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.
- Select the table or portion of the table that you want to sort
- Click Table > Sort
- Select the column you want to sort from the Sort by drop down list
- Specify the Type of data that you are sorting
- Select either Ascending or Descending
- Click Ok
It is good practice to select the header row along with the rows you want to sort
If your tables headers are not appearing in the drop list, select the My list has Header row option
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.
- Click in the cell where you want to insert the formula
- Click Table > Formulas
- Enter the formula in the Formula box
- Select the required format from the Number format drop down list such as currency or whole number
- The Paste function drop down list can be used to insert basic functions into the formula
- Click Ok
The image below shows the Sum function being used to add the numbers in a column
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.