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Simple Software for a Simple Life!
INFO: Ordered Lists VS Unordered Lists on Windows PC
Views: 3294 Created: 08-11-2010 00:05 Last Updated: 08-31-2011 11:10

When you create and use lists in ListPro, you can be working with several general kinds of information. "List," after all, is a pretty broad term. One sharp distinction among kinds of lists, though, is simply:

Does order matter?

In other words, is there some reason why item a has to come before item b? Does it make a difference if the items in your list stay in the order you entered them? Or is your list more like a generalized data base, where having one permanent order isn't important, but being able to sort and rearrange items temporarily is? ListPro can handle both of those general kinds of list for you. Here's how to choose which one.

Unordered lists are now the default in ListPro, and you should use them for most of your lists. When would you want to use an ordered list? Here are some possible examples:

A list of steps in a procedure, where the order of performing them is important. Consider changing a tire on your car:

1) Loosen lug nuts
2) Jack up car
3) Remove wheel
...

If those steps get out of order:

3) Remove wheel
1) Loosen lug nuts
2) Jack up car
...

trouble could ensue. But consider a more complicated procedure, one requiring multiple groups to coordinate:

Item Responsible
1) Create test plan QA dept
2) Review test plan vs requirements Product management
3) Respond to test plan comments QA dept
4) Sign off on test plan VP software development
5) Deliver test version 1 Development
6) Execute test plan QA dept
7) Enter defects in defect system QA dept
8) Review assigned defects Development
...  

The items should be carried out in that order, but you might want to resort them, temporarily, by the "Responsible" column, in order to get a list of each group's responsibilities. But you'd want to be able to get back to the original order.

Is Your List Ordered or Unordered?

If you're looking at an existing list, there are several ways to tell if it's been defined as ordered or unordered.

  • Sorted Indicator: If the list is sorted on one or more columns and you see an arrow, up or down, in the column heading, you have an ordered list.

  • Ordered List Box: If the Ordered List box in the list properties is checked, you have an ordered list.

  • Move or Indent Items Dialog Box: If you are attempting to move items up, down, left, or right and you see the “Move or Indent Items Dialog Box,” you are working with an ordered list.