Tried to replicate this in my Excel 2010 without success. Copied cells Sheet1/A1:A12 to Sheet2/C1:C12 with data in preceding columns A & B. On selecting 'Sort' for C1:C12 I get a window informing me there is data next to my selection and since it is not selected will not be sorted. There are then two options: Expand selection or Continue with current selection. Selecting second option sorts data normally.