Meta-Data- Allow Sorting by Date

Currently, Meta-data formats everything as text. This means that when you use meta-data to attach dates to documents, there is no way to sort them by date in outline view. The program either tries to list them alphabetically (if you write out the date) or it sorts them as if they are numbers (if you enter numeric dates). Would it be possible to add date formatting as an option for the meta-data fields and date sorting as an option for the outline view?

If you need to sort by dates, using a numerical descendant format is the way to go. YYYY-MM-DD is a pretty good format to use. We do have plans for making custom meta-data more varied in the future, and some kind of date type field is definitely on that list (as speculative). Don’t expect anything soon though, these are longer term plans. For now, using a date format that is easily sortable is the way to go.


Yes, as Ioa says, using the format YYYY-MM-DD allows dates to be sorted. I’ll be looking at possibly adding more meta-data types, including dates, for version 3.0 - way off in the future! - but nothing is definite just yet. Date entry is particularly tricky, as there is no really good standard Mac OS X control for entering dates into a table/outline (or anywhere else for that matter).

All the best,

As you suggested, I used the descendant format to enter all the dates. It worked very well, and now I can sort docs by date in outline view. But here’s the thing: I’d like to look at the full text of all the documents together, in a chronological composite. I can sort the docs by date in outline view, but then when I click to return to document view, the documents return to their original order in the binder. So do I have to hand sort all the docs the binder by date? (I have a lot of docs, so this could take some time). Or is there a way to see a composite view sorted chronologically? Or have the binder automatically sort the documents for me?

Make sure you are using a “Multiple Selection” instead of a folder view for the session, the outliner sort is only a feature of the outliner. If you switch to corkboard it will still use the natural binder order as well. But a multiple selection is an ad hoc construct that doesn’t “exist” anywhere, it’s built on the fly and can have any order to it. This is really easy to do. Just select the entire contents of the outliner and hit Cmd-Opt-O to “Open” them in the outliner. When you do that, you’ll see the header bar switch to “Multiple Selection”. Now the order you see is the underlying order since this has nothing to do with the binder any more. Switch to Scrivenings mode and you should be good.

Thank you! You just saved me a lot of work. But here’s a suggestion: allow users to create a new collection based on a metadata sort. So, I could use the metadata to create a chronological timeline in outline view, then save that sort (in that order) as a collection. Having a binder version of the sort would be useful for editing, compiling, printing, exporting, etc.

And… never mind. I just realized that you CAN do that. For anyone needing to do this: 1) create a new (empty) collection. 2) Run the sort in outline view 3) Once the docs are sorted, select all of the docs in outline view 4) Drag and drop them into the new collection.

Yup! You got it. The other way you can do it is click the + button above the collection tabs, as that will use the existing selection (in its current order) to populate the new collection. So the key trick here is that a selection in Scrivener is always true to the order that you see it in. What that means is, if you did want to reorganise your binder according to this sort, you wouldn’t have to do any manual work at all. You can just select the sorted items and drag them back into the folder they came from. Since that would ordinarily move items to another spot in the binder, and the selection order is respected, it has the effect to reordering the items according to the sort.