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
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
About the author
Hey, I’m Mark, and I run Excel Off The Grid.
My parents tell me that at the age of 7 I declared I was going to become a qualified accountant. I was either psychic or had no imagination, as that is exactly what happened. However, it wasn't until I was 35 that my journey really began.
In 2015, I started a new job, for which I was regularly working after 10pm. As a result, I rarely saw my children during the week. So, I started searching for the secrets to automating Excel. I discovered that by building a small number of simple tools, I could combine them together in different ways to automate nearly all my regular tasks. This meant I could work less hours (and I got pay raises!). Today, I teach these techniques to other professionals in our training program so they too can spend less time at work (and more time with their children and doing the things they love).
Do you need help adapting this post to your needs?
I'm guessing the examples in this post don't exactly match 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.
Don't go yet, there is plenty more to learn on Excel Off The Grid. Check out the latest posts: