Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
The ability to sort data is useful to genealogy researchers, allowing various elements to analyzed and compared. The ability to sort electronically is a convenience and a time saver, and significantly reduces the margin of error over alphabetizing or sorting data manually. At the simplest level, entering a list of names and then sorting them alphabetically is very convenient and has many uses. When using a spreadsheet, the ability to prioritize and sort columns is also useful. One might sort not only by name but by location, birthdate, or other factors. When conducting a sort, it is always advisable to make a backup copy of your data before sorting, in the event the criteria entered for the sort is incorrect. Always keeping a backup allows you to retrieve the original and try again.