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 Dates Numerically.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2019)
David experienced a problem when trying to sort dates in a table. His dates are in the format year.month.day, as in 10.12.24, 10.09.16, and 12.06.19. When he sorts the table by the dates, Word puts them in the order 12.06.19, 10.12.24, and 10.09.16.
This date order can be handled by Word automatically—in fact, it should be handled automatically, with very little intervention on your part. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Sort dialog box.
There are a couple of interesting things to note about sorting in this manner. It is best to choose a Date sort type, but you could also choose a Text sort type. Either method will work fine, provided the dates in the table are all in the current century. If the table also includes dates in the previous century, you should only choose the Date sort type.
The second thing to note is that David's results, noted at the beginning of this tip, really are sorted properly. The order 12.06.19, 10.12.24, and 10.09.16 indicates that the dates are in descending sorted order. To get the dates into ascending order, you need to make sure the Ascending option is chosen in the Sort dialog box.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5489) 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 Dates Numerically.
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!
Word allows you to easily sort the information you store in a document. If you want to sort information as groups of ...Discover More
When sorting information, Word follows some pretty strict rules. If you want to modify how those rules are applied, you ...Discover More
Word makes it easy to sort the information that is contained in your document. Here's how to accomplish this.Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.