Merge, order of photos in new item

When combining items (either via highlight, drag and drop or using the merge command), what determines the order of photos in the new item?

I understand that when you add photos to Tropy, they are listed in the order in which they were uploaded.

However, as far as I can tell, this doesn’t seem to be the case when merging photos into a new item. My photos often end up out of order, and I have to spend time reordering them manually.

Is there an easy way to make sure they merge in the correct order, or to reorder them more quickly (sorting by name, for instance) in the new item view?

This is tricky, but in general the order is determined by the order you select the items. It is tricky because there are quite a number of different ways to do this. First, it’s important to understand that when you merge items, you always merge one (or many) items into a single ‘target’ item: the target item is different based on how you merge items. If you merge via drag and drop, the target item is always the one where you drop the selection; if you merge via the merge command in the context menu, the target item is the first item of your selection. Note that that ‘first’ means, the item that was selected first, not the item which is top-most in the view. It may not be obvious at first, but we need to do this to ensure that there is always a logical head and tail of your selection, no matter how the selection was made (using up/down arrows, shift, ctrl/cmd, clicks, etc.). So, for example, if you select an item at the bottom, and then shift click an item a few rows above it, the item at the bottom is still the first in your selection. Note that if you select multiple items, the combined photos will show up in the photo pane in the order of the selection: you can use this as a preview of what would happen if your merge the items at this point. To see how this works, select an item and then ctrl/cmd click on other items and observe that the order of the photos will follow the order of your selection.

When merging via drag and drop the item that you start dragging (its cover photo will be used as the drag preview) is automatically pushed to the beginning of the selection. So if you want to control the order prior to the merge, the best approach is to select the target item first (the one that should be at the top), then make the rest of the selection in the right order and use the context menu to merge them.