How to Order Alphabetically in SQL

This minHour teaches you how to use the ORDER BY clause in SQL to sort results from a table. The ORDER BY clause allows you to sort one or more columns in both ascending and descending order.


Enter SELECT *.

This means we’ll be looking at all columns. Move to the next line.

Enter FROM table_name.

Replace table_name with the name of the table, and then move to the next line.

Enter ORDER BY criteria;.

Here are some examples:

  • For example, if you wanted to display results in alphabetical order based on a column called NAME, you’d use ORDER BY NAME;. Ascending order is the default sort order, but you could also specify that you want it ascending using ORDER BY NAME ASC; if you’d like.
  • If you’d rather show the results in the opposite order, you’d use ORDER BY NAME DESC;. DESC means “descending order.”
  • If you want to sort based on two columns, separate them by commas. For example, ORDER BY LAST_NAME ASC, FIRST_NAME DESC; would display results sorted alphabetically by last name. If the same LAST_NAME matches multiple FIRST_NAME entries, the results of FIRST_NAME will also display in descending order.

Execute the command.

You will now see your SQL results in the appropriate order.

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