How to Reverse the Order of a Table in MS Word

There are situations where you may want to reverse the order of a table in Microsoft Word. In some cases, the Sort option will suffice to accomplish this provided the data in question needs to be re-arranged in an ascending or descending order e.g. sequential numbers, dates and text in alphabetical order.

With most tables however, the sort option will simply not work if all you want is to invert the rows, so that the top row becomes the last and the bottom row the top most.

All it will do instead is rearrange the data sequentially if it contains numbers or alphabetically in the case of words.

We can however use this limitation to devise a workaround that will essentially flip the column direction regardless of the data.

All we need to is create a temporary column, add consecutive numbers to all its rows then use it to sort the rest of the columns. Let me show you how.

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Reverse Table Order using Temporary Column

  1. Add a column to either the left or right side of the table.
  2. Select the empty column, then click the Numbered List to add consecutive numbers to all the rows in the column. If your table has a Header row, start the numbering from the second row.
  3. Since we cannot use a numbered list to do a sort, we need to first convert the list into ordinary numbers. To do that, select the entire column and copy the numbers to Notepad or any other plain text editor.
  4. Copy the list of numbers from Notepad and paste it into the column to replace the numbered list.
  5. Select the temporary column, then open the Sort window from the Home tab or the Layout tab while the table is selected.
  6. In the bottom left of the Sort window, select the option Header Row if your table has one and if it doesn’t, select the option No header row.
  7. In the Sort by option select the temporary column from the drop-down menu.
  8. In the Type option select Number, in the Using option select Paragraphs and then select to sort by Descending order.
  9. Click OK and the table order should be reversed.
  10. Lastly, select the temporary column and delete it.
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The order of your table’s should be reversed irrespective of its content. I hope this saves you some much-needed time, as the other alternatives would necessitate re-entering all the data into the table or perhaps using Excel.


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Kelvin Muriuki is a web content developer that's passionate about keeping the internet a useful place. He is the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to connect with him regarding the content appearing on this page or on web and content development.

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