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 Text.

Sorting Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2015)

If you do some exploring of the menus in Word, you will find that the Sort option is listed under Table menu. Because of this, many people assume that you can only sort information stored in tables. This is not true; you can sort any information you desire. To sort text, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text containing the information to be sorted. (If you are sorting a table, then simply place the cursor anywhere within the table. If you are sorting regular text, then select the entire list you want sorted.)
  2. Choose Sort from the Table menu. Word displays the Sort Text dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Sort Text dialog box.

  4. Using the controls on the dialog box, indicate the way in which the text should be sorted. (For regular text, outside of a table, the normal way to sort is by Paragraphs. When sorting a table, you can select which column of the table you sort by.)
  5. Click on the OK button.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1132) 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 Text.

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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