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


Matthew Burleigh

Alphabetizing a list in Google Docs is a breeze once you know how to do it. All you need is to select the text you want to sort, click on "Format," then "Paragraph styles," and finally "Bullets & numbering." From there, choose "A-Z" or "Z-A" to sort your list alphabetically. Let’s jump into the step-by-step tutorial to make your document organization a snap.

Step by Step Tutorial to Alphabetize List in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to know that alphabetizing your list will help you keep information organized and easy to find, especially if you’re dealing with a long list of items. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Highlight the list you want to alphabetize.

Simply click and drag your mouse over the text in your list to highlight it.

Highlighting your list is crucial because it tells Google Docs exactly what text you want to alphabetize. If you skip this step, you might end up sorting your entire document!

Step 2: Click on the "Format" menu at the top of the page.

You’ll find this menu between "Insert" and "Tools."

Clicking on "Format" will open a drop-down menu with several options to customize your text. But for now, we’re focusing on alphabetizing.

Step 3: Select "Paragraph styles" from the drop-down menu.

Then, choose "Bullets & numbering" from the side menu that appears.

"Paragraph styles" contain different formatting options for your text, including the bullets and numbering options where the sorting magic happens.

Step 4: Choose either "A-Z" or "Z-A" to sort your list in ascending or descending alphabetical order, respectively.

You’ll see these options when you hover over "Bullets & numbering."

Choosing "A-Z" will sort your list starting with A at the top. If you choose "Z-A," Z will be at the top. Pick the one that best suits your needs.

After you’ve completed these steps, your list will be neatly organized in alphabetical order. This will make your document look more professional and easier to navigate, especially if you’re sharing it with others.

Tips for Alphabetizing List in Google Docs

  • Always double-check that you’ve selected the correct list to avoid alphabetizing the wrong text.
  • Use the "Undo" button if you accidentally sort the list in the wrong order.
  • If you have a numbered list, the numbers will also get sorted. Keep this in mind if the order of the numbers is important.
  • Consider using headings or subheadings to separate multiple alphabetized lists within the same document.
  • Remember that Google Docs will sort numbers before letters, so any numbered items will appear at the top of the list.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Yes, you can alphabetize any list, whether it’s bulleted, numbered, or plain text.

What if I want to sort by last name instead of the first?

If your list includes full names, Google Docs will sort by the first word in each line. To sort by last name, you’ll need to format your list with last names first.

Can I undo the alphabetization if I make a mistake?

Absolutely! Just click the "Undo" button or press Ctrl+Z (Command+Z on a Mac) to revert to the previous state.

Will this method work for sorting paragraphs?

Yes, this method can also be used to sort paragraphs or even sentences. Just make sure each paragraph is separated by a line break.

Does Google Docs save the document automatically after sorting?

Google Docs autosaves frequently, but it’s always a good idea to manually save after making significant changes to your document.


  1. Highlight the list.
  2. Click on "Format."
  3. Select "Paragraph styles."
  4. Choose "Bullets & numbering."
  5. Pick "A-Z" or "Z-A."


Organizing information is key to creating clear and professional documents. Alphabetizing lists in Google Docs is a simple yet powerful way to achieve this. Whether you’re sorting contact information, inventory items, or ideas, an alphabetized list can save you time and hassle when searching for specific data. Keep in mind the tips mentioned above to make the process even smoother. And remember, practice makes perfect. The more you use this feature, the quicker you’ll be able to keep your documents in tip-top shape. Now that you know how to alphabetize a list in Google Docs, go ahead and give it a try!

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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