Making an alphabetical list in Word or Excel?

  gengiscant 05:55 18 Jun 2010

This may or may not be in the correct forum.

I am currently putting a case together alleging negligence with treatment I have received this past year from my local NHS trust.
Unfortunately obstructions are routinely put in my way,delay in supply medical records, excuses made why copies of video fluoroscopy files cannot be copied to a flash drive supplied by me, and then being told that I will have to wait till an IT specialist can copy the files to CD/DVD.
But their favorite is the over use of medical terminology, no matter how mundane or common a bodily function the medical profession has an almost unpronounceable word for it.
Now they do not use most of these words when talking to each other but ask them for a written explanation and it is one medical term after another.
Now I except that the terminology used is correct in terms of the medical profession and in many cases there are not simpler words to explain bits of the body and their functions but I am not a specialist and I feel efforts should be made to put things in plain English where possible.

Which brings me to the subject heading. I want to make a list of all the medical terms and their more simpler alternatives or definitions.
Initially I will be listing the words as I come across them then I would like to put them in alphabetical order.

Now I am aware I can organize a column in excel in alphabetical order, but I assume this will not take the definition of the word with it.So I will be left with the terms in the correct order but with the wrong definitions.

Can someone point me,perhaps, in the direction of an office template, or a simple method of achieving what I want.


  Forum Editor 06:22 18 Jun 2010

from Speakers Corner.

  Furkin 07:26 18 Jun 2010

I am no expert in Excel, but you can (I think) either:

List the 'Terms' down the first column.
You can then (I think) just carry on typing to insert the definition. I have no idea how much data can be input this way.


List the terms down the first column, then write the definitions in the next column - alongside each term.
When you click 'SORT', Excel will sort whichever column you decide,,,,, including the following columns that correspond.

This alo gives you chance to 'sort' either the Term words (poss column A), or the Definition words (poss column B) especially if you start the definition bit with a specific Word that pertains to the term.

As I say - no expert, but it might help.

  hastelloy 07:52 18 Jun 2010

This will work in Word as well. In a table select all rows and all columns then go to Table<Sort. This will sort the whole table. You can select which column to sort by.

  skeletal 10:00 18 Jun 2010

Furkin is correct. The only thing to watch out for is that you must select all the columns before “search by” column A (or whatever). If you mistakenly only select one of the columns, it will be sorted and the others won’t be. Depending on which version of Excel you have (and I can’t remember which now!) you may get a warning that you are about to sort data but are missing nearby columns.

You will be able to put more than enough words into a cell for the relatively simple definitions process.

Also, you may not be aware that you can format the cells to make it easier to read. For example, by pressing Alt+Return you can move down a line in the cell rather than moving to the next cell. So a block of text can have paragraphs in it, within one cell.

Also try right clicking in the cell and choosing “Format cells”; click the “Alignment” tab and tick “Wrap text”.

And it goes without saying that changing the widths of cells/making text bold etc can also help.


  lotvic 10:44 18 Jun 2010

I was taught to do it like this:
You don't select the column, you select any SINGLE CELL and then it will sort all the rows AtoZ by the column cell you have selected as the guide for sort (in AtoZ) when you click on the sort button.

Here's how it works
Practice exercise:

New sheet, Enter text thus:

A1: cats B1: a cats
A2: delts B2: is delts
A3: giraffe B3: long neck
A4: zebra B4: has stripes
A5: belts B5: ybelts
A6: antelope B6: z antelope

now click on cell A4 (zebra) and then click sort AtoZ. You will see that the associated text (B4:has stripes) in the B cells is kept with it's correct A cell. Thus A6: zebra, A6:has stripes

It has now become
A1:antelope B1:z antelope
A2:belts B2:ybelts
A3:cats B3:a cats
A4:delts B4:is delts
A5:giraffe B5:long neck
A6:zebra B6:has stripes

Now click on CELL B2 (ybelts) and click sort AtoZ

It becomes
A1:cats B1:a cats
A2:zebra B2:has stripes
A3:delts B3:is delts
A4:giraffe B4:long neck
A5:belts B5:ybelts
A6:antelope B6:z antelope

  gengiscant 10:51 18 Jun 2010

This is what I have managed so far [IMG]click here[/IMG] before I go any further, will I be able to put this in alphabetical order and if so how?

  Proclaimer 11:50 18 Jun 2010

If Medical Term is Column A, Highlight or select both your columns and choose to do a SORT.

In the popup window choose to sort by column A. This will sort A by a-z and the contents of B follow the placements you have already given them opposite the column A.

  gengiscant 12:28 18 Jun 2010

Hi,still not got it sorted yet.The above link in my last post is a word doc.
This image is an Excel with error message.
Both docs are the style I want but obviously I have still not got the alphabetical order I am looking for.[IMG]click here[/IMG]
So as usual I cannot even understand the error message so no hope in figuring out the solution.

  VoG II 12:42 18 Jun 2010

You shouldn't used merged cells.

Format the cells to autowrap. Then you can type in the first line, hold down ALT and press Enter. Do the same with the second line and so on. After typing the last line just press Enter.

  gengiscant 13:17 18 Jun 2010

VoG, you are talking to a total idiot here, what on earth is autowrap?

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Samsung Galaxy S9 review

Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 and 32 review – hands-on

When is the next Apple event?

Gmail : comment annuler l’envoi d’un e-mail ?