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How to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

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  • Published on:
    October 19, 2023
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  • Last updated:
    December 9, 2023

We all want our charts and graphs to present the data correctly. So we can gain an understanding of our visual materials. What’s the point of the report if we can’t understand the data behind it?

Disorganized chart vs descending order

In this guide, we will walk you through steps you should take to sort bar chart in descending order. As well as provide more easier way to create reports and descend data using Ajelix BI.

What’s The Difference Between Descending and Ascending Order?

Ascending order follows an incremental pattern, with values or categories arranged from the smallest to the largest. It’s the conventional default, ensuring a logical progression.

Descending order, on the other hand, flips the arrangement, displaying data from the largest to the smallest. This approach can reveal trends, outliers, or prioritize the most significant data points. Here’s a visual example:

Example on how looks chart in ascending order vs. descending order
Comparison of a charts in Ascending order vs Descending order

In the intricate world of Excel charts, comprehending the nuances of ascending and descending order is imperative for creating visuals that convey data’s narrative effectively.

How To Sort Bar Charts in Descending Order

There are several ways to get your chart sorted correctly. We will explore 2 ways to get the needed result.

Method 1: Sort Your Excel Table With Filters

Time needed: 1 minute

To get the chart sorted in descending order use Excel’s filter option and sort your data table.

  1. Pick the data table

    Select the heading of the data table you used to create a bar chart.
    Pick the data table field to start sorting screenshot from Excel

  2. Activate Filter option

    Once you select the data table, go to the Home toolbar section and pick Filter.
    Filter your data in Excel screenshot

  3. Filter data from largest to smallest

    To organize your data table in descending order, press on the filter option and choose the order from Largest to smallest.
    Sort data from largest to smallest in deecending order excel screenshot

Here’s a quick video wrap-up:

Sort Your Excel Charts Effectively By Descending or Ascending Order - Tutorial By Ajelix #excel #tip

Method 2: Sort Only Your Chart

The second sorting option will only sort your chart visually without filtering your data table. Here are 4 steps on how to do it:

1. Activate the Axis formatting setting by right-clicking on the chart axis. Choose Format Axis from the drop-down menu.

Access format axis in excel screenshot

2. Once you’ve accessed the Axis Options pick Categories in reverse order and voila your chart in organized in descending order.

Sort your data chart screenshot from Excel

Related Article: 9 Data visualization trends for 2024

Sorting Your Charts With Ajelix Bi

Creating reports and charts in Excel spreadsheets might appear daunting, especially if it’s not your area of expertise. Mastering Microsoft Excel often requires specialized training, which can be time-consuming. The process becomes even more intricate when searching for online guides.

Perhaps it’s worth considering a user-friendly alternative for professional data visualization:

Different types of charts screenshot from ajelix data visualization dashboard
Data visualization dashboard in Ajelix BI

How To Sort Charts with Ajelix Data Visualization Tool

The process is very straightforward once you start using Ajelix for data visualization tasks. Not only does it ease the data analytics process it also helps you reduce the time spent looking for the right settings.

Here are the steps you need to take to sort your data chart:

1. Create a bar chart and you will see that your chart is automatically sorted in ascending order

Chart from Ajelix BI ordered in ascending order

2. Open the chart settings by clicking on it. Now to order your data in descending order, choose Sort By and pick values. Select Sort Order and pick Descending.

Ajelix BI sorting settings

Now you have sorted your graph with a Ajelix data visualization tool. Feel intrigued? Check how Ajelix works and join freemium:

BI and Visualization Tools: Your Path to Data-Driven Decision Making -Tutorial by Ajelix
Ajelix BI Demo How To Improve Decision-Making With Data Visualization Tools


The power is in your hands now. We encourage you to harness your newfound skills in your Excel projects, creating charts that enlighten and inform. Make sure to watch the demo of Ajelix BI and try it! Who knows maybe you’ll be one of the 80 000 satisfied customers who use Ajelix daily.

Ready to create reports 10X faster with Ajelix BI?

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Ad hoc financial analysis report example from ajelix bi portal

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