Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Controlling Sorting Order.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 2, 2020)
If you have used Word for more than a week, you probably already know how to sort information in your document. You can use sorting to arrange a list in either ascending or descending order. Ascending order for the English language is from 0–9, A–Z; descending order is the reverse. The sorting order for other languages will be different. To specify the sorting order you simply choose the Ascending or Descending radio buttons in the Sort dialog box.
You can also affect sort order by indicating whether Word should pay attention to the case of the text in your selection. If a sort is case sensitive, then items are sorted A-Z and then a-z for ascending sorts. If a sort does not pay attention to case, then uppercase and lowercase letters are treated the same.
To specify whether Word should pay attention to case, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Sort Text dialog box.
Figure 2. The Sort Options dialog box.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11465) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Controlling Sorting Order.
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