Need help with MS Word/Excel
August 27, 2018 12:55 PM   Subscribe

I have created a bibliography that I was told I needed to put in alphabetical order. It's in MS Word in the MLA citation format. How do I put the citations, by chapter, in alphabetical order? They moved just fine to MS Excel, where I was able to sort them. But when I tried to put them back in word, all of the formatting was gone.
posted by CollectiveMind to Writing & Language (8 answers total)
 
They moved just fine to MS Excel, where I was able to sort them. But when I tried to put them back in word, all of the formatting was gone.

What type of formatting are you talking about? Italics and so forth, or something else?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2018


Word ought to have a sort text A-Z function. Does following this help link and doing sort by paragraphs work?
posted by little onion at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2018


1. Select the citations you want to alphabetize

2. Select: Insert : Table : Convert text to table

3. Select the radio button for "Paragraphs" under "Separate text at" and click the button for "Okay." This will put each citation into its own cell in a one-column table.

4. Select the entire table, go the Table/Layout ribbon and click the button for "Sort"

5. Accept the defaults . This will sort the citations alphabetically.

6. Make sure the whole table is selected and, in the same Table/Layout ribbon, click the button for "Convert to Text"

7. Select the radio button for "Separate with Paragraph marks" and click the button for "Okay." This will get rid of the table and put your text back into regular paragraphs, with the formatting intact
posted by slkinsey at 1:17 PM on August 27, 2018


I didn't use any special formatting. When I moved them back to MS Word, periods, commas and spaces separating the parts of the citation were gone. In other places, there were big spaces. Its like MS Excel columns didn't leave the punctuation and in other places, inserted big gaps.
posted by CollectiveMind at 1:20 PM on August 27, 2018


I'm assuming you have one citation per cell in Excel. Otherwise it gets vastly more complicated.

In Excel, make sure you have formatted the cells as text. In the top corner where the rows and columns meet there is a button that will select the entire worksheet. Click that, then right click to access the format cells menu and change it to text. When you have done that, with the entire sheet still highlighted, ctrl C to copy, then right click to paste special. You're looking for paste values. This should not be necessary but trust me.

Then highlight just the rows/columns you want to put into Word and ctrl c to copy. Go to Word and again right click to paste special, from memory in Word it is paste unformatted text rather than values but I'm on my phone atm and can't check. That should do the trick.
posted by Athanassiel at 1:46 PM on August 27, 2018


Where did the citations come from in the first place? If you generated them with a citation manager such as zotero, mendeley, or endnote, it will be far easier to reexport the bibliography in the right format directly from there. Even if not, if there is a chance that you be doing this kind of thing in the future, download and install Zotero. Future you will be grateful.
posted by rockindata at 2:05 PM on August 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Seconding Zotero for future use!
posted by acidnova at 2:14 PM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


The citations came from Easybib. I generated and deleted them as I exported them into MS Word.
posted by CollectiveMind at 2:54 PM on August 27, 2018


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