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I checked other questions, checked Apple forums - the only thing I could find is Sort by / Arrange by but in my case none of their combinations helps me to get plain "by name" option, currently I can't even find any logic in how it sorts the files: macos sorting issue

Any help is much appreciated. I'm on macOS 10.12.6.

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The logic is simply that the file names you're looking at are sorted numerically. Finder takes the file names and note that they start with a number - everything up to first non-number character is then sorted numerically.

I.e. from your example 9873613 < 13480567 < 39758380 < 46432537 < 81233033.

Note that some files have 7 digits, others have 8 digits.

In general Finder's sorting takes sequences of numeric digits and treat them as a single number to be sorted. Non-numeric parts are sorted alphabetically like you would expect. This system of collation is called "natural sorting".

  • iirc, this is known as "rational sorting" as opposed to the complete mess that would result from sorting as 1, 10, 11, 2, 20, 3, 4... – Tetsujin Mar 30 at 9:25
  • Programmers call it "natural sorting". I haven't heard "rational sorting" been used to describe that before. – jksoegaard Mar 30 at 9:30
  • ah, OK. I wasn't aware it had a coder's definition. I've seen the term 'rational' used in other contexts. – Tetsujin Mar 30 at 9:59
  • wow @jksoegaard, ok, that makes sense, I never thought it would treat filenames as anything except strings. it still leaves lots of open questions like how it would treat string starting with a number (like "5zxcv") or would a valid hex number be a string or a number ("DEADBEE"). but most important one is - whether it possible to disable it at all and treat all like strings according to their position in char table. – skwisgaar Mar 30 at 18:33

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