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In the meantime (since we already do set files in alpha order) I am going to change your title will update your feature from "in Files, it would be really much better to be able to set an order for the files, without having to number them." to "Allow Drag and Drop reordering of Files" and it will go up for voting on October 7th!
This idea is now open for voting.
I'd like to learn more from voters on this thread about why a custom sort would be useful. We'd love all the details around the workflows in Canvas that have you looking in Files and frustrated because perhaps you can't find exactly what you need OR frustrated because files that are used together are not visually grouped together. Please tell us more what aspect of files today has you looking for custom arrangements. Also, please comment on how folders do or do not meet your needs.
In general, file systems are not designed to support custom drag and drop. They are usually conceived of as "tables" with sortable columns (name, created_at, type). What I'd like to know is how a custom sort order would benefit you? And would you be willing to give up the sortable column paradigm in return?
We will archive this for now, but feel free to leave additional comments about the potential benefits of this idea.
I would really like to see something like what's being described here become available soon. It could be either a click and drag or a "Reorder" function similar to what Scholar had, which worked very well. My primary reason for wanting this new feature is to be able to quickly and easily add new documents in a folder. With the current set-up, the default is to list files alphabetically. So to get them into the order I want I have to number them. So, if I need to add a new file - let's say I find a new resource I want to share - I now have to renumber every item from that point down because I change the order. That could mean having to rename several maybe even a couple dozen files. Alternatively, I have to change a number to a number plus a letter, say, after 12 add 12a or make 12 into 12a and 12b. With a click and drag feature or a re-order feature I cold put the new file where I wanted it without any other disruption or time.
Not sure why one would have to give up sort columns to get a customized default list order. Presuming you add another field/column, a hidden "default order," you could sort the list via this field first, then by file name second. In my experience, it's "files that are used in a specific order are not visible in that order." The expectation that instructors are always going to mediate the Files directory with a tool like Pages and/or Modules adds more clicks and more intervention than necessary. This feels like a cultural barrier more than a technical barrier. This is not just a file directory, it is wayfinding interface -- one in all the rest of the columns (date created, date modified, created by, and file size) are often useless for navigating. In many, many courses, the same person has uploaded all the files, on the same date and never modified them, or only modified them on a random day because they fixed a typo. The Title is really the only useful field, and so sorting by title, with prefixes, is the best way to guide users through the listing... of course, without evoking another tool -- Pages or Modules, etc. And even if you want to use Pages and Modules to add context and guide students through resource files, you are likely to still appreciate custom ordering in Files so that you can easily keep track for yourself of what you've got, and how and when it should be used. By the way, sorting/filtering by availability could be useful.
We have a lot of faculty who currently use the "Resources" tool in Sakai as the main course interface - they upload all of their content there and order the folders according to how they want the students to go through them. They would like the same experience with the Files tool in canvas. Their only other option would be to re-create their folders in Modules by liking to each file and then manually ordering that, which would be a significant amount of work.
The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process. You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.
This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities. This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.
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