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 a Text Selection.

Sorting a Text Selection

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2016)

As you use Word, there will be numerous times when you need to rearrange a list of items. Word provides a sorting tool that makes rearranging lists easy. To sort a selection of text, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text containing the list to be sorted. Make sure only the list is selected.
  2. Choose the Sort option from the Table menu. Word displays the Sort Text dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Sort Text dialog box.

  4. In the Sort Type drop-down list, select the type of sorting you want Word to perform. For instance, if the first information in your text list represents a date, you would choose Date as the Sort Type.
  5. Using the radio buttons, indicate whether the sort should be Ascending or Descending.
  6. Click on OK.

The Sorting function in Word is rather basic. If you need to do more advanced sorting consider copying your data into Excel or pasting an Excel spreadsheet object into your Word document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1098) 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 a Text Selection.

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. ...

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