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Question: Sort just a block within a spreadsheet - could do that easily in Appleworks!

Specific example: 5 boats sail in a series of races, with different finishing orders. I want to display the races on the same page, left to right, each race sorted in finishing order, then sum the points in an end column. Pretty basic stuff, very straightforward in Appleworks - just select each block and sort it independently of the others. Numbers does not support this function, only sorting all rows or columns - why on earth not? I have seen some workarounds, but far too tedious. Every upgrade seems to jettison some favourite functions!

macOS High Sierra (10.13.3)

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Mar 12, 2018 5:40 AM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

Hi Guy,


Numbers mimics a database.

Each column of a table is a field.

Each row of a table is a record.

Numbers sorts each row as a unit, to keep the relationships intact.


Please reply with more information about your overall aim.

Numbers works best by "pulling" relevant data from a master table into several small tables, each with a purpose.

Then you create a "presentation" of results (perhaps on other Sheets) for printing.


More information will lead to a solution 😉.


Regards,

Ian.

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Mar 12, 2018 1:20 PM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

Hi Guy,


I wonder if you noticed a nifty feature in Numbers where you can select a range of cells (perhaps cells in one column) hold down the mouse button, and drag them onto the canvas. They automatically become a separate table. Sort that table as desired, select its cells and just drag them back into the original table. It's really handy. Only takes a few seconds.


SG

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 12, 2018 5:40 AM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

Hi Guy,


Numbers mimics a database.

Each column of a table is a field.

Each row of a table is a record.

Numbers sorts each row as a unit, to keep the relationships intact.


Please reply with more information about your overall aim.

Numbers works best by "pulling" relevant data from a master table into several small tables, each with a purpose.

Then you create a "presentation" of results (perhaps on other Sheets) for printing.


More information will lead to a solution 😉.


Regards,

Ian.

Mar 12, 2018 5:40 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 6:08 AM in response to Yellowbox In response to Yellowbox

Thanks Ian, I thought it felt more like a database. My Missing Manual is not very helpful on how to treat my first table as the master and then set up others dependent on it. From what you say, my example of the races would appear to need a master table, boat names in a LH column in alphabetical order, a column for each race with their finishing place, 21, 2, 3 etc, then a table for each race, with the boat names and their places listed in finishing order, another table with their total points, the then a summary presentation table pasted up from these. Is that correct? If so, fine for a commercial purpose with a big print run or circulation, but a lot of work for my small purposes. As I said, this was very easy on one sheet in Appleworks. Am I now using the wrong programme?


Guy

Mar 12, 2018 6:08 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 6:55 AM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

Hi Guy,


Try the powerful Filter feature in Numbers.

Filter applied, but not active:

User uploaded file

With the Filter now active (click on the checkbox)

User uploaded file

Select all the visible cells, Copy and Paste into a new table.

Then you have a new table to manipulate for a presentation 🙂.


Regards,

Ian.

Mar 12, 2018 6:55 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 10:38 AM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

Hi guy,


"Numbers does not support this function, only sorting all rows or columns - why on earth not?"


As Ian notes, Numbers sorts a table, but not individual columns or groups of columns.

But you can limit the sort to a selected group of rows within a column.

The contextual menus attached to the column reference tabs offer only sorts that affect all (non-header, non-footer) rows, but the Sort and Filter button (beside the Format brush) opens an Inspector pane that includes the option of sorting "selected rows."

User uploaded file

The table in the image has undergone three sorts:

In its original state, the numbers in column E were in ascending order from 1-12.

Sort 1: Ascending order on column A

Sort 2: Descending order on column D.

Sort 3: Selected rows, descending order on column A.

Giving the results above.

Deselecting the selected rows by clicking on a single cell (I clicked D1, but the actual cell chosen shouldn't matter),

I did one more sort:

Sort 4: Ascending on column D.

User uploaded file

Note that the order of values in column A is unchanged from that above except for the first three (ascending) values being moved to the bottom three rows, and the descending values moving up three rows, while maintaining their previously sorted order.



" why on earth not?


If memory serves, sorting individual columns was not included in any version of ClarisWorks, which was rebranded as AppleWorks at version 5. The feature was introduced was included (without much, if any, 'introduction') in AppleWorks 6.


I don't know how others were affected by this, but I do recall several hours of frustration for a group (including me) rushing to do the calculations to determine who would move on the the 'final' round of a fair involving between 150 and 200 entrants, scored on a multi item rating sheet by several independent interviewers.


Assuming we weren't the only users caught off guard, I would expect Apple received several complaints at that time, which may have had some influence on the 'feature' being omitted from Numbers when It came along.


Regards,

Barry

Mar 12, 2018 10:38 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 12, 2018 1:20 PM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

Hi Guy,


I wonder if you noticed a nifty feature in Numbers where you can select a range of cells (perhaps cells in one column) hold down the mouse button, and drag them onto the canvas. They automatically become a separate table. Sort that table as desired, select its cells and just drag them back into the original table. It's really handy. Only takes a few seconds.


SG

Mar 12, 2018 1:20 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 12, 2018 1:08 PM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

Hi Guy,


I am glad that Numbers does not allow sorting individual columns within a table. I recall many times when using Excel, a colleague would ask: "How do we sort in Excel? We select that column and sort, yes?"


Me: "Oh, **sugar**. No. You have just turned years of work into a dog's breakfast. Do we have a backup copy?"


Regards,

Ian.

Mar 12, 2018 1:08 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 1:38 PM in response to guyfromchelmsford In response to guyfromchelmsford

can you give us a mock up or screen shot of how you want to see the data? I am having a problem seeing why you need to sort the column if the boats are listed in the order they placed. You would put the first place winners number in the top most row down to the last place in the last row. Each column would be different of course, one for each race.


i.e. i am thinking if you sort the column by itself you just put the boats back in their numeric order form boat 1 to boat 5, not in the order they placed. I had to do this for a pinewood derby and each row was a race, placing each cars number in the specific lane, then what the placing of the lanes was in a second table, and it computed the points in another table. did this for dozens of races and it all worked out nicely.



thanks

Jason

Mar 12, 2018 1:38 PM

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Question: Sort just a block within a spreadsheet - could do that easily in Appleworks!