How to sort a table alphabetically in Word

Maybe you have tried to make a list of names or titles, but you did not manage to put them all in alphabetical order. It is time-consuming to arrange a list in alphabetic or numerical order manually, but that is unnecessary. Instead, you can learn how to sort a list of names alphabetically in Word in a few steps. Find out how to arrange names in alphabetical order in Word. You will also learn how to sort a table alphabetically in Word.

Put names in alphabetical order in Word

We will start with a simple list of first, middle, and surnames. However, some people have a compound name such as ‘Sarah Jean’ or ‘Bobby Lee’, as you can see in the example below. In this case, you should replace the standard space with a hard space, also called the nonbreaking space. This way, your Word document will see the two separate names as one first name.

If you don’t have any compound names in your list or table, you can skip the following step.

Compound names

Go to the compound name and change the standard space into a nonbreaking space. Then, click where you need to insert the nonbreaking space by using the shortcut key:

  • Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar

In the example below, all the compound names have a red arrow to show where you should insert the nonbreaking space. E.g., You should put a nonbreaking space right after Sarah as the compound name is ‘Sarah Jean’. Do this step only if you have compound words.

List of Compound names - put a hard or nonbreaking space.

Sort a list of names alphabetically in Word

The first step was to make sure to put all the compound names as a first name. If you only have a list of first names, then you can easily do the following steps.

  1. Select the entire list of names
  2. Go the Home tab
  3. In the Paragraph group > Click on the Sort icon

Selection of names - Go to the Home tab and press on the sort icon. How to sort a list of names alphabetically in word

Once you click on the Sort icon, a new box opens up, called Sort Text. You have to make one change to sort your text correctly.

  • Under Sort by > Select Paragraphs > Select Text > Select Ascending
  • Leave everything in the Sort Text box unchanged if these are selected
  • Click OK

sort word table alphabetically. Sort text ascending

You managed to arrange the names in alphabetical order in Word. Below you can see images before and after ordering the names alphabetically.

Arrange surnames in alphabetical order

Sometimes it is required to arrange a list with last names in alphabetic order. There is an option to sort a list of words after the surnames. Follow the same steps below.

  • Select the list of names
  • Go to the Home tab
  • In the Paragraph group > Click on the Sort icon
  • Now the Sort Text box opens up

If you have done the above steps, the Sort Text box will appear.

  1. In the Sort Text box > click on Options in the left down corner > Now a new box opens up called Sort Options
  2. In the Sort Options box > Click on Other > replace the contents of the white box next to it with a standard space
  3. Make sure to choose the correct language, as you are going to set the names in alphabetic order
  4. Click OK

how to arrange names in alphabetical order in word. sort options

You will automatically go back to the Sort Text box, where you must make a few changes.

  1. Under Sort by > Click on the dropdown arrow
  2. You will see a selection > Now select Word 2
  3. Click OK

how to arrange names in alphabetical order in word. Surnames first in sort text box.

If you have followed the steps correctly, you will see a list with surnames in alphabetic order. The images below show a before and after picture.

Sort a table list alphabetically in Word

You will follow the same steps if you want to arrange data in a table. It is beneficial to use the Sort icon whenever you want to organize data in a table. Now we are going to show you how to sort a table alphabetically in Word.

First, you have to select the entire table. Then go to the Home tab and click on the Sort icon.

Sort table alphabetically by clicking on the sort icon.

The Sort Text box will open up.

  • Under Sort by > Click on the dropdown arrow
  • A selection appears > Click on the one you would like to sort from the selection. In our example, we will select Country.
  • If you want to add a second selection > Go to Then by > Click on the dropdown arrow
  • Choose one of the selection choices. In our case, we have selected Population of country.

Lastly, click OK.

sort table alphabetically and click OK. how to arrange names in alphabetical order in word

Now the table looks different, as it is sorted alphabetically by Country, and then by Population of country.

After sort table alphabetically ascending. how to arrange names in alphabetical order in word.

Conclusion

If you have a document with multiple names or titles that you want to order in an alphabetical list, you can easily do that in Word. Within a few steps, you can easily arrange names or titles in alphabetic order. You also know how to sort a table alphabetically in Word.

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