Clarification on collections and reordering files

I would appreciate some clarification, or hopefully confirmation, about how this feature works, so I can have a better understanding of what I’m doing, or think I’m doing.

Let’s say I have 10 files, plain docs, all sitting at the same level inside a container, which itself has no local content (other than its sub files.)

Now let’s say I want to view these in a collection, so I can rearrange their order without affecting their order in the top level binder.

Let’s also say I would like to do this rearranging alternately in the corkboard and in the sidebar collection list.

There are two ways I’ve been doing this.

  1. I select the 10 docs then click the new collection button.

  2. I select the 10 docs along with their parent folder, then create a new collection.

When I do 1, then go to the collection, I can reorder documents by dragging (or by kb shortcuts) directly in the sidebar list, without affecting their order in the binder. But if I try to rearrange order in the corkboard, it’s not allowed.

When I do 2, then go to the collection, the same behavior as 1 (including reordering not affecting the binder) applies within or among the 10 docs, which can not be drag-reordered through the corkboard, and that in order to use the CB for reordering, I need to select the container item, and only the container item: adding anything to the selection of a single container throws the CB into “fixed order” mode (which may well display a different ordering than the one I was just looking at.)

Am I right about that? That’s what I think I’m seeing.

If the above is correct, then I have another question. (If it’s not, I’m more confused than I know…maybe I should stop here and wait for confirmation…but no…)

Is it also correct that the corkboard can’t be used to play around with doc order: When in CB view, the only way to reorder docs without affecting the binder order, is by moving them directly in the sidebar… which requires selecting at least one item… which will immediately knock you out of CB view, which you’ll be returned to as soon as you select more than 1 item. AND THEREFORE: Whenever you are able to reorder cards on the corkboard, the binder order WILL be affected.

That also seems like what I’m seeing.

If all of the above is correct then, does it follow that while there may be reasons to create a single collection by selecting a container along with its individual docs, doing so can complicate things because you are in some sense commingling two different document sets with respect to absolute binder order?

If i’ve got that correct, it would account for some the confusion and unexpected results I’m seeing while restructuring docs and folders.

All insight appreciated. Thank you!

Until we have programmed in a way to directly view the collection list in the main editor’s group view, you can’t use the editor for collection management. When you select the entire collection list, if you look close at the header bar in the editor, it’s actually a “Multiple Selection”, not the collection list. A multiple selection can come from anywhere at all, and so changing the order of things within it would in most cases have no logical result (moving item A in between X and Y, when X and Y are 80 items apart in the Binder, for instance), hence movement and addition is completely disabled.

When there is a way of doing this in the editor, you would click a special button that loads the collection in the editor, and then its name would show up in the header bar, and changes made within it would be reflected immediately in the sidebar.

When you select a folder from a collection like this, it will display the Binder contents of that folder (in this case that also happens to be the rest of the collection list). So if you re-order things in there you will be changing the natural order in the Binder. As you note this is just a normal editor selection, so selecting other things to move them around in the sidebar will as usual, load that thing in the editor. This is simple to get around, just lock the editor in place so that external clicks do not change its content—this is exactly the sort of thing Lock in Place is designed for. Now you can use the corkboard as a reference of the original order, while working in the collection sidebar.

I wouldn’t say there is a huge need to add the parent container if its something you intend to do right then. For instance I would select the container before switching to the collection, lock the editor in place, and then work on the collection order. I don’t need the folder in the collection because I’ve already got it locked in the main editor.

There is another flaw that will be fixed that will make the application of an alternate order easier, too. When this is fixed you’ll be able to drag the collection list into the locked corkboard, thus “moving” the items back into their original folder but in the new order. This currently doesn’t work right as the click and drag action does not correctly store the collection item list order.

This may already be fixed in the beta, I’m not around Windows at the moment to test that.

You can’t drag and drop to the locked editor from the collection to update the order, but in the beta you can use the Move To menu to send the items back to their parent container in the new order.

Ioa and MM, thank you for your replies. They were helpful in clarifying the relationship between collections and the binder, and the difference between collection and container listings – and why you would, but more often would not, want to include a container in a collection that also included items from inside that container. It makes sense once you see it. Very interesting.

MM, using the beta, when I do what you’re describing here – moving items form a collection back to their parent container in a new order – the result I’m getting is rather unusual, to put it mildly: Scrivener immediately disappears from memory, without any error messages, and without a trace. :open_mouth:

I’ll post this over in the beta forum with additional details, but am mentioning it here just as followup to your reply.

Thanks again!