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

Converting Radians to Degrees

When applying trigonometry to the values in a worksheet, you may need to convert radians to degrees. This is done by using ...

Discover More

Determining If a Date and Time is within Working Hours

Excel is great at working with times and dates. Sometimes, though, it can be a bit tricky to figure out how to work with both ...

Discover More

Using Find and Replace

One of the basic editing tasks in any document is to find and replace information. Docs includes a basic tool that allows you ...

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)

Alphabetizing By Last Name

Sorting lists of names by last name is easy if they are listed in a LAST, FIRST order. But what if the names are in FIRST ...

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 Text

Word makes it easy to sort the information that is contained in your document. Here's how to accomplish this.

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 8Mpixels. 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 5 + 0?

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.