Alphabetize a List in Microsoft Word

This useful function is easy to learn.

Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

Did you know that there is a way to instantly alphabetize a list in Microsoft Word? You can alphabetize anything from a list of names to a list of vocabulary words. This function is also amazingly helpful for organizing bibliographies, indices, and glossaries.

Alphabetize a List in Word 2003

  1. First, write your list, making sure each word is on a separate line. Use the "enter" key to separate the words.
  1. Next, highlight or "select" the entire list.
  2. Go to the Table menu at the top of the page and select sort -> sort text.
  3. You will want to sort by "paragraph" since the words are separated with the enter key, like paragraphs.

Alphabetize a List in Word 2007

  1. First, write your list, making sure each word is on a separate line. Use the "enter" key to separate the words.
  2. Next, highlight or "select" the entire list.
  3. Make sure you are in the Home tab. Find the sort key at the top of the page. The key is pictured above, marked by "AZ."
  4. Select sorting by "paragraph," and (assuming you want to go from A-Z) select "ascending."

Alphabetize a List in Word 2010

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 Text, and then click either Ascending or Descending.

    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)