Word > Word 2003 Intermediate > Using Tables

Sorting Data and Using Formulas

You can sort table data use formulas to calculate figures in Microsoft Word.

Sorting Table Data

Table data can be sorted numerically, alphabetically or chronologically in an ascending or descending order.

  1. Select the table or portion of the table that you want to sort
  2. It is good practice to select the header row along with the rows you want to sort

  3. Click Table > Sort

    Sort data in a Word table

  4. Select the column you want to sort from the Sort by drop down list
  5. If your tables headers are not appearing in the drop list, select the My list has Header row option

  6. Specify the Type of data that you are sorting
  7. Select either Ascending or Descending
  8. Click Ok
  9. Table sorted by Sector in ascending order

You can apply up to three sorts on a table

Use Formulas in a Table

It is possible to use formulas and some basic functions in Microsoft Word tables.

Despite Word tables not having row and column headers like an spreadsheet would, cell references such as B2 can still be used when writing formulas. However Word does not calculate formulas instantly like Excel and is not suitable for complex calculations.

  1. Click in the cell where you want to insert the formula
  2. Click Table > Formulas
  3. Enter the formula in the Formula box
  4. The image below shows the Sum function being used to add the numbers in a column

    Insert a formula to a table in Word 2003

  5. Select the required format from the Number format drop down list such as currency or whole number
  6. The Paste function drop down list can be used to insert basic functions into the formula
  7. Click Ok

When a value being used in a formula changes, the formula does not automatically update. To update a formula either right click and select Update Field or select the formula and press F9.

When inserting functions in Microsoft Word the direction of the cells can be used as an alternative to the cell references. For example, =SUM(ABOVE) could be used instead of =SUM(B2:B15) in the formula shown above. This is because the formula adds all the values in the cells above.

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