How to rank a list alphabetically in Word

In Microsoft Word, you may find yourself needing to rank items in a list. Be it for convenience, necessity or otherwise, lists can prove a useful tool within your document. Word offers many outlets for creating such a thing, with bullet point and numbering systems a consistent presence throughout Word’s history.

Also though, you are able to rank a list alphabetically within Word. In order to do this, you will need to organise the list through the ‘Sort’ subsection of options. 

If this isn’t enough, then don’t worry. Below, not only is there a step-by-step process, but following that is more of an in depth breakdown, that will serve to guide you through the entire process.


  • Open a Word document, or the one that has the list you need to rearrange.
  • Select whichever list you are wanting to sort.
  • After doing this, find ‘Sort’, a subsection under the ‘Home’ tab.
  • Make sure to select ‘Paragraphs’ as the Sort By, and ‘Text’ as the Type.
  • Choose whether you want your list to be sorted in ascending or descending order.
  • Click ‘OK’ to save your settings.

Listed above are the fairly simple steps to order your list. As mentioned though, below will be a more detailed walkthrough of the process to alphabetically order your list, should you need it.

In-depth breakdown: How to rank a list alphabetically in Word

So, your first step after opening your Word document will be to, obviously, write out your list! In the below examples, the list is fairly nonsensical, but is listed in that way in order to have a wide array of words beginning with different letters.

Once you have written out your list, it’s time to focus on ordering it. To do this, click the Home tab on the top navigation bar.

Once the Home menu has opened, you will be greeted with an array of options within that dropdown menu. You will want to find the Sort option, which can be something of a chore to locate. It is highlighted in the screenshot below, and is the small logo with an A and a Z, with an arrow pointing downwards.

Clicking the sort option will open a new menu, titled Sort Text. It is here that you will be able to rearrange the ordering of your list.

Make sure that the Sort By option is set to Paragraphs, and that the type is set to text. You will see how it should look in the screenshot below.

As you’ll be able to see, next to your paragraph and text options are two bullet points, Ascending and Descending. Whilst the option will be set to ascending by default, you can choose whichever option you prefer.

After you have decided on these settings, click OK to save them. Once you’ve done that, you should see your list in an alphabetical order, with the above process having automatically sorted your list.

You have now successfully reordered your list in an alphabetical order! After the article will be links to a couple of blogs that address issues of a somewhat similar fashion, which may be of use to you if this blog didn’t quite answer the question(s) you were hoping to resolve.

Thank you for reading this blog, I hope it proves a useful guide and was as helpful as you hoped it would be. As always, if you run into any issues with this process, or simply wish to tell us your thoughts on it, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

Links to similar posts:

How to import data from CSV into SharePoint list – Business Tech Planet

How to change date format in Excel from mm/dd/yyyy to dd/mm/yyyy – Business Tech Planet

Michael Fontana

Michael Fontana has been the managing director of telecoms and MSP Optionbox for over a decade and has worked in various telecommunication roles over the last 20 years. Michael has been involved in many exciting projects, such as co-founding telecoms and IT businesses and has now built up a team of more than 15 staff, serving over 300 clients nationwide. With a wealth of experience in IT and a passion for technology, Michael is now helping BTP to produce the highest quality guides on the internet. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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