Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 13, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 that is not in a table). (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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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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