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Sorting within a column

I have a list of names in a column with the first name, middle name, then last name - all in the same column. I know there is a way to change it so the last name is first, but I can't remember how.

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This page covers how to manipulate columns when the data is formatted as "LastName, FirstName MiddleName"... I'm guessing you could just tweak it:

This google group goes more in depth on the topic:

Posted on Jan 04, 2008


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Unable to answer your problem without more information. Is this a database? What program? Or users on a computer? Is it possible to undo what you did? For future reference, pressing the control key and the Z key will undo whatever you just did. This will usually work for several edits backwards. Probably too late to help, but you should have a backup of the databases (if that is what this is). Download or copy/paste it to replace the one that is messed up. Then it is easy to look up on the Internet how to do almost anything to do with databases. If it is a simple database, be sure to keep your backup intact (that's why you copy/paste and not cut/paste) and try grabbing the top of the last name column and drag it to the other side of the first name column. If that doesn't work, cut the column and then paste it on the other side.

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If you can move your name column (C) to the first column, you could leverage the VLOOKUP formula pretty easily.
To do this, do the following:
1) Move the C Column to be the A Column, shifting all other columns to the right.
2) (optional) Insert a new row at the top of the sheet (to hold the formula & seach value)
3) Use A1 as your search field.
4) In A2, enter the following formula:

Describing above parameters, in the formula:
$A$1 -> the search field (name your looking for).
$A$2:$C$6 -> The table/grid you wish to search and return values from. The left most column (A) must contain the values to be searched.
3 -> is the column number (A=1,B=2,C=3, etc) within the table/grid to return.

If you cannot make the name column your first (A) column, there are more complex ways to do this. For instance, create a new sheet which redisplays the info in the structure easier for this method, and perform the VLOOKUP on that data. Other options might exist in creating a complex formula that would get you what you want.
Also, if you can sort column A (names) it would find results faster, if your data set is large.

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