[techtalk] Tech-Talk: WORD - Can't Sort Your Table?

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Wed Jul 5 14:15:44 PDT 2017


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This Week's Tech-Talk:  WORD
1. VIDEO ... Can't Sort Your Word Table?
2. ARTICLE ... Can't Sort Your Word Table?
3. COMMUNICATING ... "Building on that ..."

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Tech-Talk: WORD - Can't Sort Your Table?

Have you ever created a Table in Word and went to sort the information but kept getting an error message?

Using Tables to display your text is a great way to keep it organized and to make it easier to read. And similar to Excel, you can sort the text in the columns and rows to group like content together.

However, there's a sticky issue that you need to be aware of ... or your Table data will NOT sort and you'll get an error message about all the rows being "headings".
[Error message]

[sort table]For example, we have a very long table that we use to track the 20+ years of past Tech-Talk articles. The header row has several column titles such as the Topic, Date Sent and Category (e.g. Word, PPT, Website).

At times we may want to sort the table so that all the Word items will be together -- so that we can review topics. As it turns out though, when we tried to sort the table, we got an error message. So frustrating!

Solving Table Sorting Errors

In this case the error message was rather unusual ... saying that the rows were all table headings. Hmmm. Odd, but how to fix it? Turns out the table was confused as to what was the correct header row.  And there's an easy fix!

  *   Highlight your Table.

  *   Go to the Layout tab in the ribbon and in the far left section under Table, click Properties.
[table properties]

  *   In the Table Properties box, go to the Row tab and UNcheck the box that says "Repeat as header row at the top of each page".
[Table Properties]

  *   Click OK.

IMPORTANT.  Now that you have un-selected all Table header rows, you need to go back and tell Word what the correct Table header row is.

  *   Put your cursor in your top header row, right-click and choose Table Properties.

  *   In the Row tab again, re-check the box that says Repeat as header row at the top of each page.

You should now be able to sort your table without the error message.

TIP! If you were NOT aware that there was a way to Sort the data in a Word table, it's a really useful feature! You can get the full instructions in an article at www.Tech-Talk.com<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001G23KhqaMrHuFfAVnpco9NL03BRxkb4DhwMHkxkT9OdV1noB0c3qqp8MR2UtwXqXOS_zgg8Z_AB3v8Tq0u9BY8sg-cwZuWyh5hBaeSabYss0n3Mi7LEw2rwCx3ECaeeFzSQObqKHj8VKtwSvEF3_lfkX1AZk3VORvqCOzoH2SqL0=&c=0LsCs7pUAVVtQL-55XR_QGfnPIqGl9PbCnu76f-CTyjdpiIFdYZQsg==&ch=rxvk9EX4kHA3OZL15SiVGqf_Qy3_9e7VBxPxPJsl170ZY4ZihjJLqw==>. Log in and in the Search box, type in Sorting Data in Tables.

[communication]Communicate - Talking
"Building on that thought..."
If you'd like more receptivity to your ideas when you are conversing with someone, you can use this very clever phrase: "Building on ..."

These are magical words because they bridge what you've heard ... with what you want to say.  And it opens the mind of the other individual.

  *   "Building on that thought, I think we should...."
  *   "Building on what you just said, perhaps we could...."
  *   "Building on that idea, I think we should be cautious because..."
Just hearing the words "building on" conveys that you don't want to squash what was just said.  This means the listener will be more willing to hear what you are going to say. The phrase is uplifting.  It feels respectful. It's almost like saying, "I like what you've said, and here's an idea too."

Whether or not your idea is technically along the same lines with additional info ... or if it is actually contrary to what is being said ... starting your contribution with "Building on..." opens doors.

So if you want to jump in with a new idea, a different opinion, or a fresh thought... try using this conversation bridge.  It will make people much more willing to hear what you have to say.


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Darci Hanning, MLIS
Technology Development Consultant
darci.hanning at state.or.us<mailto:darci.hanning at state.or.us> | 503-378-2527 | www.oregon.gov/osl/ld<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/ld>
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