I don't know about you, but the order in which apt-cache shows results makes it harder to find what you're looking for. What I tend to do is pipe the results through either sort or grep. To automate this I use a function in the shell.
Add the following to your $HOME/.bashrc (or whatever your shell is, zsh with $HOME/.zshrc is my default shell on most of my machines for instance)
# Initial space will be optional if no options are given
[ "$(echo " $*" | grep -E '[[:space:]]*search[[:space:]]')" ] && search=true
if [ "$search" ]; then
command apt-cache $* | sort
command apt-cache $*
Then things like:
apt-cache search kate
are now sorted alphabetically.
Note things like:
apt-cache search -h
will not work as expected. Also, if the package is just called search it might do strange things (currently not an issue.)