Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alphabetize or Randomize with the ALPHABETIZER

One of the free online tools that I use for all kinds of purposes is the Alphabetizer Tool at Alphabetizer.flap.tv. I use this to alphabetize and also to randomize. In fact, it's the randomization tool that is surprisingly useful - it's easy to alphabetize with a word processor (like Word) or with a spreadsheet program (like Excel), but being able to randomize is not something youc an easily do with either program. With the Alphabetizer, it's easy.

If you go to the Alphabetizer.flap.tv website, you will see there is a simple text box where you can paste in your list. I don't know what the limits are, but I've used this to work with lists containing hundreds of items and have not had any trouble at all. So, just copy-and-paste your list of items into the box:

Then, if you want to adjust the alphabetizing options, check the list of possibilities on the left. One important note is that the sorting is case sensitive, unless you click the Ignore Case option. You can also choose the Randomize option from this list:

When you have chosen your options, click on the Alphabetize button at the bottom of the text box. Ideally, it should say "Re-Order List" - because if you have chosen the randomize option on the left, instead of alphabetizing the list, clicking the button will randomize it:

There's also an option at the bottom of the text box which allows you to leave the list order the same - don't alphabetize, don't randomize - while still applying the options you chose on the left. I actually use this feature in order to quickly capitalize and number lists, without changing the order of the items. So, if you want to apply any of the options on the left without alphabetizing or randomizing the list, make sure you click the Maintain List Order option at the bottom of the screen.

When you are done, you can cut-and-paste your reformatted list from the textbox. Simple - and very efficient! This is an online tool I've been using for a couple of years now, and I keep finding new uses for it all the time. :-)

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