Sort Dialog results different than menu

Displayed below is my attempt to use the Sort Dialog to sort a db by 2 fields. When I sort using the menus, I get the records sorted first by Acronym, then by Org. This works as expected. But if I choose to use the Sort Dialog, the result is different, with the sort by Org not pulling all ‘empty’ cell org records to the top. Hmmm. I am attaching a .gif but it does not appear to be displaying. Is there something more I need to do to make that be a link?

Sort by menu is different than by Dialog

I’ve added the above offsite link as the forum’s upload link in the text of this post (invisible below this line) is not displaying for me or others.

Sort by menu different than by Dialog

The dialog is doing a sortwithin for all subsequent sorts. It isn’t emphasized, but that is the way it is documented to work.


Wow. I got that it was supposed to be sorting within as that is what a 2nd sort is supposed to do.

But with what you said and another look at it, the trick is while using the menus, I sort first the Acronym, then the Org, and that gives me what I want.

But with the Sort Dialog, to get the same thing, I have to do it logically backwards. My first or top sort is Org, then the next is Acronym. Just not intuitive for me that they are in that opposite order from the menu order. Thanks Dave for studying it deeper.

When you used the menus, you used SortUp both times. If you had used SortUpWithin for the second sort, you would have gotten the same result as the dialog.

If you are sorting a list of names, there are two valid ways to do it. You can sort by last name, then sort up within by first name, or you can sort by first name, then sort by last name. Both methods give the same result.

The dialog does it the first way. I think most people would consider that to be more intuitive than the second.

It’s not emphasized because it seems obvious to me that this is how it should work – the top line has the top priority, then less priority for each following line. I believe my judgement is confirmed by the fact that until now no one has questioned this for five years.

In the early days, OverVUE required sorting fields in reverse order, as Robert is doing. This caused no end of confusion, which was mitigated by adding the Sort Within commands, allowing a more “natural” sort order. The Sort dialog uses this natural order.

Yep. I’m sure my brain is wired from OverVUE days before we had SortWithin. I do make use of Sort Within as necessary but my SortUp habits are the way they are. If it works for the majority, god bless 'em.

I brainwashed you so well it hasn’t worn off in 35 years!

I can no longer remember when Sort Within appeared, maybe it was OverVUE 2.0, maybe some version of Panorama. Too long ago.

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