How to Sort a Table in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sorting a table in Word is a breeze once you get the hang of it. You just need to click on the table, go to the "Layout" tab, select the column you want to sort, and then click "Sort". You can choose to sort by text, number, or date, and whether to sort in ascending or descending order. It’s that simple!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Sort a Table in Word

Sorting a table in Word is a handy skill to have, especially when you need to organize data quickly and efficiently. The following steps will guide you through the process of sorting your table by rows or columns.

Step 1: Select the table

Click on the table you want to sort.

Selecting the table is crucial because it tells Word which data you want to organize. Make sure you click inside the table so that Word knows it’s the data you want to work with.

Step 2: Go to the "Layout" tab

Once your table is selected, go to the "Layout" tab on the ribbon.

The "Layout" tab is part of the "Table Tools" set that appears when you select a table. It’s where you’ll find all the options for modifying your table, including the sorting feature.

Step 3: Choose the column to sort

Click on the header of the column you want to sort by.

Choosing the right column is important because it determines how your data will be organized. For example, if you’re sorting names, you’ll want to click on the column that contains the names.

Step 4: Click on "Sort"

In the "Data" group on the "Layout" tab, click "Sort".

This opens up the "Sort" dialog box, which gives you different options for how you want to sort your data.

Step 5: Set your sorting preferences

In the "Sort" dialog box, choose how you want to sort your data (text, number, date) and the direction (ascending or descending).

Make sure to select the right settings for your data. For example, if you’re sorting dates, make sure to choose the "Date" option under "Type".

Once you’ve completed these steps, your table will be sorted according to your preferences. This can help you find information more easily or present your data in a more organized way.

Tips: How to Sort a Table in Word

  • Always make sure the table is selected before trying to sort it.
  • Use the "Undo" feature if you make a mistake while sorting.
  • Sort by multiple columns by clicking "Add Level" in the "Sort" dialog box.
  • Remember that sorting will rearrange your rows, but not your columns.
  • Check that your data is consistent within the column to avoid unexpected sorting results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I undo a sort in Word?

Click "Undo" in the Quick Access Toolbar or press "Ctrl + Z" on your keyboard.

If you sort your table and realize it’s not how you wanted it, don’t worry. Word’s "Undo" feature can reverse the sorting action and restore your table to its previous state.

Can I sort by more than one column?

Yes, you can sort by multiple columns by adding levels in the "Sort" dialog box.

When you want to organize your data by more than one column, adding levels allows you to specify which columns to sort and in what order. This is useful for more complex data sets.

What happens if my table doesn’t have headers?

Word will ask you if you want to include the first row as a header or not in the "Sort" dialog box.

It’s always a good idea to have headers in your tables to make sorting easier. If you don’t, Word will give you the option to treat the first row as data or as headers when sorting.

Can I sort a table alphabetically?

Yes, choose "Text" as the type in the "Sort" dialog box to sort alphabetically.

Sorting alphabetically is great for lists of names, titles, or any other text-based data. Just make sure to choose the correct direction, ascending for A to Z or descending for Z to A.

Is it possible to sort a table by date?

Yes, select "Date" as the type in the "Sort" dialog box to sort by date.

Sorting by date can help you organize events, deadlines, or any data that is time-related. Make sure your dates are in a consistent format for accurate sorting.


  1. Select the table.
  2. Go to the "Layout" tab.
  3. Choose the column to sort.
  4. Click on "Sort".
  5. Set your sorting preferences.


Sorting a table in Word is a fundamental skill that can significantly enhance your ability to manage and present data. Whether you’re dealing with a simple list or a complex data set, sorting can help you quickly organize your information in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand. With just a few clicks, you can sort by text, number, or date, and choose the direction of the sort to fit your needs.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to play around with different sorting options to see what works best for you. And if you ever find yourself stuck, Word’s "Undo" feature is always there to bail you out. So the next time you’re faced with a jumbled table, take a deep breath and remember: sorting a table in Word is just a few steps away. Happy sorting!

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