How does one sort alphabetically by paragraph?

i.e. a list of addresses with addressee’s last name first, each addressee separated by a blank line (paragraph)? I am able to use the tools menu and choose sort, enable “key 1” (although I don’t know what that means), to sort selected text of a list of items, one item per line, but I can’t figure out how to sort the first word of selected paragraphs.

I do not see your problem. You have to mark the whole section and use menu Tools > Sort, the defaults should be fine. Only if one address covers several paragraphs, sorting this way is not possible and we have to look for another solution.

But an additional remark:

Separating by a blank line is never good. Here you will end up with a lot of blank lines before the lines with the addresses. Remove the blank lines. Then make the spacing between the addresses by assigning a proper paragraph style in which you set the distance in the style property “Spacing” in property dialog tab “Indents & Spacing”. You can make a new style or alter an existing one.

If you need to remove a lot of empty lines independent from sorting, you find a tool in Tools > AutoCorrect > AutoCorrect Options; there in tab Options the setting “Remove blank paragraphs”. After setting it mark the whole text area having the empty lines and use Tools > AutoCorrect > Apply.

So are you suggesting that I not make a new paragraph by returning twice after the last line of my paragraph? That’s what I mean by “blank line,” because returning twice of course produces a blank line. Each of my addresses is 3 lines long, returning once after each line except the last line, after which I return twice. That isn’t a good idea? If I don’t return twice how does the program know I want to start a new address and not just add a 4th line to the address I’m working on?

@kathyathome, instead of ENTER (new paragraph) for each line, use SHIFT+ENTER (line break) and ENTER to separate addresses.

oweng - thank you, that did it. I also had to select the text and go to tools menu, spacing, increase paragraph spacing to get space between the address. I increased the paragraph spacing twice in order to get what looks like a single blank line between each address. They are all alphabetized now. I appreciate your help.