At some point in your VBA life it will be necessary to display or re-order an array/list alphabetically (or reverse alphabetically). Unfortunately, VBA doesn’t have a function for sorting arrays automatically, but with a little bit of coding we can create a reusable function which would achieve something similar.
Setting up the example
This first VBA code is to set the scene. It creates an array, calls the function to sort the array and then outputs the sorted array. You only need this first piece of code if you are following it through as an example.
Sub RunTheSortMacro() Dim i As Long Dim myArray As Variant 'Set the array myArray = Array("p", "A", "G", 3, "l", "6", 10, "K", 7) 'myArray variable set to the result of SortArrayAtoZ function myArray = SortArrayAtoZ(myArray) 'Output the Array through a message box For i = LBound(myArray) To UBound(myArray) MsgBox myArray(i) Next i End Sub
Sort the array A-Z
I like to use a Function, rather than a Sub for sorting an array. The function is a reusable piece of code, it can form part of your ‘Core’ module, which you can copy into any VBA project. This function takes an array as its variable and outputs the same array sorted in alphabetical order.
Function SortArrayAtoZ(myArray As Variant) Dim i As Long Dim j As Long Dim Temp 'Sort the Array A-Z For i = LBound(myArray) To UBound(myArray) - 1 For j = i + 1 To UBound(myArray) If UCase(myArray(i)) > UCase(myArray(j)) Then Temp = myArray(j) myArray(j) = myArray(i) myArray(i) = Temp End If Next j Next i SortArrayAtoZ = myArray End Function
Do you know the fastest way to learn foreign languages? It is to read, write, speak, and think in that language as often as possible. Apart from speaking, programming languages are no different. The more you immerse yourself in that language, the faster you will pick it up.
Therefore, what most people like you need is lots of examples that you can practice. That is why the 100 Excel VBA Macros eBook exists. It’s the book for all Excel users who want to learn how to read and write Excel macros, save time, and stand out from their peers. The book contains:
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- Downloadable workbook containing all the source code, so the examples can be added to your project to give you the benefit of VBA straight away.
Sort the array Z-A
The reverse function to sort the array Z-A
Function SortArrayZtoA(myArray As Variant) Dim i As Long Dim j As Long Dim Temp 'Sort the Array Z-A For i = LBound(myArray) To UBound(myArray) - 1 For j = i + 1 To UBound(myArray) If UCase(myArray(i)) < UCase(myArray(j)) Then Temp = myArray(j) myArray(j) = myArray(i) myArray(i) = Temp End If Next j Next i SortArrayZtoA = myArray End Function
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If you’ve found this post useful, or if you have a better approach, then please leave a comment below.
Do you need help adapting this to your needs?
I’m guessing the examples in this post didn’t exactly meet your situation. We all use Excel differently, so it’s impossible to write a post that will meet everybody’s needs. By taking the time to understand the techniques and principles in this post (and elsewhere on this site) you should be able to adapt it to your needs.
But, if you’re still struggling you should:
- Read other blogs, or watch YouTube videos on the same topic. You will benefit much more by discovering your own solutions.
- Ask the ‘Excel Ninja’ in your office. It’s amazing what things other people know.
- Ask a question in a forum like Mr Excel, or the Microsoft Answers Community. Remember, the people on these forums are generally giving their time for free. So take care to craft your question, make sure it’s clear and concise. List all the things you’ve tried, and provide screenshots, code segments and example workbooks.
- Use Excel Rescue, who are my consultancy partner. They help by providing solutions to smaller Excel problems.
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