Two Word tips, sorting and format painting

Here are two Word tips to save some time, using Word 2010.

Sort a bulleted or numbered list

If you have a list already in Word, you can quickly put it in alphabetical order with a few mouse clicks. First, select the text in your list. On the Home tab, under the Paragraph group, click the sorting button.


A “Sort Text” dialog box will appear. By default it will sort by Paragraphs and Text. Leave those settings and click OK. Your list will now be sorted.

pic2turns into this … pic3

Format Painter

The format painter is available in several office apps and allows you to format text and then copy all of that formatting to other text. You don’t have to remember all the steps to format the new text. Below we have two paragraphs of boring text using the Calibri font, 11 pt.


I have taken the time to do some fancy formatting on the first paragraph including several font changes and color changes because I decided that my Word doc needed to look like a Latin ransom note.


If I don’t remember all the steps I took to get my fancy look, I just need to use the format painter. Select the text that you want to copy. You don’t need to select the entire paragraph, just some text that has all the formatting you want to copy. And remember, we are only copying the formatting, not the text itself. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click on the Format Painter button. Your cursor should turn into a small paintbrush.


Now select all the text that you want to change. Once selected, release the mouse button and the font will change to the copied formatting.


This works perfectly if you want to copy the formatting once, but what if you have several areas where you want to copy the same formatting? Instead of clicking the Format Painter button, double click the button. Now you can apply the formatting on as many areas as you like. To turn off this feature, hit [Esc] or click the Format Painter button one more time.

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