How to Put Things in Alphabetical Order in Microsoft Word

By Nick Peers

Microsoft Office Word 2013 enables you to sort text, dates, numbers and table contents alphabetically. Note that to be able to sort data alphabetically, the data must be organized in either a numbered or bulleted list, or in a table. Furthermore, the list must have a single level; multilevel lists cannot be sorted. Tables can be sorted alphabetically by columns, and you can have second and third-level sorts. You can sort columns that contain text, dates or numbers.

Sorting Data in a List

Step 1

Open the document you wish to edit in Microsoft Word 2013 and then select the numbered or bulleted list. To create a list, select the data and click the "Bullets" or "Numbering" icon in the Paragraph group, on the Home tab.

Step 2

Click the "Sort" icon in the Paragraph group on the Home tab to display the Sort Text dialog box.

Step 3

Ensure that the "Paragraphs" option is selected in the "Sort by" box and that the correct type of data is selected in the "Type" box. You can select to sort "Text," "Number" or "Date" data. If your list has a header row, enable the "Header row" option. If this option is active, the first element of the list is not sorted.

Step 4

Make sure the "Ascending" option is selected to sort the data alphabetically and then click "OK" to apply the sort.

Sorting Data in a Table

Step 1

Click inside the table you want to sort to display the Table Tools tab on the Ribbon, and then click the "Layout" tab.

Step 2

Click the "Sort" icon in the "Data" group to display the Sort dialog box. If the table has a header row, enable the "Header row" option.

Step 3

Select the column by which you want to sort the data from the "Sort by" drop-down box, and then select the correct type of data from the "Type" box. You can sort text, numbers and dates.

Step 4

Choose the field on which to sort in the "Using" drop-down box. This option is useful only when the column selected in the "Sort by" box contains data that is separated by characters such as commas or tabs. Click "Options" to open the Sort Options dialog and then choose the correct separator from the "Separate fields at" section. If the fields are not separated by commas or tabs, click "Other" and then type the character into the box. Click "OK" to close the Sort Options dialog.

Step 5

Ensure the "Ascending" option is selected to sort the data alphabetically. If you want to use a second and third level sort, choose the appropriate options from the boxes in the two "Then by" sections. Click "OK" to sort the data in the table.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make your sort case-sensitive by clicking the "Options" button and then checking the "Case sensitive" box. Furthermore, you can change the sorting language from the Sort Options box.