# Can I sort the bibliography database entries in the Writer GUI?

When we enter bibliography entries we use a LO Writer GUI that writes to the database itself (Tools -> Bibliography database)

I have a long text (~700 pages, ~500 references) and I have started building the bibliography database starting from the beginning of the text. Of course, the identifiers (usually author surnames) of each of these references are not in alphabetical order as I enter them going through each page of the text. I said to myself, this being a database, I can later sort alphabetically by any field I like.

Although the table can indeed be sorted in LO Base, when I try to insert a reference in the text, the list I get is in the order with which I entered each of my entries. The LO Writer GUI that connects to the database itself has no option for sorting.

Naturally, it is next to sheer torture to be searching through a 500-entry unsorted list each time I need to insert a new reference in my text. Is there something I am missing, or is that a limitation of the Bibliography database?

I am using LO 4.4.2.2 (40m0 Build:2) with en_US locale on Ubuntu 12.04.

PS: I really would like to avoid (if possible) the learning curve of yet another tool (like Bibus, or Zotero), whose limitations I might find out only when I have done a lot of additional work. However, I will consider it if there is no workaround to this limitation.

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It's very short, but is there any help in the documentation? Is there a "filtering" possibility? (I don't use this feature, btw, but I'd like to, and am interested in your experience with it.)

( 2015-04-15 00:13:34 +0100 )edit

Filtering, yes, to search for specific occurrences of a certain string. But no sorting of the entries.

( 2015-04-15 07:09:03 +0100 )edit

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Hi - The insert list can not be sorted "on the fly" indeed. It would be possible to create another data source (hsql format) in which one would copy dbase file. This allow to create "views" sorted differently. Then with Tools Bibliography Database you can change the datasource (Edit menu) and the table (first listbox in the toolbar). But, you generally have to re-assign the fields with the controls on the form.

So... This is not convenient.

I suggest you a very simple and practical way: display the Data Sources window (menu View Datasources or F4) to display the bibliography. You can sort, filter, search, select columns as you want while keeping visible the insert list.

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Indeed, your approach circumvents this problem. Instead of inserting an entry by the Insert->Indexes and Tables-> Bibliography entry menu, I can drag n drop the identifier where I want in the text.

Of course this is inserted as plain text, and not as a field, so it cannot be updated to reflect changes in the DB.

( 2015-04-15 10:47:29 +0100 )edit

Unfortunately, at the current state of affairs, this is actually not an additional problem, because bibliography fields are actually not updated if we change their database entry, as they should. One needs to delete and recreate each entry so that changes can be reflected on the bibliography table or edit them individually.

For a text my size this is a no-no!

( 2015-04-15 10:47:41 +0100 )edit

My suggestion was not to insert the reference from the Data Sources window, but to use it to find the reference to be inserted with the InsertIndex & TablesBibliography Entry list

( 2015-04-15 11:01:41 +0100 )edit

For those of you familiar with this feature and workflow, would it be worth submitting an enhancement request to meet this use case? Seems like it to me!

( 2015-04-15 11:26:05 +0100 )edit

@pierre-yves: Even if I do locate them in the ordered list as you suggested, I still have to sift through an unsorted list of ~500 entries to locate them in the insert window. @ David: Will sure do so

( 2015-04-15 21:16:09 +0100 )edit

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I'm not sure if this has actually been addressed since the post is from a couple of years now, but I only found a need to use this feature now.

It seems that the default setting is to sort the bibliography entries according to the document position but under the entries tab you can actually sort according to fields within the database (Sort Keys).

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