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Word  2010 Table Sorting

Posted on 2013-10-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-07
Table has a "Date" column and we are sorting by that date. The dates don't seem to be sorting exactly by date.

What are the rules for sorting by date? Do the dates have to be in a very specific format? Do they, for instance have to be xx/xx/xxx?

If there is 1/5/2013 does it need to be 01/05/2013 in order to sort?
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Question by:mrmyth
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by:Steven Harris
Steven Harris earned 400 total points
ID: 39601913
Mine seem to work fine, even with mixed formats.

Word Table Sort
With that said, you should try to keep a very consistent format.  Since you are having issues, I would suggest  xx/xx/xxxx.

Also, what sort option are you using?  This is what I tested with:

Word Sort Option
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by:mrmyth
ID: 39601976
I am using the setting you have pictured above but with a header row, the date column just says DATE as a header.
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Expert Comment

by:Steven Harris
ID: 39601980
So you notate it has a header row with the radio buttons, right?

Still not working properly?
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 39602014
Is the date dd/mm/yyyy or mm/dd/yyyy (as posted above by ThinkSpaceSolutions)?OoopsDoesn't seem to work!
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Eric Fletcher earned 1600 total points
ID: 39602801
Word's sort is pretty good at interpreting mixed Date format types, but some formats are guaranteed to be misinterpreted. Consider the example below:Table of dates sorted by Date and by Text types The "YYYY-MM-DD" format is the least ambiguous, and will sort correctly with "Type:" set to either Text or Date. Dropping the zero padding (as YYYY-M-D and variants) is less useful because October will sort before May in a Text sort -- but note that a Date sort still works fine. Similarly, other formats won't sort properly with Type=Text, but Word manages to cope with the mix of numbers and text strings pretty well.

Dates entered with ambiguous formats like M/D/YY or D/M/YY are next to impossible to sort reliably. Is "5/4/13" May 4 or April 5? (The most extreme situation is a M/D/Y format: should "2/3/4" represent Feb 3 2004 or Mar 2 2004 or March 4 2002?) If you use any of these date formats, you'll have to be rigorous in using them consistently to have any hope of sorting them properly. (And good luck to anyone who needs to interpret them in the future!)

The most reliable way to ensure proper sorting is to stick to the number format used in your operating system preferences. (In Windows 7, use Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Region and Language > Change the date, time, or number format.) However, although my Win7 preferences are set to "yyyy-MM-dd", Word was able to interpret the dates as shown in the screen shot above.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mrmyth
ID: 39632621
thank you!
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