Searching For Most Recent Edited Documents

I’m new to Scrivener, and searching the forum has not yet turned up how to:

  1. Searching for the most recently edited documents

  2. Sort a project (or at least a folder within a project) by the most recently edited documents

Sorry if the answer’s out there, I haven’t yet found it.

Thanks …

Hi and welcome!

While you can’t search directly for “most recently edited document”, you can get this easily with the answer to your second question. Try this:

  1. Type an asterisk (*) in the Project Search on the main toolbar and run the search. This will return all documents in the project
  2. Click the “Search Results” header in the binder to load all the documents in the editor
  3. Switch to View > Outliner (Cmd-3) if necessary to display all the documents in the outliner
  4. Select View > Outliner Columns > Modified Date to add that column to the outliner; you can select the header there and drag it right or left to move its position
  5. Click twice in the “Modified Date” column header to sort descending by date, so the most recently edited documents are at the top (first click sorts ascending, second descending, third toggles off sorting).

To save time after the initial set up, you can save the “all documents” search by clicking the magnifying class in the project search bar and choosing “Save As Collection…” so you can easily load it again from its tab in the binder. (View > Collections > Show/Hide Collections will toggle the tab’s visibility, as will the Collections icon to the right of the binder icon on the main toolbar.)

Save the outliner settings (and the rest of the layout) by going to Window > Layouts > Manage Layouts… and clicking the “+” button to add a new layout. Even if you make changes to the layout and outliner columns while you’re working, you can load this layout with the modified date column sorted by applying the layout with the “Save outliner and corkboard settings” option enabled. (If you have made a lot of changes to the layout that you will want to return to after viewing the date-sorted documents, save a new layout before applying the date one, then just apply that saved layout when you’re done.)

Thanks MM. This is helpful, if not a bit complex.

I was hoping there was a way to sort the the Binder Document Listing by date modified. It seem like this would be a more direct, and intuitive way to accomplish this.

That said, how is the Binder view Document Listing organized? Simply by the location where the user has dragged each document?

Not trying to be picky, but if the user modifies several documents in the project and then wants to, say print them out, it seems like it would be easier to simply sort the document list and print the top items.

Yes, that’s the order in the binder, and thank GOD there’s no easy way to (accidentally) arrange them by date modified. That would wreck havoc on novels, research papers, theses, tech manuals, etc…

While what MM showed you looks complex, once you’ve done it all once, and saved the search, you can get to your desired view with a couple of clicks. This is the power of saved searches; something that didn’t used to exist in Scrivener at all, and was created specifically for needs such as yours.

OK, now that you put it like this, I understanding why manual sorting is important in the Binder. Still getting the hang of how Scrivener works. The online video tutorials are very helpful. Thanks.

Once you have selected your recently modified documents, you can either just go to file->print, or you can (probably) compile them by changing the compile target to “current selection” instead of Draft/Manuscript/whatever it’s called in the template you chose.


following up on this older post… I was trying to achieve the same but the sort behavior is not correct. The hierarchy (of folders and documents) will impose itself over the sorting parameter. So e.g- subunits (folders and documents) of the most recently changed container will be sorted before any sub-units of other containers. Is there any ways to ignore the hierachical display?

Thanks for the support

Select everything in your Outline with Edit/Select All (Cmd-A), and then use Documents/Open/in Editor (Opt-Cmd-O). Now you have a flat list of all the visible items in the Outliner. I note in your screenshot that some of the containers are collapsed, that is fine, the hidden child items will simply not be included in your flat list. So if you do want everything, then prior to selecting all, use View/Outline/Expand All.