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Word: Sorting Data

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Word: Sorting Data

Have you ever found yourself wishing that the list you just typed into MS Word was alphabetized? Or, for those of you who are good with Excel, you’re probably wishing that you typed the list in Excel in the first place (where it’s so easy to sort data).

Well, stop dwelling on the “should have, could have” stuff and smile. It’s very easy to sort data in MS Word!

Here’s all you have to do.

The first thing would be to get the list into Word. So type away.

**A quick note here: If you want the list double spaced, then set the paragraph to be double spaced (see the MS Office 101 tip above). Do not simply hit the enter button twice! It will become an editing nightmare and when the sorting is finished, it will put all of the blank spaces at the top of the list, leaving the data single spaced anyway.

Now that you’ve got the typing finished, let’s move on.

Here’s how you begin the sort (alphabetizing).

  • Highlight the entire list.
  • Then, go to the Table menu, choose the Sort option. The Sort Text window will pop up:


    The default is set up to Sort by Paragraphs, type of Text, Ascending. This will make your list alphabetical A to Z. (Descending will reverse the list to Z to A.)

    At the bottom of the window there is an option of telling the program that your list has a header row (or title). If you highlighted a title with the data then you would use this option to prevent the program from sorting your title into the list. (In other words, the first row stays in place regardless of its first letter.)

  • Click OK.

You will be returned to the document and you should see that the list is now in order.

And just like magic, everything is in its proper place. (Next week, I’m having a Sort button installed on my house…)

~ April

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