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How to Alphabetize in Word: 5 Easy Steps to Follow

If you’re working on long lists and directories in Word, you might want to sort all the entries in alphabetical order for easy identification.

Thankfully, Microsoft equips you with different options to do just that, and the good thing is the entries don’t always have to be in a table or list to work with alphabetization. Entries sorted by paragraphs will work just fine as well.

Either way, you’ll find the procedure is seamless with the guide in this article, so read on below to find out.

How to Alphabetize a Single List in Word

Sorting texts in an alphabetical order works the same way in Word, whether you’re doing so on a table, list, or paragraph. However, keep in mind there’s only so much Word can do regarding multiple-level lists.

This means that the alphabetization formatting will only work correctly on a single list. If you apply it on multiple-level lists, Word will group the lines and sort them alphabetically, which can mess up the document’s presentation or intended purpose.

In that case, your best bet is to take it one list at a time. You can also copy each list into a separate Word page or document and then alphabetize it accordingly. With that out of the way, let’s jump right into the alphabetization formatting in Word.

Step 1 

Open the document that contains the list or paragraph you want to sort alphabetically. You can also copy it to a separate page, as suggested earlier.

Step 2

Highlight the list you want to sort. Suppose the list is the only part of your document, press Ctrl+ A. If it’s part of a larger document, highlight it by pressing and dragging the cursor across it.

how-to-alphabetize-in-WordStep 3

Now, click the Home tab at the top of the screen and go to the paragraph section. Then click the Sort icon (An A above a Z next to a down-facing arrow). A Sort Text window should open at this point.

Step 4

Set the sorting order inside the Sort Text window. Ascending sorts your list by alphabetical order while Descending sorts it in reverse alphabetical order.

Step 5

If the entries on your list are two words and you’ll like to alphabetize the list by order of the second Word, click the Options button at the left-bottom corner of the window. Then, go to the Separate Fields By section and click Other.

Next, input a single space, click OK, and select Word 2 under the Sort By menu. Click Ok once you’re done to apply all the changes.

Final Notes

There you have it! That’s all you need to do to alphabetize texts and lists in Word. However, keep in mind that the steps in this guide are newer iterations of Microsoft Word. If you’re using Word 2003 or earlier, you might want to update it to follow the above steps without any hassles.

Lastly, the steps are pretty much the same if you want to alphabetize lists on a table. Just ensure you highlight the entire table first before proceeding with the steps. If you find this piece handy, you may be interested in more tips such as making a copy of a Word document and inserting PDF into Word.

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