters column to display data that includes the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Contain - Filters column to display data that does not include the text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Custom Filter - Allows you to choose the filter you want to apply to your data from a dropdown menu. To use this option, you must first type the text you want to filter. Next, press the Tab key until you hear: "Editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key to view the dropdown menu. Use the Down arrow key to select your desired filter, and then press Enter. When the action is completed, you hear: "Filter applied."

See also

Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet

Use a screen reader to create a chart and select a chart in Excel

Use a screen reader to add comments to an Excel worksheet

Use a screen reader to find and replace data in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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