MS-Excel / Excel 2003

Sorting Record Number Field to Restore a List

In some data lists, you may want to be able to restore the records to the order in which they were originally entered (which may not necessarily be an order that you achieve through sorting). To return a list to its original order after doing any amount of sorting, you assign sequential numbers to the records before you ever sort them. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Position the cell pointer in the first cell of the list and then choose Insert → Column.
    Excel inserts a blank column where you can assign the sequential numbers for the records.
  2. Type Record No. as the field name in the blank cell in the new column and then press Enter.
  3. Type 1 in the blank cell beneath the Record Number field name and then click the Enter button on the Formula bar.
    Clicking the Enter button ensures that the cell pointer stays in the cell that now contains record number 1.
  4. Position the mouse pointer on the Fill handle of the current cell, press and hold down the Ctrl key, and then drag the Fill handle down the column until you reach the row with the last record of the data list.
    When you release the mouse button, Excel fills the Record Number field with sequential numbers starting with 1.
  5. Save the workbook containing the data list (Ctrl+S).
    After adding the Record No. field with the record numbers to the data list, you can return the list to its original data-entry order (which you would do before adding any new records) by positioning the cell pointer in the cell containing the Record No. field name and then clicking the Sort Ascending button on the Standard toolbar.
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