How to Alphabetize in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Alphabetizing a list in Google Docs is a handy skill to have, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of text that needs to be organized. The process is quite simple. First, you’ll need to highlight the text you want to alphabetize. Then, you’ll use the "Sort the selection" add-on to rearrange your list in alphabetical order. That’s it! In just a few clicks, you’ll have a neatly sorted document.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Alphabetize in Google Docs

Before you start, know that Google Docs doesn’t have a built-in feature to alphabetize automatically. But don’t worry, it’s still an easy process thanks to an add-on.

Step 1: Highlight the text

Start by highlighting the list or text that you want to alphabetize.

Once you’ve selected the text, make sure it’s in a format that the sorting tool can recognize. This usually means that your list is either numbered or bulleted, or each entry is on a new line.

Step 2: Go to "Add-ons"

Click on "Add-ons" in the top menu, then select "Get add-ons".

This will open the G Suite Marketplace, where you can find the "Sort the selection" add-on by searching for it. Once you find it, click on it to install.

Step 3: Install the "Sort the selection" add-on

Click the "+ Free" button to install the "Sort the selection" add-on.

You may be prompted to give the add-on permission to access your Google account. Review the permissions, and if you’re comfortable, proceed with the installation.

Step 4: Use the add-on to sort your text

After installation, go back to "Add-ons", find "Sort the selection", and click "Start".

A sidebar will appear with sorting options. You can sort in ascending (A to Z) or descending (Z to A) order. Choose your preference and click "Sort". The text you highlighted will be rearranged alphabetically.

After completing these steps, your document will have the selected text alphabetized in the order you chose. This can help you create a more organized and professional-looking document, whether it’s a list of names for a class or items for a project.

Tips: How to Alphabetize in Google Docs Efficiently

  • Ensure your list is clean, with one item per line, for the best results.
  • Use the "Undo" function (Ctrl + Z) if the sorting doesn’t go as planned.
  • Remember that numbers will sort before letters, and capital letters before lowercase.
  • Consider manually alphabetizing small lists to avoid installing the add-on.
  • Regularly update the add-on to ensure it works correctly with the latest version of Google Docs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I alphabetize without an add-on?

For now, Google Docs doesn’t offer a native feature to alphabetize directly, so an add-on is necessary.

Will the add-on sort special characters?

Yes, the add-on should sort special characters, but it generally adheres to Unicode order, which may not be what you expect.

Can I sort tables in Google Docs?

Yes, the same add-on can be used to sort tables. Just highlight the table or the specific rows you want to sort.

How do I uninstall the add-on if I no longer need it?

Go to "Add-ons", click "Manage add-ons", find the "Sort the selection" add-on, and click "Uninstall".

What if the add-on doesn’t work?

Make sure you’re connected to the internet, and your Google Docs is up to date. If problems persist, you might need to find an alternate add-on or update the existing one.


  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Go to "Add-ons" and select "Get add-ons".
  3. Install the "Sort the selection" add-on.
  4. Use the add-on to sort your text alphabetically.


Alphabetizing your list in Google Docs can transform an unruly set of data into an organized masterpiece. And while it may seem daunting at first, with the ‘Sort the Selection’ add-on, the process is as easy as pie. Installing this handy tool is a one-time affair, and once done, you’re all set for any alphabetizing tasks that come your way. So the next time you’re faced with a jumble of words, names, or items, don’t panic. Just remember the steps we’ve walked through, and you’ll have that list in tip-top order in no time. And remember, keeping your Google Docs experience seamless and efficient is all about knowing these nifty little tricks, like how to alphabetize in Google Docs. With this knowledge, you’re well on your way to becoming a Google Docs power user!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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