Quicktips 2011 Day 26: Use a zero in front of a number for better sorting

February 26, 2011 – Putting a zero in front of single digit numbers sorts them properly

Today’s Quicktip almost seems like a no-brainer but I’m surprised that I still see projects come in the door where items have been numbered in a bin 1, 2, 3 — 10, 11, 12 instead of 01, 02, 03 — 10, 11, 12. Why add the zero? So when you sort the items by name in the bin they are sorted properly.

Again, this is the most basic tip but I still see projects where the editor doesn’t use the zero in front of single digits. It would drive me crazy to have to always look at the bottom of a list of items for a certain number.


A Final Cut Pro bin sorted in both ascending and descending order.

See how in the image above number 2 and 3 text items aren’t sorted in the proper order? If they had a zero in front of the number they would sort properly:


Avid, on the other hand, seems to interpret what an editor might actually want and will sort clips in the proper order regardless of the inclusion of a zero or not:


I still use a zero in Avid as well just to stay consistent. A very simple tip but one that will help keep an editor sane.

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PVC Staff
Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…

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