DT3: How to set secondary sort criteria?

I’m trying to set how my documents sort. I’ve got some labeled documents with the Standard view and sorting by that attribute. I want the secondary sort criteria to be modified date. In other apps I can set secondary, etc… sort order by the order I click on the columns.

  1. Select Created column
  2. Select Modified column
  3. Select Label column.

After step 1. the sort order will be Created.
After step 2. the sort order will be Modified, Created.
After step 3. the sort order will be Label, Modified, Created.

Is there any way to achieve this in the Standard view?

1 Like

No, multiple criteria aren’t supported yet.


Please implement this feature.


Any update on this feature - it really would be useful to sort - for example - on type, and then on date added.

No, there is nothing to report. And as you can see there has been little push for implementation as the last bump was over 2.5 years ago.

This experimental script sorts by kind and addition date.


  • Select a group in the navigate sidebar
  • Run script

The script opens a new window with the selected group’s children sorted by the criteria you’ve set in the script, in the script below it’s by kind and addition date.

You can change the sort order (ascending or descending) of each criteria independently.

(In the current state of the script one has to set the sort criteria inside the script (instead of setting them in a property block at the start of the script) which is not ideal but necessary. I’ve got an idea how to make it more user friendly but no time at the moment to check whether that would work.)

Click to see the script
-- Experimental script: Sort selected group's children by primary and secondary sort criteria

-- Set your primary sort criteria and its sort order
-- Set your secondary sort criteria and its sort order
-- Select one group in the sidebar

use AppleScript version "2.4"
use framework "Foundation"
use scripting additions

tell application id "DNtp"
		if exists (root of viewer window 1) then
			set theGroup to (root of viewer window 1)
			error "Please select one group in the sidebar"
		end if
		show progress indicator "Sorting... " steps 3 as string with cancel button
		-- Set your primary and secondary sort criteria here
		-- e.g. addition date, comment, creation date, kind, label, modification date, name, path, rating, tags, unread 
		set primarySort_Properties to kind of children of theGroup
		set primarySort_Ascending to true
		set secondarySort_Properties to addition date of children of theGroup
		set secondarySort_Ascending to true
		step progress indicator "Fetching properties... "
		set theUUIDs to uuid of children of theGroup
		set theClass_1 to class of (item 1 of primarySort_Properties)
		set theClass_2 to class of (item 1 of secondarySort_Properties)
		set theProperties_record to {}
		repeat with i from 1 to (count theUUIDs)
			set thisProperty_1 to (item i of primarySort_Properties)
			if theClass_1 = list then set thisProperty_1 to my tid(my sort_list(thisProperty_1), ",")
			set thisProperty_2 to (item i of secondarySort_Properties)
			if theClass_2 = list then set thisProperty_2 to my tid(my sort_list(thisProperty_2), ",")
			set end of theProperties_record to {property_1:thisProperty_1, property_2:thisProperty_2, uuid_:(item i of theUUIDs)}
		end repeat
		step progress indicator "Preparing result... "
		set theProperties_record_sorted to my sortByProperty1AndProperty2(theProperties_record)
		set theSortedChildren to {}
		repeat with this_record in theProperties_record_sorted
			set thisChild to (get record with uuid (uuid_ of this_record))
			set end of theSortedChildren to thisChild
		end repeat
		set newWindow to open window for record (root of current database)
		set search results of newWindow to theSortedChildren
		hide progress indicator
	on error error_message number error_number
		hide progress indicator
		if the error_number is not -128 then display alert "DEVONthink" message error_message as warning
	end try
end tell

on sortByProperty1AndProperty2(theList)
	set theArray to current application's NSArray's arrayWithArray:theList
	set theSelector_1 to "localizedCompare:"
	if my theClass_1 is not in {text, list} then set theSelector_1 to "compare:"
	set theDescriptor_1 to current application's NSSortDescriptor's sortDescriptorWithKey:"property_1" ascending:(my primarySort_Ascending) selector:theSelector_1
	set theSelector_2 to "localizedCompare:"
	if my theClass_2 is not in {text, list} then set theSelector_2 to "compare:"
	set theDescriptor_2 to current application's NSSortDescriptor's sortDescriptorWithKey:"property_2" ascending:(my secondarySort_Ascending) selector:theSelector_2
	set newList to (theArray's sortedArrayUsingDescriptors:{theDescriptor_1, theDescriptor_2}) as list
end sortByProperty1AndProperty2

on sort_list(theList)
	considering numeric strings
		set theIndexList to {}
		set theSortedList to {}
		repeat (length of theList) times
			set theLowItem to ""
			repeat with a from 1 to (length of theList)
				if a is not in theIndexList then
					set theCurrentItem to item a of theList as text
					if theLowItem is "" then
						set theLowItem to theCurrentItem
						set theLowItemIndex to a
					else if theCurrentItem comes before theLowItem then
						set theLowItem to theCurrentItem
						set theLowItemIndex to a
					end if
				end if
			end repeat
			set end of theSortedList to theLowItem
			set end of theIndexList to theLowItemIndex
		end repeat
	end considering
	return theSortedList
end sort_list

on tid(theList, theDelimiter)
	set d to AppleScript's text item delimiters
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to theDelimiter
	set theList_string to theList as text
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to d
	return theList_string
end tid

I would also find this feature very helpful.