Sorting keywords in Inspector

I would like to add the option to sort the keywords in the binder to the wish list. So an A-Z and Z-A sort option per document with the possibility to select multiple documents and set the sorting for the entire selection.

When no sorting is selected for a document then the last order of sequence applies and you can drag the keywords manually like it works today already.

We do not intend to add any kind of sorting to the Binder view (save for hard sorting which actually moves items around in order to achieve a sorted list).

Otherwise, what do you mean by keywords? The feature we refer to as Keywords are a type of meta-data that work more like what you might call “tags” in other programs. They are a kind of meta-data that you can add to a binder item, like a label.

Yes, sorry, my fault. I meant Inspector, not Binder (will change post title accordingly).


It would be even better of course if not only one could sort the keywords in he inspector but also be able to optionally see the hierarchy as defined in he Project Keywords window.

I know the hierarchy is for navigation purposes only when selecting the keywords, and once they are assigned to a document they end up as a flat list in the inspector view. But maybe the hierarchy could be blended into the keyword section of the inspector. As you can assign keywords from any hierarchy level to a document you would of course need to distinguish if a keyword in the inspector section is only representing the hierarchy level or if it is actually assigned to the document.

In the example below I have assigned a level 1 keyword as well as two level 2 keywords.


In the inspector this could be shown as:
Category2 (*)

  • keyword2.2 (*)
  • keyword2.3 (*)

So the asterisk would indicate the actual assignment. Could be any kind of visual marker though. While this example:

could be shown as:

Category2 ()

  • keyword2.2 (*)
  • keyword2.3 (*)

Thanks for posting a clarification, that makes much more sense.

I think both of these ideas hinge off of one premise: that the order of keywords in the inspector doesn’t matter. That is of course one condition of how the tool can be used, in a number of my projects that use keywords, it doesn’t really matter what order they are in. But order can matter, and the design is built around the ability for the order to matter. For example on index cards you can choose to show a certain quantity of colour-coded keyword strips along the side. If a card had twice as many keywords as could be shown on its card, and you made use of that capability, being able to influence the “top 5” keywords in such a way would be vital.

Both alphabetical sorting and hierarchical filing would limit that capability. For the latter, you couldn’t have “keyword 2.2” prominently displayed on index cards without “Category2” taking an obligatory slot above it. For each keyword you added that had a parent, you’d be doubling up on the visualisation. It would also be a bit awkward moving hierarchies around like that. What if you want “keyword 2.2” on the card (in the top five) but “keyword 2.3” relatively hidden at the bottom of the list? So I don’t think that mechanism is quite the right tool for how keywords work in this program.

Another solution I have seen done before in photo management software is to generate compound keyword names, where only the final clause of the keyword is used to identify it, the rest of the keyword string is there for passive identification by a human. For example, you would drag “keyword2–1” into the inspector and it might be printed in the list as “Category2.keyword2–1”, so you can see what it comes from but it is clearly not a part of the actual keyword, nor is it assigned to the card, and for cases where you have keywords like “Category1.thing” and “Category2.thing” you can till which is which in two lines of text rather than four. It also means the whole thing can be represented with one colour swatch on the index card.

At any rate, we’re going to be giving keywords a closer look at in the future. We have a lot of stuff to get out of the way before that point, but I’ve saved this thread to my notes on that.

Thanks for considering this. The compound keyword idea with the hierarchy paths in Object Dot-Notation would be a very good solution, but again, without sorting, like paths (siblings and parent/child keywords) would be scattered around the document keyword section.

When it is the time for enhancing the keyword functionality, maybe think about this: not the order of keywords in a document should define which keywords appear on the colour-coded keyword strips but an additional setting in the Project Keywords. You could assign “strip appearance priorities” from 1 - n and thus the top x ranked keywords assigned to a document would colour the strip regardless of assignment order in the document. Quite likely users want to see cards coloured by important keywords which is probably a project-global setting and therefore the same for all documents. Currently users have to make sure that in every single document the keyword order is so that their top keywords also appear on top. What if another keyword becomes vital which so far was only on a low position in the document keywords? Go through all documents and “hoist” the keyword? Instead you could simply promote the keyword’s priority in a single action.

And then combine this with the capability to alternatively use small 16x16 icons instead of keyword colours, like the old Writer’s Café application did it … well, enough for now :wink: