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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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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Sorting an Album List.
Don has a document that has a list of music albums in it. Under each album name he has a bulleted list that shows the songs in that album. If he sorts the album list alphabetically, then the songs are all messed up. Don wonders if there is a way to sort the albums by name and maintain the list of songs under each album title.
There are three different approaches that could be used to get your list sorted properly. One simple way is to make sure that each album (including each song within the album) is actually a single paragraph. At the end of the album name and each song, instead of pressing Enter just use Ctrl+Enter. That does away with the bulleted list but you can simulate the bulleted list by simply inserting a bullet character at the beginning of each song. The resulting paragraphs can easily be sorted without affecting the order of the songs within each album.
A second approach involves placing your album data within a table. The table could be as simple as two columns—the first column for album titles and the second column for songs. As long as you only use a single row for each album, you can perform your sort based upon the contents of the first column only. The result is an easy-to-maintain album list.
The third approach involves using the outlining feature in Word. You can keep your songs in the bulleted lists, but apply a heading style to each of the album titles. (You can always adjust the formatting of the heading style to match how you want your album titles to appear.) You can then click the Outline View button on the status bar, limit the view to just the headings, and perform your sort on those headings. When you switch back to one of the other views, you'll see your albums in the desired sorted order, and the bulleted lists of song titles are not disturbed.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (507) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Sorting an Album List.
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