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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

OpenRefine

A free, open source, powerful tool for working with messy data.

Sorting Data

OpenRefine includes a “Sort” function which works similarly to sorting in Excel. This function allows you to arrange your data according to a defined order within one or more columns.​

Sorting by One Column

  1. Go to the column you would like to sort by and click the arrow button on the column header.
  2. Select the “Sort” option.
  3. In the pop-up window, select the criteria and order you wish to sort by and select “Ok.”
  4. The order of rows/records will change in the grid view according to your selections.

Process for sorting columns

Helpful Tips:

  • The “Sort” function does not permanently change the order of your rows/records, only the order you view them in. This can be checked by looking at the row/record numbers at the left of the grid view.
  • The order  of your rows/records can be permanently changed by selecting “Sort” at the top of the grid view and choosing “Reorder rows permanently.”
  • The “Sort” function can be removed by selecting “Sort” at the top of the grid view and choosing “Remove sort.”

Drop-down path for removing the sorting function

Sorting by Multiple Columns

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above for your first sort.
  2. Do not remove the first sort, but choose your second column and repeat steps 1-2.
  3. In the pop-up window DO NOT select the “Sort by this column alone” option and select “Ok.”
  4. The order of rows/columns will change in the grid view according to your first sort and then within that, according to the second sort.

Process for using multiple sort functions

Helpful Tips:

  • If you have applied multiple sorts, you can remove each one individually or as a group. This can be done by selecting “Sort” at the top of the grid view, hovering over the sort title you wish to remove, and selecting “Remove sort.”

Drop-down path to remove multiple sort functions

4/30/18 - Brinna Michael