Sorting in Outline View—Failure?

I have a reason for sorting my Label (I call it Status Label) in the outline view. In this screenshot, you’ll see that I’ve told the app to sort by Status Label, descending (note down caret in heading). However, it is not sorted by Status Label at all:

Am I misunderstanding how sorting the outline works?

Sorting in the Outline won’t violate the outline structure, it will only sort within a given outline level.

You can pull the items of interest out to a Collection, which is a flat list and will sort normally. Or if your goal is to find all items with a given label, you can search for that label.


Okay, thanks. That’s different.

The quickest way to sort by the entire list of items as peers, rather than sorting within containers individually, is to hit ⌘A + ⌥⌘A + ⌥⌘O. That will Select All, then “Select with Subdocuments” and finally Open in Current Editor—the results of which will be a flat “Multiple Selection”. Hit ⌘[ when you’re done, to go Back to the normal outline view.

Thanks, that worked, but exposed another problem. Namely, Scrivener can’t sort “Scene” differently from “Scene.”

My reason for doing this is that I want no document types to be defined based on their structure. So, I wanted to sort them all, then select all the "Scene"s and change them to "Scene"s. I can’t do that easily because sorting doesn’t put them together, and I can’t easily select them all.

Consider that no one on Earth will intuitively know the difference between a Scene and a Scene. This difference, “Scene” vs. “Scene [structure based]” would be more easily understood.

I’ve just tested this. If I have an outliner view in which there are only “Scene” documents, whether italicised or not :smiley: ,
I need only select all the rows, and right-click, choose Section Type > Scene, and all documents will be forced to “Scene” (not italicised). I believe this will accomplish what you’d like to accomplish.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the help.

The problem for me is I can’t get an outliner view in which there are only “Scene” documents, whether italicised or not. Is there some way to do that?

That is, those are interspersed with the other types, and I found that sorting can’t put all the scenes in one place.

With project search:

  • Type the word "scene
  • Set your search options to
    [*]search in: Section Type
  • Operator Type : Exact Phrase
  • Options : [whatever will get you only the scenes you want]
    ]In you search results (in the Binder column), select all[/:m]
    ]In the editor that displays the selected docs, switch to outline view[/:m]
    ]The outliner should now contain all and only the things you want to be not-structure-based scenes.[/:m]
    ]Select all the outliner rows[/:m]
    ]right-click and in the pop-up menu, select Section Type > Scene [/*:m][/list:u]
    Hope this helps!

Unless you are using the sort feature specifically to separate out which items have their Type forced or not, I don’t think that’s a common problem. Think of it in the effective sense: if you want a list of every scene in the book, at that level you aren’t going to care about the mechanics of whether it got to be a scene by default or setting.

Yes, specifically speaking, there is a good way to do that. In your outliner hit ⌘F, expand options, and set up the filter to Include: “Items with Section Type”: “Scene”. It is a very transient filter. If you navigate away and come back it will be gone—but ⌘F resummons the previous filter settings for you.

While that would help you out all by itself, I think the simplest and most effective way to do what you want is with an unusual Project Search setup:

  • Type a single * into the Project Search field.
  • Search in: Section Type
  • Invert Results

Hopefully that all makes sense, but to lay out what is going on here: The asterisk all by itself is a special search symbol for “find everything”. With default search settings, that’ll return every single object in the binder in one big flat list.

Handy, but refining settings further down is where cool things like this can be done. Setting the scope of the search to one field means, “find everything that has keywords”, if we chose Keywords, naturally. So in this case, we are asking for every item that has an explicit Section Type assigned to it. Structural assignments are not considered data by this tool. Finally, by inverting the search result we get a list of all items that do not have an explicit assignment, i.e. are structurally-based.

That’s probably good enough, click the hook arrow button to throw the results over into your Outliner and sort by Type. You can make your batch assignments all in one go. You’ll note as you do that the view won’t disrupt as you work—undoing mistakes would be annoying otherwise. Click the hook button whenever you want to refresh the results.

Excellent. Thanks, guys.

I always found the structure-based assignments problematic, so I will use your tips to make sure all the documents and folders have types that are explicitly defined.