While it looks like Word has no tool for sorting a list – only for sorting data in a table, this is not the case and the Table sort tool works just fine for sorting data in a list.
To sort a list, such as a list of names, where each name appears on a new line and the last name is separated from the first by a comma and a space, choose Table, Sort. From the Sort by list, choose Field 1 and then, from the Then by list choose Field 2 and click Ok. This sorts the data into order by last name and then by first name where there are two or more people with the same last name.
If the names appear with the first name then a space and then last name you’ll have to tell Word to differentiate between the two names. To do this, select your list and choose Table, Sort, Options and click the Other option and press the Space bar and click Ok. From the Sort by list, choose Word 2 and then, from the Then by list choose Word 1 and click Ok. This sorts the data into order by last name and then by first name where there are two or more people with the same last name.
If you find that Word 2 doesn’t appear as an option in the Sort by list, click Ok to exit the Table Sort dialog and select the option again.