How to Sort a Selection in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Alphabetizing in Google Docs is a simple process that can be done in a few quick steps. To do this, you will need to use the “Sort the selection” add-on, which can be found in the add-ons menu. Once you have selected the text you want to alphabetize, you just need to open the add-on, choose the order you want (A to Z or Z to A), and click “Sort.” Voila! Your list is now alphabetized.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Alphabetize in Google Docs

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Alphabetizing your list or paragraphs in Google Docs can make your document look more organized and professional. It’s particularly useful when you’re dealing with a large amount of data, such as a contact list or references.

Step 1: Open your Google Doc

Open the Google Doc that contains the text you want to alphabetize.

Once you have your document open, make sure you have the list or the paragraphs you want to alphabetize ready.

Step 2: Select the text

Highlight the text that you want to alphabetize.

You can click and drag to select multiple items, or hold down the “Shift” key while clicking to select individual lines of text.

Step 3: Go to the Add-ons menu

Click on the “Add-ons” menu at the top of your screen.

The Add-ons menu is where you can find various tools to enhance your Google Docs experience.

Step 4: Get the “Sort the selection” add-on

If you don’t already have it, search for and install the “Sort the selection” add-on.

This add-on is free and can be easily installed from the Google Workspace Marketplace.

Step 5: Use the add-on to alphabetize

With the text still selected, go back to the “Add-ons” menu, open the “Sort the selection” add-on, and choose your sorting preference.

You’ll have options to sort in ascending (A to Z) or descending (Z to A) order, among other settings.

After you complete the action, your selected text will be neatly organized in alphabetical order. This can be a great way to tidy up a document and make it easier to navigate.

Tips: Enhancing Alphabetization in Google Docs

  • Ensure all the text you want to alphabetize is formatted consistently to avoid errors during sorting.
  • If you’re alphabetizing names, decide whether you want to sort by first or last name and adjust your list accordingly.
  • Use the “Undo” feature if the sorting doesn’t go as planned – you can always try again.
  • Remember that numbers will be sorted before letters, so if your list includes numbers, they will appear at the top.
  • Consider creating a copy of your document before you begin sorting, just in case you want to revert back to the original order.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t see the “Sort the selection” add-on?

If you can’t find the add-on, it’s possible that it’s not installed. Go to the Google Workspace Marketplace and search for “Sort the selection” to install it.

Can I alphabetize a list that has bullet points or numbers?

Yes, you can alphabetize lists with bullet points or numbers, but the sorting will ignore these elements and only consider the text.

What happens if my list has duplicate entries?

The sorting process will not remove duplicates; they will be sorted along with the rest of the entries.

Can I sort a list with multiple columns?

The “Sort the selection” add-on is designed for single-column lists. If you have multiple columns, you may need to sort each one individually.

Is there a way to alphabetize without an add-on?

Yes, you can manually cut and paste the text into the desired order, but this method is not recommended for long lists as it can be time-consuming and prone to errors.


  1. Open your Google Doc with the text
  2. Select the text to alphabetize
  3. Access the “Add-ons” menu
  4. Install or open the “Sort the selection” add-on
  5. Use the add-on to sort your text


Alphabetizing in Google Docs is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Whether you’re a student organizing research, a professional sorting contact lists, or just someone who loves a well-organized document, mastering this skill can save you time and hassle. Remember, the “Sort the selection” add-on is your friend here, and with a few clicks, you can transform a jumbled list into a masterpiece of order. Happy sorting, and may your lists always be as alphabetized as a library index!

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