How can I sort a Bibliography alphabetically by author in Word 2007?
Question by Oweson Flynn /

I was writing a technical paper for a course I am studying for at university. Being a technical paper, I had to include all my references. I am using Microsoft Office Word 2007 (SP2) on Windows XP (SP3).

I added the references where necessary in the document by clicking on References->Inset Citation. The department requires that the references be numbered in the document, and be listed alphabetically in the Bibliography. So I set the style to ‘ISO 690 – Numerical Reference’. I then went to the end of the document, and created the Bibliography by clicking on ‘References->Bibliography’.

The Bibliography was created, but listed the citations in the order they appeared in the document, not in alphabetically, which is the required standard. I tried selecting the bibliography, and then tried sorting it, by clicking on ‘Home->Sort’, but got the error dialog box ‘The content cannot be sorted because it is part of content control’.

My question is: How do I sort the Bibliography alphabetically by author?

Here is the bibliography as it appears in my document:
Bibliography
1. Levitt, SP. Software Development Methodologies, Analysis and Design – Course Homepage. School of Electrical and Information Engineering . [Online] April 2010. http://dept.ee.wits.ac.za/~slevitt/elen7045/assessment/elen7045-two-way-traffic.pdf.
2. Bruce, Kim, Danyluk, Andrea and Murtagh, Thomas. JAVA: An Eventful Approach. s.l. : Prentice Hall, August 2005.
3. blaqkhavok. Frogger Game – Java. [Online] May 2009. http://www.dreamincode.net/forums/topic/105030-frogger-game/.
4. Staff, 2001 South Central USA Regional Programming Contest. Frogger.java.txt. [Online] 2001. http://acm2001.cct.lsu.edu/solutions/Frogger/Frogger.java.txt.
5. Bodnar, Jan. Java 2D games tutorial. [Online] 2007. http://zetcode.com/tutorials/javagamestutorial/.
6. Harold, Elliotte Rusty. Test Driven Development With Eclipse. [Online] December 2005. http://www.ibiblio.org/java/slides/weekend/testdriven/Test_Driven_Development_With_Eclipse.html.

I want it to look like this:
Bibliography
3. blaqkhavok. Frogger Game – Java. [Online] May 2009. http://www.dreamincode.net/forums/topic/105030-frogger-game/.
5. Bodnar, Jan. Java 2D games tutorial. [Online] 2007. http://zetcode.com/tutorials/javagamestutorial/.
2. Bruce, Kim, Danyluk, Andrea and Murtagh, Thomas. JAVA: An Eventful Approach. s.l. : Prentice Hall, August 2005.
6. Harold, Elliotte Rusty. Test Driven Development With Eclipse. [Online] December 2005. http://www.ibiblio.org/java/slides/weekend/testdriven/Test_Driven_Development_With_Eclipse.html.
1. Levitt, SP. Software Development Methodologies, Analysis and Design – Course Homepage. School of Electrical and Information Engineering . [Online] April 2010. http://dept.ee.wits.ac.za/~slevitt/elen7045/assessment/elen7045-two-way-traffic.pdf.
4. Staff, 2001 South Central USA Regional Programming Contest. Frogger.java.txt. [Online] 2001. http://acm2001.cct.lsu.edu/solutions/Frogger/Frogger.java.txt.

How do I achieve this?

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Answers (15)
  • Scubby

    For repeat visitor,

    Just copy the references to Excel, sort alphabetically and copy back to Word (past text only to remove table)

  • Jacek

    My answer is too late probably, but I recommend using LaTeX for technical paper. You can use a Lyx editor if you do not want to learn the language.

  • Steph_cook92

    If you’re using Word 2007, just highlight the body of text, up the top in the little section labelled ‘paragraph’, just click the button with ‘AZ’ and then a little arrow pointing downwards. Adjust appropriately and there you go :)

  • Tarun

    if you are using word bibliography .. to sort it as you wanted .. you have to go to the code of the bibliography style you are using .. they are stored in offcieInstallationfolder>Microsoft OfficeOffice12BibliographyStyle
    and add the sort  key to your desired value .. here i used tag as a sort option ..
     %Tag%

     
       
          Tag Style
          2009.04.20
          Yves Dhondt
          An example style with tags.
          An example style with tags.
          yes
          no
       
       
         
            b:Author/b:Author/b:NameList
            b:Title
            b:Publisher
            b:Year
            b:StandardNumber
         
       
       
          [
          ]
          ,
         
            %Tag%
         
       
       
          2
         
           
              left
              top
              %Tag%
           
           
              left
              top
              {%Author:0%.}{ “%Title|ShortTitle%”.}{ %Publisher%.}{ %Year%}{ %StandardNumber%}
           
    **      %Tag%
         
       
       
         
           
           
            {%Corporate%}
            {{%First|Middle% {%Middle% }}%Last|First|Middle%}
            {{%First|Middle% {%Middle% }}%Last|First|Middle%}
            and
            ,
            , and
            12
            10
            , et al.
           
           
         
       
     

  • Jo

    Hey with theses steps you can sort your bibliograhy alphabetically without going to endnot or excel.
    1. create a table with one column
    2. Type in each paper you cited
    3. After you finish step 2, select the table.
    4. Go to table in Word menu, then choose sort
    5. Sort by: column 1, type: phonetic, ascending, then press ok
    then you get exactly what you need!

  • N1yanes

    Hi have anybody tried http://www.endnote.com all what you have to do is to have a free trial arrange all your biblographies and resources it is the best. also helps you cite while you write check the tutorials on their website.

  • Sidneyap

    I copied them onto Ms Excel, use the sort A-Z function, and copy them back to Ms Word again. It’s simple to do if you want a quick fix and do not want to read the thick manual on how to work the software like EndNote for the time being.

  • Tina

    Flynn,

    did you manage to get your bibliography in order? How did you do it? We’d love to hear what worked for you!

  • Aibek

    If the above recommendations aren’t enough you can check out some online Bibliography generators as well. Maybe some of them have that sorting feature you’re looking for.

    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/bibme/
    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/easybib-easy-comprise-bibliography/
    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/ottobib-easy-bibliography-maker/

  • Anonymous

    Hi Oweson,

    I can’t find the way to re-arrange the list automatically. But there’s a ‘barbaric’ way that I often do:
    – I select the Bibliography text and save the text separately as txt.
    – I import the text into Excel as CSV and add other element like period and/or semi-colon as the separation factor.
    – I sort the list in Excel and export back as txt.
    – I copy-paste the text back to Word.

    But I personally think that if the Bibliography list is fairly short, you could just re-type it manually as this requires less effort than the steps I explained above.

    I hope there’s someone out there that can help you solve the problem more “intelligently”. :)

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