(y)our wiki about all things technical communication

User Tools

Site Tools


Sorting sections alphabetically

With the arrival of the XML format to Word files (DOCX files) it got easier to work with the XML structure of the document. From Word 2003 on, you can manage the hierarchical structure of your document if you use the correct styles. For example, Word can now sort sections and even sort the text beneath the paragraphs along with the titles.

You can access the structure of your document in Word by clicking on View and checking the box next to Navigation Pane. Suppose you want to sort the titles in our document alphabetically, so that you first have the section ‘Example of a topic’, then ‘Examples of tables’, and so on.

Sort the sections as follows:

  1. Go to View > Outline.
    You now see a more schematic outline of your document.
  2. Go to Outlining.
    You see the different titles are outlined on a different level. Here you can make structural changes in your document, such as the placement of the different paragraphs.
  3. In this case, we want to sort sections alphabetically. Find Show Level in the Word ribbon and choose the level you want to sort. In our case this is Level 3.
    Only Level 3 titles are shown in the outline view:
  4. Go to Home and click on Sort .
  5. In the dialog, choose Sort by Paragraphs, Type: Text and Ascending. Confirm with OK.
    The titles are now sorted:
  6. Return to print layout: Go to View and click Print Layout.

Instead of sorting automatically, you can also click and drag the titles to put the sections in the order you want.

word/sorting_sections_alphabetically.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/31 13:38 (external edit)