Feature Request: Sort My List of Rules Alphabetically

Talk, speculate, discuss, pontificate. As long as it pertains to Hazel.

Moderators: Mr_Noodle, Moderators

I've searched for this capability in this forum and can't find it so, unless I missed something simple, I'm not able to sort the list of rules in Hazel. I have 50 or so rules defined. I want to sort them by their titles. I expected when I click the "Rules" column heading that they would sort alphabetically.

Is there a way to reorder the display of my rules in Hazel? I'd do it manually if I knew where they are stored.

Thanks,

-Dave
DaveB
 
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The order of the rules matters in terms of how they will be executed so re-sorting them for cosmetic reasons is not a good idea. Can you describe why you have that many rules?
Mr_Noodle
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Mr_Noodle wrote:The order of the rules matters in terms of how they will be executed so re-sorting them for cosmetic reasons is not a good idea. Can you describe why you have that many rules?


I use Hazel to import scanned documents for my Paperless Office workflow. I created a rule for frequent bills, statements and other documents based on unique strings found within each document, like account numbers. So I have many copies of the same rule where the only change is the unique string that is searched, and the destination folder in EagleFiler and tags to be added.

If the order of the scripts is important for some people to control the order of execution, it's not for me, at all.
I can imagine a new rule property to manually define the order of execution by assigning an ordinal number. Then allow rules to be sorted alphabetically, but execute according to the execution order, manually defined by that new property.

Or I suppose a global property could be added to allow sorting alphabetically (thus redefining the order of execution). That option would be backwards compatible for folks who don't want to sort rules and rearrange their already set order of rule execution.

If the new global property, "Allow Rule Sorting" was set to true, clicking the column heading would sort the display of the rules alphabetically, otherwise if the property was set to false, clicking the Rules column heading would prompt a message box explaining the feature.

My two cents...

-Dave
DaveB
 
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It sounds like your rules would benefit from the list and tables feature planned in version 5. That would reduce those rules down to a one, making things much more manageable in that case.
Mr_Noodle
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Mr_Noodle wrote:the list and tables feature planned in version 5 ...reduce those rules down to a one.


I get the idea, a place in one rule to connect each document matching each string with tags, filename, title, destination.
I have my credit card ready and expect to pay to upgrade to version 5 willingly, as soon as it's ready for prime time. Hazel is one of those software tools that quickly become indispensable. Apple should offer to buy your business, make you rich and roll Hazel into to MacOS. No wait, that would be the end to your great support, responsive feature development and overall ethic of making things work for the tech savvy who want to understand "details" like file locations.

Is there a road map of new features planned for version 5?

[Edit]. I found the Roadmap https://www.noodlesoft.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11818.

-Dave
DaveB
 
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Hi, i am using Hazel in the same manner as DaveB, and I love it. The thing I am missing - especially while having a lot of rules for one folder, is the ability to determine whether not only ONE rule is matching rather than more rules are matching. If this happens it is likely that one rule is matching wrong, and then the document is renamed and sorted in a wrong way. This will result in a mess of my documents library. I would LOVE to see such a feature in Version 5, or is this somehow already possible in the current version?

Thank you for your great work and a great piece of software!!

Markus from Germany
MarkusBe
 
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I'm not quite clear on what you are referring to here. The rule status will show you rule matches, whether a single or multiple. Could you elaborate?
Mr_Noodle
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Ok, I will try... :)

I have one folder with many rules and have the problem, that on some documents more than one rule would apply. Sometimes the first one is correct, sometimes the second or third one is correct. In those cases a document is renamed and sorted in the wrong way. What I would like to have is a rule that checks, if any other rule would apply to this document. If so, I would like to be informed or the document should be sorted out in a kind of a "manual order folder" or something like that.

Do you understand where my problem is? Wrong renamed and sorted documents are quite difficult to find.

Thank you!
Markus
MarkusBe
 
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The best thing would be to make it so that your rules are less ambiguous but if you need to do this type of thing, I guess you can do something a bit convoluted like this:

1. Have your rules set a tag instead of filing. Make sure to use the "Continue" action.
2. Have rules further down that check for the existence of multiple tags.
3. Have rules that move a file based on tags.

Step 2 would filter out files that are ambiguous so that the actual filing should turn out fine in step 3.
Mr_Noodle
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Hello Mr. Noodle,

thanks for your inspiration, now I have some Ideas to make the sorting and renaming more stable in the near future! Moving files based on tags and the check of multiple tags sounds to be a good solution. I will try that!

Thanks - although still looking forward to the new version!

Keep up the good work!
Markus

UPDATE: Is there an easy way in Hazel to check for the number of tags of a specific file? Or maybe with AppleScript?
MarkusBe
 
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DaveB wrote:I've searched for this capability in this forum and can't find it so, unless I missed something simple, I'm not able to sort the list of rules in Hazel. I have 50 or so rules defined. I want to sort them by their titles. I expected when I click the "Rules" column heading that they would sort alphabetically.

Is there a way to reorder the display of my rules in Hazel? I'd do it manually if I knew where they are stored.

Thanks,

-Dave


I have a similar situation (50 or so rules), and I use it for the same situation you mentioned earlier: Paperless Office. I used to think I wanted the alphabetical list, just like you currently do, so that I could more easily navigate to the rule that I wanted to access. However, I discovered that I did not need to have the alphabetical list. Hazel has a search capability that will find the rule you want. All you have to do is remember the rule names, which is really not that big a deal, since I name the rules according to the document they work on. The search feature is available with the magnifying glass icon just below the list of Rules.

Brian
bmhardy
 
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