Files: Sort by DateTime instead of alphabetically by default

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I noticed that the column sorting on Canvas Files is always alphabetical, even when it is a date column. "Wednesday" was listed after "Saturday" after "Aug 10, 2021". Can Date fields be implemented to sort by default according to the DateTime value instead of alphabetically?  This might involve adding a hidden column for the DateTime value and the text date column would sort according to the hidden column’s value. 

6 Comments
Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Moderating

@Penitentserf  The Files area includes Date Created and Date Modified columns; clicking on the header will sort the files by date in keeping with those specific parameters. The Navigate File Headings section of  How do I use Files as an instructor?  and the View Files section of  How do I use Files as a student? provide screenshots and details.

What additional functionality are you requesting for sorting files by date?

 

Penitentserf
New Member

@Stef_retired I checked our guides and found that it is only sorting date fields alphabetically :

"Files are sorted alphabetically. To sort files, click the name of any column heading."

This is a problem because a date field is often best sorted according to the DateTime value instead of Alphabetically.  For example, one row will have the text “Wednesday” and another row will have the text “Saturday” and a third row will have the text “Aug 18, 2021”.  Sorting these three rows Alphabetically will put “Aug 18, 2021” first, “Saturday” second and “Wednesday” third   However, if today is Aug 26th, 2021, then the correct order should be “Wednesday” first, “Saturday” second, and “Aug 18, 2021” third.  This is the functionality that I am requesting for.

 

Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

@Penitentserf  The default view is for files to be sorted alphabetically. As the quotation pulled from the lesson states, "To sort files, click the name of any column heading." In other words, the sort order is in the hands of the user.

Are you suggesting that the default view be changed from alphabetical order to a date sort? 

Penitentserf
New Member

@Stef_retired Yes. I am suggesting that, for all columns which have a date or time value in them, the default view should be changed from alphabetical order to a date sort.  However, for non-date columns, it makes sense for the default view to still be alphabetical order.

Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thanks for confirming that. I've made a slight edit to the idea description to clarify the request, and we've moved it forward for broader conversation. A change to the default display would affect all users of course files—instructors as well as students–so it will be informative to collect problem statements and use cases for multiple roles.

Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open