Allow "natural sort" in more places

Hi, I have a table called (for simplicity) Product with a field ID_Number.

When I am looking at a widget of the Product table, I can do a natural sort on ID_Number with no problem. But when I am in another table that references the Product table (say, the Transaction table, which has a column Product that references the product ID_Number), I cannot do a natural sort. It seems like natural sort is disabled regardless of whether Transaction.Product is a formula column or not.

I would really love it if natural sort were available for the Transaction.Product column.

Thanks very much for considering my feature request!


Does this sample illustrate your case well? I can’t understand the issue. (N.B. : this document is world-writable, so feel free to edit it to reflect your problem if it doesn’t already).

Thank you so much for the fast reply!

I should have clarified that ID_Numbers are alphanumeric, not strictly numeric. (In my personal use case they are a string, followed by a dash, followed by a number.) I have updated your example to reflect my use case.

You may define a formula column in your Transactions table with this formula:

x = $Product.ID_Number.split("-")
ord(x[0]) * 2**16 + int(x[1])

Then sort by this column instead of ID_Number. I just updated the sample.

Thanks! I appreciate the workaround, but would like to keep my feature request open, as it would be very nice for this to be supported natively. Right now it feels unintuitive that I can use natural sort in some places but not others.

Thank you again very much for the quick reply!

I just thought about it, but the fact ID_Number can have a natural sort is due to it’s type: Text. So if you add a Product_ID column with the formula below, but explicitly defining the Text type (not Any), you’ll have the option to make this natural sort.


Oh, thanks! That’s really good to know, and fixes some of my issues. I still wish it were possible to do a natural sort on a column of type Reference that references a column of type Text but I’ll take this for now. :slight_smile:

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The request makes sense. Thank you, Darcey! Noted it.