Sort one column by another column in Power BI

APPLIES TO: Power BI Desktop Power BI service

When you're editing a report in Power BI, you can choose a column to define the sort order of another column.

Here's a common example. You have a Month Name column, and when you add it to a visual, the months are being sorted alphabetically: April, August, December, February, and so on. However, you want them to be sorted chronologically. This article shows how to set the sort order of one column by a different column, in Power BI Desktop or in the Power BI service.

Screenshot of a line chart in Power BI Desktop with the months sorted alphabetically.


When you're reading a report, you can also change how the values in a visual are sorted. See Change how a chart is sorted in a Power BI report for details.

Set the column to use for sorting

To set a different column to sort by in Power BI Desktop, both columns need to be at the same level of granularity. For example, to sort a column of month names correctly, you need a column that contains a number for each month. The sort order will apply to any visual in the report that contains the sorted column. In the following example, the months are sorted alphabetically, but they should be sorted chronologically.

  1. Select the column that you want to sort, in this case, Month. Note that the months in the visual are sorted alphabetically. In the Fields pane, the Column tools tab becomes active.

    Screenshot of a Power BI Desktop chart with months sorted alphabetically. The Column tools tab is active, and the Sort by Column button is highlighted.

  2. Select Sort by Column, then select the field you want to sort the other field by, in this case, Month Number.

    Screenshot of a chart with the months sorted alphabetically. The Sort by Column button is called out. In a menu below it, Month Number is highlighted.

  3. The visual automatically sorts chronologically by the order of months in a year.

    Screenshot of a line chart in Power BI Desktop with the months sorted chronologically.

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