Using Keywords to chronologically sort binder files (or collection files)

I apologize if this has been addressed previously, as I’ve searched through the forums and seen the topic of sorting keywords discussed but never chronological sorting addressed specifically.

In short, I’m wondering if it’s possible to sort a selection of Binder files that use a year as a keyword, and to sort them chronologically.

Specifically, I have a parent folder containing various sub-folders and files, and dozens of them are coded with Keywords. Some contain years as keywords, others do not. And, the year is not always the first keyword on the file. So for example, let’s say I have a folder containing 15 files, and each file has a keyword sequence, one being:


and another file has keywords:


and another file has keywords:


My ultimate goal is to be able to take all these files and have them sorted chronologically by the year keyword. (All the YEAR keywords are in YYYY eg 2018 format). FWIW, there are no other keywords that contain numbers: only the year keywords.

Is this possible?

I’ve started working on a couple of work-arounds, like making a collection with folders for each year, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, etc and then searching for keywords containing that year, and manually pulling them into the folders, but that is obviously quite laborious, particularly if there’s a keyword sort option that can do this more efficiently.

I’d use custom metadata for the year, rather than a keyword, in order to avoid the complications of having more than one keyword.

Generally speaking, though, you can sort by any metadata field using the Outliner view. See Section 8,3,4 in the Scrivener 3 manual for how to sort, Section 10.4.1 for more information about custom metadata.


Hi Katherine–
Thanks for such a quick reply.

Sorting the keywords in the Outliner view was where I was hoping to execute the chronological sort.

Is it possible to do so if the Year keywords are not the first keyword in the sequence? As in, sometimes the Year keyword is the first keyword in the sequence, and on other notes the keyword comes third or fourth in the keyword sequence?

It looks like in either case the custom metadata will be the way to go going forward. But the large number of files where I’ve set things up with keywords, is there a solution?

Thanks again for your help.


You can use a Collection to assign metadata to multiple files at once. So you can search for all files with keyword ‘2018,’ then select those files and assign the new date field to them.

If you have multiple keywords, the Outliner will sort in the order in which they’re entered. So no, sorting by keywords directly probably won’t give the results you want.


That is very helpful, thank you. The use of the custom metadata in the collection searching is terrific. If I can ask one more question related to the metadata.

In the manual section 10.4 on exporting metadata between projects it says of Drag & Drop and Import for custom metadata fields: "

Is there another way to export custom metadata from one project to another? I have one List type custom field with about 40 List Items. Can this be ‘copied’ ‘pasted’ from one project to another?

thanks again for all your help.