Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Try a practice set to see how Sorting a simple list works in a Word document. On a blank word document enter in the list of names shown below. Be certain that when you type DaleAnn and JonLuc that you do not separate them with a space between each proper name. For the purpose of this exercise, you want Word to interpret these names as one word.
Now let's sort the list.
• Select the list of names carefully to avoid picking up the line above or line below your list of names. One technique that will help to control your selection is to place your insertion point in from of the B in Brian. Hold your shift key down and left click with your mouse directly after the R in Anger. Your entire list should be selected.
• Select from the main menu Table | Sort
• From the Sort By drop down, select Word 2 to sort by the last name.
• Accept the default for type "Text"
• Accept the default for an Ascending Sort
• Click on OK
Your list will now be sorted by the last name alphabetically beginning with Anger. Had you selected descending order, the list would be sorted by the last name beginning with Thile.
Data consistency can have a very big impact on how Word interprets the sort command you are executing. Here is what happens when you separate Jon Luc and Dale Ann with a space. Word now gives you a choice of sorting with Word 1, Word 2 or Word 3 in the "Sort by" drop down box. However, you get inconsistent results whether you chose Word 2 or Word 3. When you choose Word 2, Word sorts Dale Ann between Anger and Brown and sorts Jon Luc between Grier and Marshall because Ann and Luc are the 2nd word for those two names. When you choose Word 3, it doesn't change the sort order other than to put Dale Ann Bradley and Jon Luc Ponte at the end of the list because those are the only two names that contain a third word. Try doing each of these activities, so that you can see what happens.
The more you practice with Word features, the faster you will become quite competent.