How to Alphabetize in Google Docs

Using Google Sheets is quick since you'll already have access to it

What to Know

  • First, copy and paste text from Google Docs to Google Sheets.
  • Then, select Data > Sort sheet > Sort sheet by column A (A to Z)
  • Finally, paste text back from Google Sheets to Google Docs.

This article shows you how to alphabetize lists, paragraphs, and other blocks of text in Google Docs. Since Google Docs itself doesn't have this feature, the sorting tips below will take slightly more effort.

How to Put Something in Alphabetical Order on Google Docs

You can use three methods to sort blocks of text in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order, but we need to use a different tool as a workaround.

Use Google Sheets to Alphabetize Text From Google Docs

Google's spreadsheet program has a default data sorting feature. If you have access to Google Docs, you also have access to Google Sheets.

  1. Once you've opened the Google Doc document, open a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets in an adjacent tab.

    Google Doc with text to alphabetize
  2. Copy the block of text you want to alphabetize on Docs and paste it into a single column.

    Un-alphabetized text in Google Sheets
  3. On Sheets, select Data and choose one of the two options to sort the list in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order.

    • Sort sheet > Sort sheet by column A (A to Z)
    • Sort sheet > Sort sheet by column A (Z to A)
    Data and Sort Data in Google Sheets
  4. Copy the freshly sorted list from Google Sheets and paste it back into the Google Docs document to get a neat alphabetized block of text.

Use Microsoft Word to Alphabetize Text From Google Docs

You can use Word's robust data sorting feature to create an alphabetized document. Then, copy-paste the data back into Google Docs or upload it as a new document in Google Docs.

  1. Copy and paste the text from Google Docs to a new Word document.

  2. Select Enter to separate the items to be alphabetized into individual lines.

  3. Select the complete text with the Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut or dragging across it with the mouse.

  4. Select Home > Paragraph Group > Sort.

    Sort command in Microsoft Word
  5. In the Sort Text dialog, choose Sort by to Paragraphs and Text. Then, select Ascending (A-Z) or Descending (Z-A), depending on the alphabetical order you prefer.

    Sort text dialog box in Microsoft Word
  6. Copy and paste the alphabetized text back to Google Docs.

Tip:

There are several other ways to alphabetize paragraphs and lists in Word. Explore these options if you create multi-level lists and data for tables.

Use Online Alphabetizer Tools

Many online tools and web apps can fix text and organize it in alphabetical order. You can use them to sort any text and then paste it back to Google Docs. Here are a few:

FAQ
  • How do I alphabetize in Google Sheets and keep rows together?

    The regular sorting option in a column should keep your rows consistent. If it's mixing in your headings, however, you can fix this by freezing them. Highlight the header row by clicking the letter, and then go to View > Freeze > 1 row. You can also freeze rows and columns in the middle of your sheet to keep them in place.

  • How do I alphabetize by last name in Google Sheets?

    The easiest way is to have a "Last Name" column that you can alphabetize. Alternatively, enter names in the "Last name, first name" format. If you've already entered everybody's full name in a column, add another one next to it, and then highlight the data and go to Data > Split text to columns. Set the Separator to Space, and then Sheets will break up the names into their own columns. From there, you can sort by last name.

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