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How to reverse the order of a list and maintain the original order in Word

Reversing a Word list requires a few sudden steps, however it’s all about the formatting. Susan Harkins will present you the way it’s finished.

Microsoft Word and Excel app on the display notebook closeup. Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications created by Microsoft.
Image: prima91/Adobe Stock

Doing something to a lengthy list in a Word doc might be tedious work that’s certain to introduce errors. Such is the case with reversing the order of a list that’s not in some other form of order — not alphabetical, not numerical and even a customized type. For occasion, the list is perhaps in entry order. Maintaining that original order is perhaps vital, so sorting turns into a bit dicey. In this text, I’ll present you ways to reverse a Word list and then return it to the original order if you happen to like.

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I’m utilizing Microsoft 365 on a Windows 10 64-bit system, however you should utilize an earlier model. For your comfort, you’ll be able to obtain the demonstration .docx and .doc recordsdata. This approach gained’t work in Word for the internet.

How to attempt a descending type in Word

Figure A reveals a easy list that you can reverse by sight if you happen to needed to, however what if it prolonged over a couple of pages, or much more? You would possibly already know which you could type a list, however in this case that function doesn’t work as you would possibly anticipate if you happen to anticipate the function to type the list in reverse order. (There’s a copy of the list so we will examine outcomes.)

Figure A

We’ll reverse this Word list.
We’ll reverse this Word list.

To type the easy list in Figure A, choose all of the list gadgets and then do the following:

  1. Click Sort in the Paragraph group on the Home tab.
  2. In the ensuing dialog, change the default Ascending to Descending (Figure B).
  3. Click OK.

Figure B

Choose a Descending sort.
Choose a Descending type.

If you examine the sorted list in Figure C to the copy beneath, you’ll see that it’s not reversed.

Figure C

The list isn’t in reversed order.
The list isn’t in reversed order.

Word sorted the list in descending order and reversed isn’t the identical as descending. So, whereas that is a fairly cool function, it gained’t get the job finished in this example. Let’s have a look at a type that does work, however earlier than you proceed, ensure to press Ctrl + Z to undo the type.

How to add a sequential list of numbers in Word

By including a sequential worth to the list, you’ll be able to reverse the order or type in another means, with out dropping the original order. Fortunately, the answer is straightforward however does require a few steps as a result of we should first convert the list into a desk, which you won’t need to preserve.

The first step is to convert the list into a Word desk as follows:

  1. Select the list.
  2. Click the Insert tab and then click on Table in the Tables group.
  3. In the ensuing dialog, select Insert Table.

With the new single-column desk chosen, add a column by right-clicking the choice, selecting Insert from the dropdown and then deciding on Insert Columns to the Left from the submenu (Figure D).

Figure D

Insert a column to the left.
Insert a column to the left.

Because just one column is chosen earlier than we insert one other, Word inserts just one new column (Figure E). At this level, the width of the columns doesn’t matter.

Figure E

Now the table has two columns.
Now the desk has two columns.

The subsequent step is to add a sequential list of numbers to the new column as follows:

  1. Select the empty column by hovering over its prime border till the mouse turns into a down arrow. Then click on to choose the column.
  2. Next, click on Numbering to add a list of sequential numbers to the new column (Figure F).

Figure F

Add a list of sequential numbers to the empty column.
Add a list of sequential numbers to the empty column.

With the list of numbers in place, you would possibly assume you’ll be able to reverse the list now, however you’ll be able to’t. This numbered list has particular formatting that Word can’t interpret when sorting. Fortunately, this drawback provides solely a few easy steps.

First, choose solely the column of numbers and copy the list to the Clipboard by urgent Ctrl + C. Don’t attempt to minimize the list; it gained’t work as anticipated. Then, transfer the cursor to an space with no content material, corresponding to the finish of the doc and even a new clean doc. Paste the numbered list by clicking the Paste dropdown and selecting Keep Text Only. Doing so removes the particular formatting that provides Word bother (Figure G). If you miss this step, this answer gained’t work.

Figure G

Remove Word’s numbering format.
Remove Word’s numbering format.

With the particular formatting gone, copy this list to the Clipboard once more. Then, return to the numbered column, delete the numbered list and paste the unformatted list from the Clipboard into the empty column. Don’t attempt to paste over the present numbered list as a result of it gained’t work the means you anticipate.

How to reverse the list order in Word

Using the type function that we reviewed earlier, we will now reserve the order of the list in the second column. First, click on the desk deal with to choose the total list (the small sq. in the desk’s top-left nook). Then, do the following:

  1. Click Sort in the Paragraph group (on the Home tab).
  2. In the ensuing dialog, select Column 1 from the Sort By dropdown.
  3. Click the Descending type (Figure H).

Figure H

Paste the unformatted list of numbers into the table’s first column.
Paste the unformatted list of numbers into the desk’s first column.

Once you may have the list in reverse order (Figure I), you may have a bit of cleanup left:

  • You can take away column 1 and the desk. If you would possibly want to resort at a later date, you repeat these steps. However, if you may want an alphabetical type on the second column with the means to return to the original order, you may have a choice to make. Will you bear in mind to reverse the column earlier than sorting? This is an unlikely drawback, however one thing to take into account when deciding what to do with that column of numbers.
  • Don’t neglect to delete the list of unformatted numbers that you simply pasted to the finish of the doc.

Figure I

After reversing the list, you can leave the list of numbers or delete it and the column.
After reversing the list, you’ll be able to depart the list of numbers or delete it and the column.

A reverse type isn’t tough, however it isn’t precisely intuitive both. You can’t work with the formatted quantity list. Once you take away the particular formatting, you should utilize the list of numbers to reverse order and return to the original order.

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