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How to alphabetize in word 2010/2013/2016/2019

Many Word users are familiar with sorting table rows in alphabetical order. Less do they know that it is possible to sort any list – even not in a table – in alphabetical order. In this tutorial, you are going to learn about how to alphabetize paragraphs, lists, and tables in Microsoft Word.

If you want to alphabetize text in Word, first select the text items you want to alphabetize and click the Sort button in the Paragraph group of the Home tab. The Sort Text dialog box will open up for you to specify the order you want – Ascending (A to Z) or Descending (Z to A). Then click the OK button.

For a detailed blow-by-blow guide on how to go about it, obey the following instructions.

How to alphabetize paragraphs in Word

Sorting in Word is not limited to tables or lists. You can also sort paragraphs in alphabetical order.

To do so, obey the following instructions:

  • Select the paragraphs you wish to alphabetize.
Select the paragraphs you wish to alphabetize
  • Go to Home > Paragraph > Sort
Go to Home>Paragraph>Sort

The Sort Text dialog appears.

  • Select Sort byParagraph.
  • Select Type – Text.
  • Chose Ascending to alphabetize from A to Z.
  • Or Descending to alphabetize from Z to A.
Select to alphabetize in Word from A to Z or Z to A
  • Hit the OK button.

The paragraph should be sorted in either A to Z or vice versa depending on what you choose on the dialog.

How to alphabetize list in Word

You can also sort a list of items in Word in alphabetical order.

The process remains the same as in the above.

To sort a list in Word:

  • First, select the list you want to sort or alphabetize.
Select the list to be alphabetized
  • Go to the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click on the Sort button.
Go to Home>Paragraph>Sort

The Sort Text dialog appears.

  • From the dialog, select Ascending to sort from A to Z.
  • Or choose Descending to sort from Z to Z.
Select to alphabetize in Word from A to Z or Z to A
  • Press the OK button.

This will sort the list in either A to Z or vice versa depending on what you select on the Sort Text dialog.

How to Sort a table in Word alphabetically

Of course, MS Word isn’t Excel, but it tries to be with its table features.

The best way to sort a table is to ensure that the table has a header row.

That being said, below are the steps to sort a table in Word:

  • Click inside the table.
  • Go to Table Tools > Layout.
  • Click on the Sort button.
Go to Table Tools>Layout >Sort

The Sort dialog box should appear.

The sort dialog - how to alphabetize in Word
  • From the Sort By list, select the heading you want to sort.
  • From the Type list, choose how you want it to be sorted. Use text for an alphabetic sort, and Number for numeric sort, or Date for time sort.
  • Select whether Ascending or Descending. For example, A to Z is for Ascending and the reverse is true for Descending.
  • Click OK to sort the table.

This is how you may alphabetize in Word whether the items are a paragraph, list or inside a table.

More tools to Alphabetize your text

The links below are online resources that can help you sort any list or text in alphabetical order. They are awesome and free to use.