Sort::Hash - get the keys to a hashref sorted by their values.


version 2.05


Hash::Sort is a convenience for returning the keys of a hashref sorted by their values. Numeric and alphanumeric sorting are supported, the sort may be either Ascending or Descending.

  use Sort::Hash;
  my @sorted = sort_hash( \%Hash );

This does exactly the same as:

 my @sorted = ( sort { $Hash{$a} <=> $Hash{$b} } keys %Hash ) ;


Get the keys to a hashref sorted by their values.

Methods Exported


Return a sorted array containing the keys of a hash.

Options to sort_hash

    nofatal      warn and return an empty list instead of dying on
                 invalid sort (default behaviour)
    silent       like nofatal but doesn't emit warnings either
    noempty      if the hashref is empty treat it as an error
                 instead of returning an empty list ()
    desc         sort descending instead of ascending
    asc          ascending sort is the default but you can specify it
    alpha        sort alpha (treats numbers as text)
    strictalpha  sort alpha but refuse to sort numbers as text
    numeric      sort as numbers, default is numeric

The arguments may be passed in any order.

 sort_hash( 'strictalpha', 'desc', $hashref );
 sort_hash( $hashref, qw/ noempty nofatal alpha desc /);


Numeric sorts will fail if given a non-number. Normally alpha sorts will treat numbers as text. strictalpha uses Scalar::Util::looks_like_number to reject a hash that has any values that appear to be numbers.

When the data is illegal for the sort type in effect, (only alpha has no restriction) sort_hash will die. If you prefer it not to, use nofatal to return () and warn instead of die, silent (implies nofatal) will just return () without a warning.

Sorting an empty hashref will return nothing (). You can make this into an error that will die or warn depending on the nofatal flag with noempty.

Changes from Version 1.x to 2.x

The API has been changed from version 1. It is no longer possible to pass a naked hash, and it is no longer necessary to enter parameters as key value pairs. The default has also been changed from nofatal (warn only) to fatal (die on illegal sort).

Upgrading to version 2. If you passed a naked hash just precede it with a backslash to pass it as a hashref. Add the parameter 'nofatal' to warn instead of die. Version 2 takes its arguments as an array and just ignores the extra arguments that would come in from a version 1 call. If you were already passing a hashref it will just work, except that illegal values are fatal without nofatal.

If you need version1 compatibility

Version 1 is included in the version 2 distribution, renamed as Sort::Hash1, just change your use statement to use Sort::Hash1;.


John Karr, brainbuz at


Please report any bugs or feature requests via the BitBucket issue tracker at I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

You can also look for information at: The documentation for the sort command in the Perl documentation.


Copyright 2014 John Karr.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 3 or at your option any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

A copy of the GNU General Public License is available in the source tree; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.