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: Controlling Sorting Order.

Controlling Sorting Order

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 6, 2019)

1

If you have used Word for more than a week, you probably already know how to sort information in your document. You can use sorting to arrange a list in either ascending or descending order. Ascending order for the English language is from 0–9, A–Z; descending order is the reverse. The sorting order for other languages will be different. To specify the sorting order you simply choose the Ascending or Descending radio buttons in the Sort dialog box.

You can also affect sort order by indicating whether Word should pay attention to the case of the text in your selection. If a sort is case sensitive, then items are sorted A-Z and then a-z for ascending sorts. If a sort does not pay attention to case, then uppercase and lowercase letters are treated the same.

To specify whether Word should pay attention to case, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text containing the information to be sorted. (If you are sorting a table, then simply place the insertion point 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.
  5. Click on the Options button. Word displays the Sort Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Sort Options dialog box.

  7. Use the Case Sensitive check box to indicate how Word should perform the sort. If the check box is selected, the sort is case sensitive; if clear, then case is ignored.
  8. Click on OK to close the Sort Options dialog box.
  9. Click on the OK button to perform your sort.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1849) 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: Controlling Sorting 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

Creating a Multi-Worksheet Report

It is not uncommon to use Excel to print out regular reports. If your report needs to span multiple worksheets, here's ...

Discover More

Problem with Missing Context Menu Option

When you right-click a cell, does it seem that the Context menu is missing an item or two? Here's how to get those items ...

Discover More

Restarting Footnote Numbering after Page Breaks

Footnotes can be handled many different ways in a document. If you want to restart the numbering of your footnotes every ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 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

Changing Paragraph Order

Want a quick way to rearrange entire paragraphs of your document? You can easily do it by using the technique described here.

Discover More

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
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 5 + 7?

2019-07-17 16:43:49

Diann Lazenby

I use 2013. The only way to get the Sort menu to appear (and it's not under paragraph) is to be IN a table! Then, and only then, does it appear under Layout. I don't understand how you can get the Sort menu any other way.
(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


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.