Word.Tips.net: Getting Around How Word Sorts Text

By Allen Wyatt for Word.Tips.Net

Getting Around How Word Sorts Text

If you want to sort a column of words, you always need to deal with Word’s very literal way of sorting information, such that punctuation marks sort first, then numbers, then A, B, C, and so on. So, if you put the word “zebra” in quote marks, Word will sort it before words that start with the letter A. In most instances it would be nice if Word could ignore the quote marks and sort zebra in its regular place, with other words beginning with the letter Z.

There is no way to configure Word to do sorting in the way you want, but you can—with a little ingenuity—create a workaround that will get things sorted just as you want them. The basic idea is to use hidden text to place, at the beginning of your word, text that indicates how you want the word actually sorted. Thus, in the case of zebra, you would follow these steps:

1. Type “zebra”, with the quote marks, as you normally would.
2. Position the insertion point just before the opening quote mark.
3. Type the word zebra without quote marks. The text should now look like this: zebra”zebra”.
4. Select the unquoted text you typed in step 3.
5. Press Ctrl+Shift+H.

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