How to Sort Alphabetically in Word 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sorting text alphabetically in Microsoft Word 2013 is surprisingly easy and can be achieved in just a few clicks. After highlighting the text you want to organize, simply click on the “Sort” button in the “Paragraph” group under the “Home” tab. Choose whether you want to sort ascending (A to Z) or descending (Z to A), and Word will rearrange your text accordingly.

Once the action is completed, the selected text will be rearranged in the chosen alphabetical order. This function can save you time and effort, especially when dealing with large amounts of data that require organization for clarity and presentation purposes.


Imagine you’re working on a report, a list, or a directory and you need to organize your data alphabetically. Manually rearranging each entry is tedious and time-consuming, but thankfully, Microsoft Word 2013 offers a nifty feature to sort text alphabetically with just a few clicks. Whether you’re a student working on an essay, a business professional compiling a report, or just someone trying to organize a hefty list, knowing how to sort alphabetically in Word 2013 is an essential skill that can save you an immense amount of time and frustration.

This feature is not only vital for those who deal with written content on a regular basis, but also for those who value efficiency and presentation. Sorting text alphabetically helps to enhance the readability and understandability of your document, making it easier for readers to navigate and comprehend. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that can make a big difference in how your work is perceived.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Sort Alphabetically in Word 2013

The following steps will guide you through the process of sorting your text alphabetically in Word 2013.

Step 1: Highlight the Text

Begin by highlighting the text that you want to sort.

Once you’ve selected the text, make sure that it’s formatted correctly for sorting. If you’re sorting a list, ensure there are no extra spaces or irregularities that could affect the sorting process.

Step 2: Click on the “Sort” Button

Navigate to the “Home” tab, locate the “Paragraph” group, and click on the “Sort” button.

The “Sort Text” dialog box will appear, presenting you with options to customize the sorting process according to your preferences.

Step 3: Choose Your Sorting Preferences

In the “Sort Text” dialog box, choose whether to sort by paragraphs, field, or heading levels. Then select “Ascending” (A to Z) or “Descending” (Z to A) order.

Make sure to pay attention to the “My list has” section at the bottom of the dialog box. If your list has a header that you don’t want to be sorted, select the “Header row” option accordingly.

Step 4: Complete the Sorting

Click “OK” to apply the sorting order, and Word 2013 will rearrange your text accordingly.

The text should now be organized in the chosen alphabetical order. Check to make sure everything is sorted correctly, and make any manual adjustments if necessary.


Saves TimeSorting text alphabetically in Word 2013 can save a significant amount of time compared to manual sorting, especially for long lists or documents.
Enhances ReadabilityAlphabetically sorted text is easier to read and navigate, making your document more user-friendly.
Increases EfficiencyThe sorting feature increases your working efficiency, allowing you to focus on other important tasks within your document.


Limited Sorting OptionsWord 2013 offers basic sorting options, which may not suffice for more complex sorting needs, like sorting by date or custom criteria.
Potential Formatting IssuesIncorrectly formatted text can lead to sorting errors, requiring manual checking and adjustments.
Dependence on Correct UseUsers must be familiar with how to correctly use the sorting feature to avoid mistakes that can disrupt the document’s organization.

Additional Information

Sorting text alphabetically in Word 2013 is a convenient feature, but there are a few tips and tricks that can make the process even smoother. First, if you’re dealing with data in a table, Word allows you to sort the content of the table cells as well. Just click inside the table, and the “Layout” tab will appear with its own “Sort” button.

Additionally, if you have a list with multiple levels, such as a multilevel bulleted or numbered list, Word can sort each level separately. This can be particularly handy for organizing complex data hierarchies. Also, remember that sorting is not limited to text; it works for numbers too, so you can sort lists of dates or figures in ascending or descending order just as easily.


  1. Highlight the text to be sorted.
  2. Click on the “Sort” button in the “Paragraph” group under the “Home” tab.
  3. Choose sorting preferences in the “Sort Text” dialog box.
  4. Click “OK” to complete the sorting process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sort a list that contains numbers and text?

Yes, Word 2013 can sort lists that include both numbers and text. Just follow the same steps, and Word will handle the sorting accordingly.

What if I want to sort by something other than alphabetic order?

In the “Sort Text” dialog box, you can choose to sort by number, date, or even by a custom order that you can define.

Can I undo the sorting if I make a mistake?

Absolutely. Just like any other action in Word, you can undo the sorting by pressing Ctrl + Z or by clicking the “Undo” button.

Is it possible to sort only a part of my document?

Yes, you can sort any portion of your document. Just highlight the specific text you want to sort and follow the sorting process.

Does sorting work on both uppercase and lowercase letters?

Yes, Word 2013 takes into account both uppercase and lowercase letters when sorting. However, it typically places uppercase letters before lowercase ones in an alphabetical sort.


Sorting alphabetically in Word 2013 is a simple yet impactful way to organize your document’s content. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, mastering this feature can greatly enhance the clarity and presentation of your work. Remember to format your text correctly before sorting, and don’t hesitate to explore the additional sorting options Word offers for more complex needs.

With a little practice, you’ll find that sorting text alphabetically is just another tool in your Word skillset, helping you create well-structured and professional-looking documents with ease.

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