How to Alphabetize a List in Microsoft Word

Word's sorting feature offers robust, multi-layered capability

A file folder
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Any list of items presented in either an ordered (i.e., numbered) or unordered (i.e., bulleted) manner within Microsoft Word may be sorted in alphabetical order, in either ascending or descending sequence. Word allows sorts by text, by number, and by date, and even permits three levels of sorting that either includes or ignores a header row, if the first item in the list is a header.

Alphabetize a List in Word 2007 to Word 2019

Microsoft support provides these instructions, which are essentially identical to Word 2007:

  1. Select the text in a bulleted or numbered list.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Sort.
  3. In the Sort Text dialog box, under Sort by, click Paragraphs and then Text, and then click either Ascending or Descending. Modify these drop-downs and radio buttons to sort as you intend. In addition to sorting by text, you can sort by date and number.

Paragraphs Within Lists

Even though you're working with either a numbered or bulleted list, Word assumes that every item in the list is a paragraph and it will sort according to that logic.

More Organizational Options in Word

Word offers a range of possibilities for organizing your text. In addition to ordinary alphabetizing from A-Z, you can also:

  • Alphabetize from Z-A
  • Organize numerically in ascending or descending order
  • Organize by ascending or descending date
  • Sort by fields
  • Sort by headers
  • Sort in one way and then in another (by number and then letter, for example, or by paragraph and then by header)