Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

Office for Mere Mortals
Your beginners guide to the secrets of Microsoft Office
Invalid email address
Tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Microsoft Office experts.  Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office for Mere Mortals has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy

Word sorting is more powerful than it appears, with a few extra clicks you can sort last names or anything else in a list.

Sort is one of those Word features that’s been around for a long time. These days it’s tucked away on Home tab in the Paragraph group.

sort a list of names by surname or more in word microsoft word 28150 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

Select a list or paragraphs then choose Home | Paragraph | Sort

sort a list of names by surname or more in word microsoft word 28151 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

My list has …  select Header row or No header row. In effect, does Word including the top line/row in the sort or not?

Default Sort in Word changes the order based on the first letters of each paragraph or line in ascending order (A to Z).

Here’s a list of the twelve men who walked the moon in that order, by first name.

sort a list of names by surname or more in word microsoft word 28152 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

Sorting by last name

Sorting by surname or other word in each line is handled under the options button in the Sort dialog.

Separate fields at … tells Word how to break up each line or row into separate items or fields.

sort a list of names by surname or more in word microsoft word 28153 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

The default is Tabs but can be changed to Other with a single space. That will separate each line into a field for each word.

Click OK to return to the Sort menu then look at the Sort by pull-down list. There are now options to sort by the first, second or third word of each line – as separated by a space.

sort a list of names by surname or more in word microsoft word 28154 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

In this case all the surnames are the second word so Sort By … Word 2 will reorder the list into last names.

sort a list of names by surname or more in word microsoft word 28155 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

Sort by multiple fields

Word can sort by more than one field or word.

sort a list of names by surname or more in word microsoft word 28156 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

And Word will detect if the field is text, number or date.

For example, sort by mission number then last name within that.

img 5cf1a1915cc45 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word

subs profile e1563205311409 - Sort a list of names by surname or more in Word
Latest news & secrets of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office experts give you tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office Watch has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy
Invalid email address