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Sorting a two-dimensional array in C#

, 7 Mar 2011 CPOL
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A generic routine to sort a two-dimensional array in C# on any column in either order
/// <summary>
/// A generic routine to sort a two dimensional array of a specified type based on the specified column.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="array">The array to sort.</param>
/// <param name="sortCol">The index of the column to sort.</param>
/// <param name="order">Specify "DESC" or "DESCENDING" for a descending sort otherwise
/// leave blank or specify "ASC" or "ASCENDING".</param>
/// <remarks>The original array is sorted in place.</remarks>
/// <see cref=""/>
private static void Sort<T>(T[,] array, int sortCol, string order)
    int colCount = array.GetLength(1), rowCount = array.GetLength(0);
    if (sortCol >= colCount || sortCol < 0)
        throw new System.ArgumentOutOfRangeException("sortCol", "The column to sort on must be contained within the array bounds.");
    DataTable dt = new DataTable();
    // Name the columns with the second dimension index values, e.g., "0", "1", etc.
    for (int col = 0; col < colCount; col++)
        DataColumn dc = new DataColumn(col.ToString(), typeof(T));
    // Load data into the data table:
    for (int rowindex = 0; rowindex < rowCount; rowindex++)
        DataRow rowData = dt.NewRow();
        for (int col = 0; col < colCount; col++)
            rowData[col] = array[rowindex, col];
    // Sort by using the column index = name + an optional order:
    DataRow[] rows = dt.Select("", sortCol.ToString() + " " + order);
    for (int row = 0; row <= rows.GetUpperBound(0); row++)
        DataRow dr = rows[row];
        for (int col = 0; col < colCount; col++)
            array[row, col] = (T)dr[col];


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Tony Zackin
Software Developer (Senior) Takamomto, LLC
United States United States
I have been doing database related programming in the financial services industry for over 20 years on various platforms. I used to be a UNIX Sybase DBA but now prefer programming in the .NET environment using C# and SQL Server.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionExcellent! PinmemberMember 897295-Jun-12 1:22 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Perfetto! Very practical, production... PinmemberDrABELL9-Apr-11 13:48 
GeneralReason for my vote of 4 Good one... PinmemberPravin Patil, Mumbai7-Mar-11 20:49 
GeneralGood work Tony.... PinmemberPravin Patil, Mumbai7-Mar-11 20:49 
GeneralCopy cat? Yes, of course. Did you not see the reference in ... PinmemberTony Zackin4-Mar-11 6:42 
GeneralRe: Sorry. I didn't noticed the reference. 5! it. PinmemberVenkatesh Mookkan18-Mar-11 2:46 
GeneralReason for my vote of 1 Copy cat. PinmemberVenkatesh Mookkan3-Mar-11 20:35 

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