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: Changing Paragraph Order.

Changing Paragraph Order

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 26, 2015)

Most writing is an iterative adventure. When writing a document of any length, you will find that you write it once, making changes as you go, and then you will probably rewrite it over and over again until you get it just the way you want.

If you find that there are several consecutive paragraphs in your document that you want to reorder, you can apply this tip:

  1. Put a number as the first character in each paragraph. The number should represent the final order in which you want to the paragraphs to appear. Thus, the first paragraph would be 1, the paragraph you want next would be 2, and so on.
  2. Select all the paragraphs you want to reorder.
  3. Choose the Sort (or Sort Text) option from the Table menu. You will see the Sort Text dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Sort Text dialog box.

  5. Make sure you are sorting by Paragraph and that the sort type is Number.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Remove the numbers from the front of each paragraph.

Note that you can also use the outline view of a document to reorder your paragraphs, but sometimes this can be a bit too much trouble. The foregoing steps are quick and easy for most people.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1074) 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: Changing Paragraph Order.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

How Excel Stores Dates and Times

Excel stores dates and times internally using what is called a serial number. This tip explains how that serial number is ...

Discover More

Calculating the Distance between Points

Want to figure out how far it is between two points on the globe? If you know the points by latitude and longitude, you can ...

Discover More

Creating a Named Range

Named ranges can be a great boon in creating easily understandable formulas. Here's what they are an how to define them.

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Sorting Single-Column Addresses

Got a document that contains a bunch of addresses? If you want to sort the addresses, then you are in for a surprise because ...

Discover More

Sorting Dates Numerically

How you sort dates depends, in large part, on how they are formatted. This tip examines a very specific date format ...

Discover More

Odd Sorting

Word is great at sorting simple information in tables and paragraphs. If you have more complex information (such as ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share