Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Sorting Text.

Sorting Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 31, 2013)

4

Word provides quite a few different tools on its various ribbons. If you do some exploring, you'll notice the Sort tool, in the Paragraph group on the Home tab of the ribbon. Using this tool you can easily sort any information you desire. To sort text, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text containing the information to be sorted. (If you are sorting a table, then simply place the cursor anywhere within the table. If you are sorting regular text, then select the entire list you want sorted.)
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Sort tool, in the Paragraph group. Word displays either the Sort dialog box (if you are sorting information in a table) or the Sort Text dialog box (if you are sorting regular text). (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Sort Text dialog box.

  5. Using the controls in the dialog box, indicate the way in which the text should be sorted. (For regular text, outside of a table, the normal way to sort is by Paragraphs. When sorting a table, you can select which column of the table you sort by.)
  6. Click on the OK button.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8140) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Sorting Text.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 3 + 2?

2013-09-03 12:07:22

awyatt

Len,

Andrew didn't write that; I did. No biggie, though. ;-)

I think your complaint may be with Microsoft, not really with the wording of the tip. Fact is, Microsoft doesn't put words on the majority of the Word tools. They use pictures and, sometimes, letters.

However, the tools still need to have names so that you can reference them as you write. These official names are visible when, as Andrew says, you hover the mouse pointer over a tool.

It is much easier (and technically more correct) to refer to the "Sort tool" than it is to refer to the "tool with the AZ and the arrow." While the latter is certainly descriptive, it doesn't match Microsoft's approach to tool naming or the way they refer to tools in their own documentation.

Hope that helps.

-Allen


2013-09-03 10:35:02

Len

Hi Andrew. When you write: "...you'll notice the Sort tool, in the Paragraph group..." and you capitalize the word Sort, I expect to see a button that says Sort. No biggie.

Len


2013-09-02 05:45:39

Andrew

Which is the icon for the sort tool - if you hover over the A-z button it displays a popup with Sort and a little information. Exactly as the tip states. Len - were you expecting some sort of larger icon with the word Sort under it like in Excel?


2013-08-31 20:46:47

Len

This tip is not correct. The Sort Text box is accessed through the Paragraph group using the button with the AZ and the arrow.

Len


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