I wanted to know if anyone ran into the same issue and have an answer. I am trying to disable the alphabetical sorting that applies to any category/keyword that is created in Tridion. I wanted to check if there is an option (configurable) which allows to turn off sorting in CME for the categories and keywords and they are not sorted alphabetically there after.

I'm using Tridion 2011 SP1.

  • what exactly is the business requirement here? Mar 11, 2014 at 6:15
  • What type of sorting are you looking for, chronological or something different even? Mar 11, 2014 at 9:06
  • @ Bart User defined sorting. That is the reason I was asking if I could disable sorting altogether for categories and keywords as which node should appear where is defined/determined only by business. Mar 11, 2014 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


There is no way to do that without implementing a custom GUI extension. However, what is normally practiced is prefixing items (Keywords, Structure Groups, Components and etc.) with a number. For example:

  • 010 Apples
  • 020 Pears
  • 040 Oranges
  • I will to write a GUI extension which will allow the user to sort the category and keyword and then on save will save the same order in CME. This is reason I want to disable sorting alphabetically. Also, adding 001 etc. is definitely not a great approach to manage navigation. I have a screenshot in Tridion Help documentation which shows keywords not sorted alphabetically and I am wondering how was that enabled. Mar 10, 2014 at 23:56
  • here is the SDL document link showing keywords not sorted sdllivecontent.sdl.com/LiveContent/web/… Mar 10, 2014 at 23:59
  • 2
    The screenshot as per your link is redacted. SDL Tridion 2011 SP1 sorts items alphanumerically by default. Using a number prefix to order items is a standard design pattern in SDL Tridion, not only for managing navigation, but for TCM item sorting in general. It would be great if you could share your Tridion knowledge via a blog article backing up/discussing why this is "definitely not a great approach". Mar 11, 2014 at 3:27
  • 1
    @Vipin Nice find in the documentation, that is indeed just an image and not a true screenshot, and a rather bad example considering its sorting. And indeed as you mention prefixing the Keywords with numbers might not be the nicest way of configuring sorting, it is however the easiest and therefore cheapest method. Mar 11, 2014 at 8:52
  • I am looking at it from a business perspective where in the site will have more than 500 pages and the users will have to manage navigation tree using Tridion and if I ask the users to append/prepend numbers to sort that will definitely be un-acceptable to the business as well as they don't want to see numbers in the nodes in the tree. Tridion suggests that categories and keywords be used for navigation, but we have to spend a lot of effort on a GUI extension which will ultimately have to number it (after sorting by user) so that it comes in the right order when we fetch it via oData or APIs. Mar 11, 2014 at 17:05

Sorting on CME end is just to help editors to locate the keywords. I am not very sure what exactly is the problem if is sorted on CME end. You can still sort it at implementation side on default properties like modification date etc or on any metadata field or based on attach components etc.

  • The user wants to see the navigation tree in the same order as it will appear in the site and hence sorting becomes an issue. Even on implementation side, we need to have some tags which suggests what is the order of implementation Mar 11, 2014 at 17:06

Another idea is to have a navigation builder custom page that takes keywords as input and stores the sorted keywords in a separate component or DB. Then at preview or publish you have a method to read the nav from the external component or DB. Therefore the order of the navigation is determined by your custom app and not Tridion. You would need to build your data structures, UI, and connection to Tridion with core service. It's an interesting challenge but also a small app to build and would probably take a few weeks. However, the numbering scheme mentioned by Nick is the default way in Tridion to do sorting for nav (either structure groups or keywords) and would take hours or days, not weeks, to implement.

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