Tableau - Basic Sorting

Sorting of data is a very important feature of data analysis. Tableau allows the sorting of data of the fields, which are called dimensions. There are two ways in which Tableau carries out the sorting.

  • Computed Sorting is the sort directly applied on an axis using the sort dialog button.

  • Manual Sorting is used to rearrange the order of dimension fields by dragging them next to each other in an ad hoc fashion.

Computed Sorting

This type of sorting involves choosing a field to be sorted and directly applying the sort using the sort dialog box. You have the option to choose the sort order as ascending or descending and choose the field on which to apply the sort.


Choose Sample-Superstore to apply sorting on the field named discount by using the dimensions order date and Subcategory as shown below. The result shows the name of the sub-categories in a descending order arranged for each year.

Manual Sorting

This is basically changing the order in which the visualization elements appear in the screen. For example, you want to show the sales volume of different product segment in a descending order, however you have your own choice of order. This sort is not as per the exact values of number or text, rather they represent the user’s choice of ordering. Hence, they are called as manual sorting.

In the following example, you move the segment named Home Office, below the segment named Consumer, even though the sales volume of Home Office is the lowest.