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Unlike earlier versions of Word, in Word 2000 you can nest one table inside another. Nesting one table inside another can cause some unexpected behavior when you sort a table that has another table nested in one or more cells in the column used to perform the sort.
During a sort, Word reorders the rows of the selected table but does not reorder the contents of the cells in the selected column. To sort a nested table, you must select a column in the nested table that you want to sort. This is similar to selecting the contents of a cell and sorting the contents without sorting the table that includes them. In other words, each nested table must be sorted separately; selecting a column that contains another table will not cause the subordinate table to sort.
Columns that contain nested tables may not sort in the order expected. The sort order depends on the contents and design of the nested tables. One way to force a desired sort order is to manually place numbers or text prior to the table in the cell that contains the table.
NOTE: The numbers and text used to force sort order may be formatted as hidden text. Hidden text can be displayed during the sort and then hidden so that it does not appear in the output. The options for displaying or printing hidden text are on the Tools menu, under Options, under the Print and View tabs. Text can be formatted as hidden text in the Font dialog box on the Format menu.