Sort by date created or date modified

Is there a way to sort the documents in the binder (section on the left) by date created or date modified?

If not, then I would suggest it as a future feature.


There is not, and nor will there be, I am afraid. The binder is an outline view - it is impossible to sort an outline view. Table views can be sorted, because they are linear, but outline views are hierarchical so sorting makes no real sense.
Thanks and all the best,

umm…since you can sort alphabetically, it seems to me that you can sort by date, and it makes just as much “sense” to do so. The only difference is what data you are reading when you sort.

You could also, for example, sort by characters or number of words. Any data that the program is able to collect or store is automatically “sortable.”

Because of the folder hierarchy, it may make more sense to “sort within” a folder, but it seems to me that you already have the code worked out, you are just not applying it. or…

Also, Search Results returns columns that are sortable by Title, Label and Status. It could be added there. Is there a way to open that window without doing a search?

Lastly, I find I have to make a Label that matches the status because there is no way to locate documents by status, (at least that I have found yet.) By tinting the icon with the Label color I can make it stand out, but it would make more sense to be able to sort/search in the “table view” that the Search Results provides. Is there a way to locate documents based on status besides opening them?

Maybe it would be a good approach to make the Search Results window a “table view” so it can give the user the power to sort and search based on various criteria. You could still maintain the binder sort as the “real” storage format, but documents could be sorted on the fly differently.


The search results table is a table view, but that is not what you asked about - you asked about the “binder”. And the binder cannot be sorted alphabetically, so your assertion is wrong there. If you asking whether a date column could be added to the search results table, that is a different question altogether. That would be possible, though I doubt it is something I would add any time soon, as 1.1 is fast approaching and updates will be sparse for a while after that.

I think Steve is referring to the fact that you can select a folder in the Binder, and choose Sort Ascending/Descending from the Documents menu. Of course, this is a one shot sort that makes a permanent change in the structure of the outline, not a temporary column sort.

Are you meaning that you want a one-shot date sort?

Keith, my post was more exploratory than “this is what I want,” based on your answer, but AmberV seems to have caught my drift. If it is possible to sort based on A, then sorting based on B, C, D etc., as also possible was my only point. I am not hung up on sorting in binder view, and I think it would be better to not sort in binder view at all, like you suggested, but rather in table view. (Although, as a developer myself, I try not to make such decisions for users, and tend to give them both options instead.)

There was a time gap in the construction of my post, which is why the second part of my post focuses on using the table view, questions about sorting/locating by status, etc. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t asking for things that didn’t already exist, and I learned more in the interim.

It does seem logical to me that you should be able to search (or sort) by status, date, etc., without looking at each individual document, which could number in the hundreds. Scrivener is a database of written snippets, like iTunes is a database of sound snippets. Search and selecting based on any stored criteria available is a pretty basic expectation. Anything that is put “in” should be able to be used to get “out,” particularly unique key fields like dates, status, etc. They are begging to be sorted, and “sorted within.”

I realize that what I am talking about is more related to managing the data than writing it, but again I would suggest that you already have most of the tool built, you just need to add the extra variables to the existing framework. Perhaps in 1.2?

Are you sure Scrivener is the right tool for what you are trying to do?

Searching by date (or another variable) across hundreds of documents sounds to me like a task for either Spotlight/the Finder, or a database like DevonThink. While it might be possible to add that functionality to Scrivener, it seems to me to lie outside its scope, as a tool focused on the composition of individual projects.


Disclaimer: I’m just a user, though. Keith is of course the ultimate definer of Scrivener’s scope.

Scrivener is definitely the right tool, but maybe the way I collect ideas/data is a little unorthodox.

Still, being able to easily locate my “to-do” status documents (or whatever grouping is used) within a large group of documents seems like a basic enough expectation.

You can create extra folders and group your documents in a hierarchical way, so that your to-do items are always separate.

I have been creating a top-level folder called “notes” for to-do lists and stuff like that which is more complex than can really fit in the document notes or project notes field, and as distinct from “Research” for supporting material.