How to Alphabetize in Google Docs (2 Straightforward Ways)

Alphabetizing is a way to arrange a list of your text in Google Docs based on the order of the first letter of each word in the alphabet.

Most word processing programs are equipped with the ability to alphabetize, but some may require more complex steps to follow than others.

Unfortunately, Docs is one of the harder programs to sort with as you often have to download an addon. In this guide, you will learn how to alphabetize in Google Docs for both web-based and mobile app versions of Google Docs.

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How to Alphabetize in Google Docs: Important Things to Note

Before you learn how to sort alphabetically in Google Docs, here are some essential things to keep in mind:

  • To alphabetize your documents in Google Docs, you will need to sort your documents by Title or by Name.
  • In order to alphabetize a list in Google Docs, one may need to install add-ons such as Sorted Paragraphs or Doc Tools.
  • Using the Sort function on a selected column in Google Sheets can also be used to alphabetize your data.

In the next section, we’ll show you how to put things in alphabetical order in Google Docs (and Sheets) using examples.

Sorting Your Documents by Title

To sort your documents by title, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Google Docs on your browser, when using a mobile phone or tablet, open the Google Docs app instead.
  2. Once you have navigated to the Google Docs homepage, where all your documents are displayed(On the web-based version), Look for an AZ icon which is located on the top right side of the screen just below the Template Gallery and right above the list of Recent Documents.

If you are using the app version of Google Docs, look for a dropdown menu with an (↓) arrow pointing down next to it on the top left of the list of documents.

Select Title
  1. Select Title or Name as your sorting option once you have found the respective sorting options for both the web-based android app versions.

Once you have completed all the steps above, your documents will now be sorted in alphabetical order, and any document starting with numbers or special characters will be listed first.

Alphabetizing Text Within a Doc

Unfortunately, when using Google Docs, you may have realized that there is no built-in way to alphabetize your data.

For this next method, we recommend that you use a computer rather than a mobile phone because the web version offers more flexibility and efficiency when it comes to installing add-ons.

There are some add-ons available for the android app version of Google Docs, but they are limited compared to the availability of the web-based version.

  1. Open your document: Start by opening the document that contains the data you want to alphabetize
Open your document
  1. Select the Extensions menu: Once you have opened your document containing the data you want to alphabetize, Click the Extensions dropdown menu at the top of the screen.
Select the Extensions menu
  1. Select add-ons: Once you have clicked on the Extensions dropdown menu, Click or tap add-ons.
Select add-ons
  1. Select Get add-ons: After clicking on the add-ons option, another dropdown menu will pop up on the right, on this sub-menu, select Get add-ons.

Selecting this will open up a window containing various add-ons and a search bar where you can manually search for a desired add-on. This pop-up window is the Google Workplace Marketplace.

Select Get add-ons
  1. Installing add-ons with sorting capabilities: Click on the search bar at the top of the window and type the names of the add-ons you want to install, which in our case, are Doc tools and Sorted Paragraphs.

How to Install the Add-Ons (Doc Tools and Sorted Paragraphs)

Step 1: In Google Workplace Marketplace, type Doc tools in the search bar and select the first add-on.

Screenshot of google workspace market place

Step 2: This will take you to another window where you can download and install the add-on.

download and install the Doc tools add-on.

Step 3: Click the blue Install button, and another window will pop up, wanting you to confirm the installation of the new add-on. Click Continue

Click the blue Install button, and another window will pop up, wanting you to confirm the installation of the new add-on. Click Continue

Step 4: After clicking continue, another window will pop up, prompting you to sign in to your Google account. Select your Google account.

A confirmation window will pop up, select allow at the bottom to add the add-on to your account.

A confirmation window will pop up, select allow at the bottom to add the add-on to your account.

Step 5: The last confirmation window will pop up once the add-on is successfully installed. Click Done. Follow the same process to install Sorted Paragraphs.

The last confirmation window will pop up once the add-on is successfully installed. Click Done.
  1. Highlight the text that you want to alphabetize: In order to alphabetize your data, you will need to arrange it in a vertical list or format it in paragraphs.

If you write a normal sentence and highlight it, the add-on will not re-arrange the words in that sentence in alphabetical order.

You will have to put each word on its own separate line. You can also sort paragraphs in alphabetical order by the first word in each paragraph.

Highlight the text that you want to alphabetize
  1. Select your add-on from the Extensions menu: Once you have highlighted the text that you want to alphabetize, click the Extensions menu again, and this time the add-on you downloaded will be in the dropdown menu.
Select your add-on from the Extensions menu
  1. Select the alphabetizing option you want: if you have downloaded another add-on apart from the Doc tools add-on, you may have different options for formatting your text or data.

After selecting the desired format, the add-on will automatically re-arrange your text alphabetically.

If you have downloaded Doc tools as your add-on, click on Sort the selection ascending (your text must be selected for this to work) to put the text or data in alphabetical order.

Selecting Sort the selection descending will arrange the text or data in reverse alphabetical order.

How to Alphabetize in Google Docs

How to use ‘Sorted Paragraphs’ to Alphabetize a Google Doc

Sorted Paragraphs is another add-on you can use in Google Docs to arrange your data in alphabetical order.

It is fairly easy to use the sorted paragraphs add-on. Download the add-on in the same fashion we did above then follow the steps below to learn how to use this add-on.

  1. Highlight your text: Select the text or data you want to alphabetize. You can press Ctrl + A to highlight all of your text or use the cursor to select a section of what you want to alphabetize.
Highlight your text
  1. Click on Extensions and select Sorted Paragraphs: Once you have highlighted your data, click on the Extensions menu and select the Sorted Paragraphs option.

Sorting Data Alphabetically in Google Sheets (Desktop)

To sort data alphabetically in Google Sheets on your desktop:

  1. Open your document: Go to the Google Sheets homepage and open the document you want to edit.
  1. Select the data you want to sort: Selecting the letter at the top of the column will highlight the rest of the data in the entire column, You could also click on the first cell in the range and add additional cells by clicking them with your cursor and holding down the Shift key on your keyboard.
Highlight the data you want to sort:
  1. Go to  Data.
Select sort sheet
  1. Select sort range: In the dropdown menu that appears after clicking on Data, click on sort range or hover your cursor on it. This will reveal a sub-menu containing sorting options.
Select sort range
  1. Select a sorting option: If let’s say, your first column is C in your selected range, you will see the option Sort range by column C (A to Z). Clicking this option will re-order your data in the first column of your selected range in alphabetical order.

Using this option will only re-arrange the data in your first column leaving the data in adjacent columns the same.

Clicking on Sort range by column C (Z to A) will arrange your data in the column in reverse alphabetical order.

Select how you'd like to sort the column

Sorting Data Alphabetically in Google Sheets (Mobile)

To sort data alphabetically in Google Sheets on Android:

  1. Open your spreadsheet in Google Sheets: Open your Google Sheets app on your mobile device and select the spreadsheet containing the data you want to alphabetize.
  2. Highlight your data: Tap on the letter above the column you want to alphabetize, doing this will highlight the entire data in the column.
  3. Re-tap the column letter: Once you have selected the column you want to edit by tapping on the letter assigned to the column, tap the letter again to open up a menu.
  4. Select the More option: Once the menu pops up, Tap the three dots () icon if you are using the android version of the Google Sheets app to open up the additional menu containing more options and click on sort.

If you are using the IOS version of the app, tap (►) the right arrow icon to reveal more options until you see the Sort option.

  1. Select the sorting option you want: After clicking on the sort option, select sort A-Z to arrange your data in alphabetical order. Tap sort Z-A to arrange your data in reverse alphabetical order.

Sorting Numbers as Values in Google Sheets

You can also bring organizations into your spreadsheets. In Google Sheets, you can also sort your numerical data in ascending or descending order. All you need to do:

  1. Select your data.
  2. Go to Data > Sort range.
  3. Choose Sort range by Column A (A to Z ) if you want your data in ascending order.

This will sort your data from the lowest value to the highest. If you want to sort them from the highest to the lowest, then choose Sort range by Column A (Z to A )

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Alphabetize in Google Docs in 2023?

Here’s how to put something in alphabetical order on Google Docs:

  1. Download the Doc tools add-on
  2. Highlight the text that you want to alphabetize.
  3. Go to Extensions > Doc tools
  4. Choose the order you want to alphabetize, either ascending or descending.

What Can Be Alphabetized in Google Docs?

In Google Docs, you can alphabetize different kinds of data, including individual items and lists with and without numbers.

But Google Docs requires you to have the Doc tools add-on in order to alphabetize.

Why Should You Alphabetize?

Alphabetizing is a good way to sort your data so that it is easier to find information in it. It helps keep your document organized for when you want to share it with your team.

You should also alphabetize to help you keep track of your data so you don’t miss or skip anything.

Wrapping Up

If you need a way to organize your lists or document, then you should definitely try alphabetizing it. In this article, we have shown you how to alphabetize in Google Docs and some other ways to organize your data in Google Sheets. If you found this article useful, check out our related content below, or consider taking a comprehensive G Suite course.

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Chris Daniel

Chris Daniel

Chris is a spreadsheet expert and content writer. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.