Two ways for sorting by Number

Choosing the sort type is really important and Word doesn’t always guess correctly. reader Peter M. reminds us that choose the sort type is really important: Text, Number or Date.

I just thought it worth pointing out that, for example 8, 70, 600 would sort in one order as Text and the reverse order as Number. Perhaps obvious, perhaps not.”

Sadly Word doesn’t always guess correctly, so you have to check.

Look at these two tables, both are sorted by the Part No. column: image from Two ways for sorting by Number at

The left table is sorted as if the Part Numbers are numbers from smallest to largest. The right table is sorted as Text. The one you or your company chooses is up to you, but you need to be aware that Word can’t distinguish numbers that are text labels from real numbers (it’s the same problem in Excel PivotTables).

In the Sort dialog for the above tables, Word defaults to Number for the first column image from Two ways for sorting by Number at

Change the type to ‘Text’ if you prefer.

Want More?

Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office.  Delivered once a week.