How do I sort on a combined user report field?

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When creating a user defined report, label, view, etc., you typically will want to use one of the combined smart fields that automatically display the full name, or "last name, first name", or that combines the city, state, and ZIP code, etc.

That's great for display, but what if you want to sort on just one of the fields that are "part of" the combined field you selected? How do you do it?

The answer is simple: use a hidden field!

For example, say you are using the combined field "City/State/Prov" for one line of a mailing label report, but you want to sort the labels by State. Since the state isn't the first thing displayed in the field, you can't just sort on this field (because that is effectively sorting by City).

To solve the problem, do the following after adding your normal fields:

1Add the State/Prov field somewhere on the label.
2Select that field and click Open.
3Mark it as the Primary Sort.
4Select the Hide Data checkbox.
5Click OK.

The field will now appear in italics in the Selected Fields list, indicating that it is hidden.

Now you have an invisible field that is only used for sorting, leaving your display fields unchanged.