Sort By Date Modified / Created

To see the things I most recently edited - instinctively I would:
i. Make a new collection
ii Sort by date

I didn’t see any option to actually do this, only to sort by ascending or descending. So I began my research.

Sort alphabetically
Re-ordering Documents problem btw outline/binder
Can you filter documents by date?

It appears that I must
i. Make a new collection
ii. Switch to outliner mode
iii. Sort by date
iv. Make a new collection

As I don’t generally work with collections, is this the only way to go about it, or am I missing a more elegant work flow?


To avoid collections, this is what I would do:

  1. Type a * into the Search field (which will present everything in the Binder as a flat file structure)
  2. Switch to Outline view, make sure Modified Date is one of columns (Ctrl-click the column header to add if it isn’t), then click that to sort by it.

Then you will see your project sorted by Mod Date and you can click on any document to see the whole thing, and use the < Back key in Outline to get back to your sorted list.


That helps loads. Fascinating use of the “*”.

Due to the way I work, I’ll still make a collection from the new sort order and name it today’s date. The rest of the time I work in the binder, in regular sequence. Then each day when I come back to analyse my most recent work, I’ll make a new collection.


That trick no longer works (if it ever did), because searching on * doesn’t give a flat list. Is that because I activated lock group mode on my folders?

Are you searching in the sidebar? Those results will always be flat, both in the sidebar and in the editor. But it’s maybe worth getting one ingredient out of the way that I don’t think was explicitly mentioned above: you have to click on the hook arrow button, to the right of where you’d close search results in the sidebar. That’s how you get search results into a place where you can sort by any form of metadata Scrivener supports as columns. Refer to The Collection Header Bar, in §10.2.1, The Collection Tab List of the user manual for more information and screenshots.

I like a two-pane layout for that kind of stuff myself. I put the sorted search results in the left split and link it to a Scrivenings editor in the other. Whatever I select or click on in the left split shows up on the right.

One other trick that I’ve been making use of – rather than just searching on * and getting EVERYTHING, I type:


This gives me everything modified in the last one day. I’ve saved a few search collection for different variants of this (mdate:7d for last 7 days, mdate:1m for the last month).

Also, right below the “Search Results” header, I have a little menu that defaults to “Binder Order”. I switch that to “Sort by Date” and then I don’t need to open the entire collection in the outliner (although sometimes I do).

I’ve done all of these searches in both the Mac 3.x version and the Windows 3 beta and it works great.

I was NOT getting a flat search result. * shouldn’t have given me any folders (they’re empty), so I must have had search options set to something weird. I thought, before getting a flat search result, I unlocked all the folders, but now I see that most are still locked to Group Mode. That means changing them all at once doesn’t work … which I already knew but forgot.

HOWEVER, mdate and cdate are brilliant, sschertz! Thanks for that.

It’s impossible for you to have had a structured hierarchy in your binder sidebar if the project search tab is selected. :slight_smile: Post screenshots of each step you are taking if you think you’ve found a way to do this.

As for weird settings: searching “*” for “All” will return every binder item, full stop. Why? Every binder item has a title, even if that title is generic or dynamically generated from text content, that is a title, and that means the item Has Stuff, which all the asterisk cares about.

I have a project that contains texts oringally maintained in Journler, which is no longer supported and anyway as a 32-bit program no longer runs under macOS 12.6 Monterey. Knowing that Journler would become unusable when Apple enforced a 64-bit environment I exported all the texts each into a separate file. Journler exported the texts into a heirarchy of directories by year, then month, then day of the month.

Began to import these files into a new Scrivener project but unforntunately lost track of where I reached in the import (my ancient Mac mini dead) and now need to pick up where I left off. Many of these texts were in folders (actually Journler Smart Folders) and I have been importing the texts into similarly named folders in the Project’s Binder. The files are imported respecting the original creation date in Journler :grinning: but the folders have much later dates on them, for example texts originally created in 2007 are now filed in a Scrivener folder dated 2020, which is when the demise of my old Mac Minii.

I need to find where I reached that I can pick up from there and continue. Thought that using Scrivener’s Outliner may help by sorting on created date but that sorts the folders first then the texts within them. It is difficult to see what was the last text imported and into which folder.

Any ideas of how to find the last text I imported would be greatly appreciated.

If you run a project search in All using the asterisk (*) as the search term, you’ll get a list of everything in the binder. You can then click into the bar just below the Search Results title and change the sort order from the default Binder Order to Sort by Date to arrange the results by their created date. Or if you want more control and details, you can load the results into the outliner and they’ll display there as a flat list so you’ll be able to use the outliner columns for sorting in reference to the entire list rather than within containers.

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Clicking with the Right mousebutton on the looking glass icon above the Binder, shows small menu allowing you to search documents on the creation date or modification date.

I believe the functionalty was a bit buggy, but maybe it can work wonders for you.

Check the Scrivener Manual for details on how to enter correct search options.

Hope this helps.

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@MimeticMouton Thanks that works beautifully. Found the last of those texts I imported.
@AntoniDol Mimetic beat you to an answer.

Both suggestions revealed things I didn’t know about despite having used Scrivener since 2008!

Now to go finish importing all the other texts.

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Anyway to list only the docs/sections I modified today?

I’ve merged your newly formed query into an ongoing discussion. Note in particular this post, which has the precise solution you’re asking for.

Is there a proper way to create a collection (saved search) that will list all of the documents in a project sorted by creation date?

I tried “cdate:700d” with the Sort by Date option selected, and it generated a list, but soon discovered that the list was not sorted by creation date.


I don’t think it can be done in the collection per se, but if you click this

…it’ll show the whole of the collection in the editor.
Set the editor to outliner view, and you can sort by pretty much anything you want.

Use dual editor if needed.

Then you don’t even need to make it a collection.

Thanks. That will do the trick.

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See also this post, above, where a more reliable “find all” token can be substituted for what you are using currently. I know in a lot of my projects 700d refers to relatively recent additions, considering how long they stretch back! :laughing:

I would also add that once you have such a collection set up, you can get to it a lot more easily by right-clicking on the icon in the editor’s header bar and using the “Go To Collection” submenu, which will take you straight to it, without disturbing what you’re doing in the sidebar or requiring multiple steps.

The only thing that is a bit awkward is how Scrivener never remembers the sort order for a view or listing, nor any way of locking one to it, like you can in Finder windows and such. That you always have to manually adjust.

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Thanks for posting the further clarification! This will definitely help as I have documents in my project that were created more than four years ago:-).

Hi — My projects have each many files (some have thousands), and I am currently working on 6 projects at the same time. In a work session I may work on many different files, across the projects. Is there a way to list the files in a project by ‘Last Modified’ or something equivalent?

Thank you! Cheers!!