Switching to/from Numbered List


Are there any risks to converting a numbered list to non-numbered, then back to numbered?


Scenario: I have an Employees numbered list with a 'Display Name' property. There are 100+ members not in alphabetical order. An existing workaround for sorting non-numbered lists is to export the list to Excel, sort offline, then re-insert the list members in Grid View at the Start position. I tested and confirmed this works for non-numbered lists, with members retaining all their information (properties, subsets, etc.). This doesn't work with numbered lists, since Insert only prompts the user for the number of members to create. A further workaround, then, would be to:

  • Change the numbered list to non-numbered (change all list member names to their numbered IDs)
  • Export to Excel
  • Sort on the Display Name property
  • Insert the re-sorted numbered IDs in Grid View at the Start position
  • Re-set the list to numbered

Are there any risks to changing the list type?



  • @dameyer01 ,


    Quick question, why are you wanting to sort the list when you can do it in a module?   I think you can do what you are wanting to do, but the list will quickly get out of order the next employee you add, so I would not advise this.



  • @rob_marshall,


    A couple reasons that aren't critical, but would improve user experience. 1) If I search for 'John,' I might get 50 results to then scroll through. Having 'John Williams' appear at the top and 'John Adams' at the bottom of this list could cause confusion or at least a momentary thought that John Adams was missing. The obvious remedy would be to begin typing the last name to shorten the list, but having the members sorted would improve the search results. 2) When assigning selective access from the Users screen, it's very difficult to find list members in a non-alpha sorted list. The remedy here would just be to assign selective access on the list itself, rather than the Users screen, but it would be nice to set user profile and all selective access from the same screen. As for the list getting out of order, I think training the team to insert list members in the appropriate place alphabetically would reduce the chances of the list getting out of order again.


    When searching for an answer, I saw a couple submissions in the Idea Exchange on this topic, so I'm sure there are other use cases as well. Keeping lists sorted alphabetically seems like a good practice to keep a model clean, although I know that's pretty subjective. 🙂

  • @dameyer01 ,


    Ok, I understand where you are coming from, but it seems to me the juice is not worth the squeeze meaning it is a lot of work but you don't get very much from it.  With that said, I do know about the Idea Exchange on sorting list members and know Product is working on it, just not sure when exactly it will be out.



  • Are there any other tricks/traps when switching to a numbered list specific to data loss, actions breaking, etc? 

  • @dameyer01 

    Could you not use the sort action?

    Seems like a straightforward solution but I am not sure if I am missing the wider context.


    *** realise this is an old thread ***


  • The question is more high-level around what else within the model (e.g. actions, etc.) gets impacted when switching a list to a numbered list. I can think of checking actions to ensure being mapped on Name OR Code but other than that is there anything to be aware of?

  • @ChrisAHeathcote

    Indeed the Sort action would solve it! This had been posted before its release. 😃

  • @adpinto- At first blush, I think the only risk would be anything relying on the Name of the list members. Imports, FINDITEMs, and whether a formula is hard-coded to reference the name of a list member are all things initially come to mind.

  • @adpinto 


    No, there shouldn't be a big issue unless you are using the Create Action or Assign Action which can only be used on Numbered lists.


    Question, why are you wanting to change it from numbered to "regular"?

  • Changing to a numbered list.

  • @rob_marshall 


    dont we get internal error while sync, if we do so?



  • @ManjunathKN 


    Nope, because it is structured data...Take a look:














    Now, if you have the list marked as Production data,  you can still sync, but you will lose data IF you are going from Production Data to Non Production Data, regardless if the list is numbered or not.  If you go from Non-Production Data to Production Data, that is ok, but the other way it is not.

  • @rob_marshall 

    Amazing work and explanation. Thank you so much!


  • @dameyer01  @rob_marshall  @ManjunathKN  @ChrisAHeathcote 


    Hi Everyone,


    I have one doubt - 

    Can't we use Order Action to sort the list in this case? Am I missing something?

    Link to Order List Action documentation.

    As I can imagine it, run Order List action based on Display names. It should work for this scenario. If I am missing something, please comment.



    - Shubham


  • @ShubhamCh 
    You are correct. As I replied to @ChrisAHeathcote, this post preceded the release of the Order List action.

  • @dameyer01 


    Oh Sorry! I didn't check the date when this query was posted. It was showing up in recent topics in the forum so I answered.