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Custom order appears to have been lost


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I noticed that a central table in my database, which used to have its own custom order, is now ordered alphabetically. I haven't used my database in some time, so it's possible I decided to do this a while ago (I deliberately put some tables in alphabetical order). But I do not think I would have had any good reason to. The same thing—loss of custom order—appears to have happened to me once before, several years ago.

Is it possible inadvertently to impose an alphabetical sort on a previously non-alphabetical order? Knowing how the custom order might have been lost could help help me to avoid future occurrences.

And is there a way to recover the old order? I imagine not, in which case I will have to use an old, saved version fo the database to recreate the old order. (The table has 126 fields!)

Losing the custom order of course makes a visual mess of some of the relationships in the relationships graph.

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Field Order Setting  by Type/Custom/Alphabetic is a setting that can be set when the file is opened locally before the file is hosted. That will be the "default" sorted order.

Once you make a custom order that will prevail until it is changed and then custom organization will be lost especially if  you add new fields or not realize the list is custom and switch views or arrange a field. 

If you sort your field list while in layout mode with the side panel it will change order.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the response, Ocean, but I'm not sure I fully understand.

Where in FM is the field order setting that you refer to?

I know that one can always switch how field are ordered. What I'm concerned about is whether it's possible to inadvertently change the custom order to alphabetical. One of my tables once had a logical order that was not alphabetical when I viewed the table in Manage Database by Custom Order. Now the fields do show in alphabetical order when I view it by Custom Order. I'm wondering how this might have happened accidentally.

Also, I don't see how the custom order "will be lost" if  I "add new fields," and I don't know what you mean when you say I can also lose the order if "the list is custom" and I "switch views or arrange a field." I'm guessing we are taking about different things. I'm concerned not with how things display but with an actual change to the custom order itself.

Finally, when I sort a field list in layout mode with the side panel, the order of fields in the side panel will change, and I can erase the layout and drag all of the fields at once onto the layout and save. But the custom order is preserved.

 

Edited by jjjjp
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if you accidentally change the order and leave the dialog box it will now be the new default order and your custom order is lost.

In later versions doing so form the field list panel will also change your field order, with out evening going in to manage database.

if you sort alphabetical and move a field (drag) and then put it back it is now your new "custom order" with no way back to your old custom order.

The behavior is different when using a file locally vs when it his hosted on FMS.

 

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Sorry, but I think I need more context to understand you. Based on what you're saying, I'm trying to reproduce the act of changing the custom order to alphabetical all at once and can't do it. In your first paragraph, for instance, are you talking about editing a layout with the left pane open, or are you taking about being inside Manage Database? If one were in Manage Databases, how would one accidentally change a list of 126 fields from the custom order to alphabetical when viewing by custom order other than to do so manually?

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Ok first question - is your file LOCAL or HOSTED? because this behavior change depending.

Hosted

The field order will be what it was the last time it was closed as single user before uploading to server. Changing and sort order will revert when you log out of your hosted session.

Local

Ways to change sort order intentionally or accidentally.

  • click (field name/type) column header in the Manage Database > Fields
  • click and change the View by: option
  • drag one or more fields in the list - will switch to "custom order"
  • layout mode field panel use of the a-z sort option
  • dragging fields in the panel list - will switch to "custom order"

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, this last explanation is much clearer, and I think you've given me the insight I was after.

In answer to your question, I do all of the work of expanding and coding locally but the file that matters is hosted. I have created scripts to import all of the data from the hosted version after I make coding changes.

In any case, I believe the source of my accidental loss of custom order was local, either as result of items 3 or 5 in your bulleted list. I have been able easily to reproduce the "accident" on a test database.

Unless I'm missing a point, however, it seems to me that items 1, 2, and 4 can lead only to superficial changes in the order by changing the view. The original custom order can be recovered just by changing the view back to custom.

Thanks again.

 

Edited by jjjjp
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