How to Sort Labels in Word

Sorting labels doesn't have to be laborious. If you have an existing data source file, you can sort them before they are printed. The source file is the list containing the information you want to pull, created in Word, a spreadsheet, database or address book. If you use it in combination with a mail merge, you'll have the option to sort up to three fields in ascending or descending order. Any modifications you make are applied to your labels.

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Start a new document in Word 2007.

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Select the "Mailings" tab. Click "Start Mail Merge" and "Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard."

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Select "Labels" in the Mail Merge task pane. Click "Next."

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Click "Use the current document" or "Start from existing document." To modify the current document, select "Label options," choose your label settings and click "OK." To modify an existing document, click "More files," double-click the file you need and click "Next."

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Select "Use an existing list" and click "Browse."

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Double-click the data source file containing your label content (such as names and mailing addresses). Go to the "Refine recipient list" section in the "Mail Merge Recipients" dialog box and click "Sort."

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Select the "Sort Records" tab in the "Filter and Sort" dialog box.

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Click the pull-down menu beside "Sort by" and select the first field (in priority order) you wish to sort. Choose "Ascending" or "Descending."

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Click the pull-down menu beside "Then by" and select the next field you wish to sort, in priority order. Choose "Ascending" or "Descending." To sort a third field, go to the next "Then by" option, choose your sorting preferences and click "OK."

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Click "OK" to close the "Mail Merge Recipients" dialog box.

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Click "Next: Arrange your labels."

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Click "More items" to open the "Insert Merge Field" dialog box. Double-click any fields you want to add to the label and click "Close."

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Go to the label sheet and arrange each field the way it should appear on the label. For example, you can insert a space between the first and last name.

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Return to the task pane and click "Update all labels."

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Select "Next: Preview your labels."

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Select "Next: Complete the merge."

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Select "Print" or "Edit individual letters." Click "OK" in the "Merge to Printer" or "Merge to New Document" dialog box to complete the merge for your sorted labels.