Sort Rows in a Table: MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

You can sort a table in either ascending or descending order. You don't have to select the table before you sort -- the entire table is automatically reordered when you use either of these methods.

  • Click a toolbar button: Place the insertion point I n the column you want to sort. Click the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending button on the Tables and Borders toolbar to sort the data in ascending (A-Z, 0-9) or descending (Z-A, 9-0) order.
  • Use the Sort dialog box: To sort more than one column, such as when you want to alphabetize by last name and then by first name, follow the steps below:
  1. Choose Table | Sort. This reveals the dialog box.
  2. Specify whether the table has a header row, a row containing column headings that you do not want to have sorted among the data.
  3. Specify which column to sort on. If you have no header row, all columns will be labeled Column 1, Column 2, and so on.
  4. Specify the sort type. Text or Number is chosen automatically, but if you were sorting days of the week or months, it wouldn't make sense to sort them alphabetically. Instead, choose Date whenever you want to sort months, days, or time of day.
  5. Indicate whether you want to sort Ascending or Descending.
  6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for columns you want to use in a secondary sort.

Each time you sort, the entire table is sorted in the order you specified. The sort process keeps the items on each row together. It doesn't sort each column independently.

You can sort paragraphs too -- not just in a table -- using the Sort buttons or command. For example, you may want to sort a glossary or words and their definitions. To sort paragraphs, select them first and then sort. The paragraphs are sorted according to the first words.

(c) Carol Bratt, all rights reserved. Used with permission. Duplication is forbidden without express consent of author. Visit Carol's web site to learn more tips like this one!

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