# Sort by String Length

An interesting solution by Simon Schönbeck that also works in Google spreadsheet.

Suppose you have some strings in a sheet with different lengths. All you need to do is to create a second column, select the first cell, insert the function `=LEN(A1)` and then drag down:

A B
absdfsdfsd 10
cdef 4
rwerwer 7
eee 3
w 1
sdfd 4

Now, by selecting both columns, go to `Data→Sort Range` and sort by column `B`. Since column `B` contains numbers representing the length of the strings in column `A`, column `A` will be sorted as well by string length.

A B
w 1
eee 3
cdef 4
sdfd 4
rwerwer 7
absdfsdfsd 10

# Pairwise Difference between Cells

The pairwise difference between cells in a column can be calculated using the `OFFSET` excel command:

Values Pairwise Difference
9
5 `=OFFSET(C2, -1, -2, 1, 1)-OFFSET(C2, 0, -2, 1, 1)`
10
3

Applying the formula to all rows (by dragging), will result in the following table:

Values Pairwise Difference
9
5 4
10 -5
3 7

You can also use `ABS` in the offset formula:

`=ABS(OFFSET(C2, -1, -2, 1, 1)-OFFSET(C2, 0, -2, 1, 1))`

in order to avoid negative values.