Sort Folder / Cards

Please add the ability to sort the items in a Folder. The outline view already has almost everything needed, but clicking on the column title doesn’t change the sort order.

When the user clicks on the column title, the items should be sorted based on that column and the sort should stick. If the user switches to Corkboard view, the cards would now be re-arranged in that order.

If there is a concern that the user may accidentally sort a project, creating a mess of a finely ordered list, then the ability to sort could be confirmed via dialog, or as an option that is set in the preferences.

Alternatively, the user may be able to always go back to some pre-set order based on the order in which the items where originally entered, and when the user manually makes a change, the internal list keeping track of this would be updated to reflect that new, revert to, order.

You can sort alphabetically by ascending and descending by selecting a container and then choosing the sort order from the Documents menu. This will permanently change the outline order.

I believe the reason why dynamic sorting was never implemented is that since all of the views are strictly alternate displays of book text order, sorting by some arbitrary value would make no sense. So it was never coded into the basic system to start with. In other words, Corkboard and Outliner are not really data views, they are book outline views—with extra data[1].

[1]: Yes, not always strictly true. Search results and multiple selection corkboards being the primary exceptions; but they are still in outline order—just with potential omissions.


As Amber has already pointed out, you can already do exactly as you wish by using Sort from the Documents menu (which already has a confirmation dialogue). (Just search for “sort” in the Help file…)

You most certainly should not be able to sort by clicking on column titles in the outliner. The outliner - as with the binder and corkboard - is a view which allows you to drag items around in any order you wish. Views such as those in the Finder or iTunes which allow you to sort by clicking on column titles display data which really has no fixed order and can thus be sorted arbitrarily. Note that you cannot drag or drop to reorder in such views. In contrast, the views in Scrivener represent data of a fixed order which can be arranged however you wish - which is very important in a book project. Thus, any sort can only be permanent.

Obviously, it would be impossible for Scrivener to remember any “original” order as you may drag in other files, drag them out etc.

Anyway, Documents > Sort is what you are after.


One place where I would argue for the importance of sort is the Document search window. (Yes, I know they are already there!) At this point, there is very little to sort on, but if you introduce timeline chronology metadata fields (as in the Beedoc integration thread) we could chose to edit selected scrivenings in either document (narrative) order or internal chronology order. Both can be useful in context.

There are absolutely no plans to add chronology tags. The Beeline thread is a lot of blue sky thinking at the moment. A lot of people have drifted into making lots of elaborate suggestions for Scrivener, but really that thread should just be about import/export integration. The search window just returns a list of search results that can be sorted alphabetically. I have no plans to change that, as it already does exactly what it is supposed to do. Sorry!


I was looking for information about sorting the outline view by label, status, etc and found this thread.

I’ll also post in the feature request forum, just in case this is the wrong place.

I’m honestly confused by the responses to sorting here. I don’t see the point of including metadata like labels, status, keywords, etc if you can’t use that data to sort your messy pile of material.

I understand not wanting to obliterate the outline as manually constructed in the binder, but the ability to say, sort by status in the outline view to see what needs to written / re-written would be incredibly handy.

Here’s what I had hoped to do, simply by switching to the outline view and clicking on a column (all itunes, as you point out).

I have a complex screen play with 8 major storylines. Naturally, those stories are intercut to create the dramatic structure of the script. However, when it comes to writing and pondering the individual stories, it’s far easier to write them in isolation.

So, if I could “remember” my overall structure, then sort by character (which is my labeling convention) I could work on just that character’s arc. Then, ideally, I’d be able to sort it back into my overall screenplay structure.

At a minimum, it would be great to at least get a sorted overview so I can see at glance how many scenes each character is devouring.

But, I don’t seem to be able to do either. I guess I could save different versions of the project and sort by alpha, but that seems clumsy.

Am I missing something?



You can search on label only using the search field, which will sort the binder so that it contains only items with the label for which you have searched. Does that help?
All the best,

Hi Keith,

Thanks for the quick post-- you must be the KING of procrastinating writers! :wink:

A simple search seems to do the trick… I hadn’t noticed the pull-down in the search field (D’oh!)

I knew there had to be a way to do it.