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

Every Second Tuesday

Need a way to enter dates from every second Tuesday (or some other regular interval)? Excel makes it easy, providing several ...

Discover More

Finding a Change in Typeface

When you format a document, you can go so far as to change the font of each character in the document. This may be overkill, ...

Discover More

Compiling a List of Students in a Course

Need to pull just a limited amount of information from a large list? Here are a few approaches you might be able to use with ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Sorting by Headings

Headings are a great way to organize your document. If, after getting your headings in place, you want to sort by those ...

Discover More

Controlling How Word Sorts Text

Word has a very orderly way in which it sorts information, but that orderly method may not meet what you need to have done. ...

Discover More

Sorting a Text Selection

Word gives you the option to sort selected groups of text. You can do text, date or number sorts on whole paragraphs or ...

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

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 4?

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.

Newest Tips
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.