Alphabetic or alphabetize describes a listing, sort, or order that is done alphabetically. An ascending alphabetic sort orders text by the first letter of the first word, with 'A' first and 'Z' last. (Other special characters, such as an underscore, are usually ordered to precede 'A.') In the example below, a list of number names sorted in ascending alphabetical order.
Example of an ascending alphabetic sort
eight five four nine one seven six ten three two
Example of a descending alphabetic sort
Many programs and tools can also allow you to do a descending alphabetic sort that sorts every word from 'Z' to 'A' in a list of words.
two three ten six seven one nine four five eight
How are words in the Computer Hope dictionary alphabetized?
When numbers, punctuation, whitespace, and other characters are part of words in a list it becomes more complicated to alphabetize words. To make this process easier and more consistent, Computer Hope removes all characters that are not a letter or number before alphabetizing the words in its computer dictionary. If the term contains a number, it is sorted in numerical order. For example, "8" comes before "10."
Why are keyboard keys not in alphabetical order?
See our QWERTY page for further information on the QWERTY layout and why keys are not arranged in alphabetical order.