Outliner Organizes Items Alphabetically?

I thought that outliner will give me the text files in the order I see them in the Binder and that it will allow me to change their order, but it looks like it is organizing them alphabetically according to the title of each text file or according to the label or other criteria listed in the columns. Is there a way to organize the items in outliner in the way I want to see them in the final draft? I have resorted to numbering the items in each folder, but that is somewhat burdensome especially because I am likely to change the order quite often in the early stages of drafting.

You have accidentally sorted the items in your Outliner view.

The outliner is a standard Mac table view. This means you can order it on the fly by any column showing in the outline view. By default the outliner shows you your stuff in the very same order it is in the Binder. When it is in this condition, you can reorder the items in the Outliner and the files will move correspondingly in the Binder.

But you can also sort the items in the Outliner. It sounds like you accidentally sorted yours. Clicking on the Title header of the Title column, will rotate between sort by title, reverse sort by title and unsort. Other columns in the Outliner work the same way. Sorting in the Outliner has no effect on the order of files in your Binder (and you wouldn’t want it too!)

When your Outline is sorted by a column, you can’t move the items around – because they are already in the specified sort order! (And Scriv would have no idea what such a move would mean for the Binder order.)


Thanks, GR. It makes sense now. I thought that by clicking once on the title header it organizes them in alphabetical order from A-Z and that clicking again on the title header organizes them in reverse alphabetical order, Z-A. But from what you are saying, and what I tried now, it organizes them from A-Z only. Clicking again sorts them like in the binder which is great.

I’m surprised by what you’ve just written, Katherina, - because what you expected, and what gr described in his reply for the Title heading sort (i.e. binder order > A-Z sort > Z-A sort > binder order), is what I’ve just seen happen in my version (the latest) of Scrivener.

So I checked again after I read your post. There are three options: A-Z, Z-A, and the flexible default one. For the first two, you will see the arrow up and down. You have to click once more, which is when the arrow disappears, to get to the default setting. This last one is the flexible version where you can move things around, which is matched automatically in the binder. When I am in the A-Z or Z-A mode, I can only nest folders, but I cannot switch the alphabetical order.