I have a content search web part that is displaying a bunch of things from a cross-site publishing catalog. That is working just fine.

But I would like to sort the items in alpha order. I would have thought Edit web part > Query builder > switch to advanced view > sorting tab > sort by > title (or name). But in the sort by drop down there is no title or name to select.

If I wanted to sort by author or created date I'm covered, but no title?

  • Thought maybe if I changed the search result source sorting order that might help. But Title/Name isn't available there either.
    – Rothrock
    Dec 4, 2014 at 20:31
  • Looks like the managed property (in this case title) needs to be marked "searchable" in the search schema. Our admin has not done that. If I can't get that changed is there another way to put a CSWP in alpha order by title?
    – Rothrock
    Dec 4, 2014 at 21:29

4 Answers 4


So here is the answer I figured out. It is sort of an all-or-nothing way, but it seems to work. Not sure if it has downsides yet....

On the authoring side I went into the Search Schema and mapped Basic:displayTitle to one of the RefinableString managed properties. Then I did a reindex of my catalog list.

After that happened I went to the publishing side and into the Search Results Source and found the result source for my connected managed catalog. I went to its sort tab and added the RefinableString as the sort order.

Still a couple of problems. it looks like it sorts the lowercase letters before/after all the upper case ones. So A-Za-z, not AaZz. Any ideas on that?


Modify the existing managed property "Title" and select the option to make it Sortable. Then run a full crawl. It will be easier to identify the Title field rather than reuse a RefinableString or create your own managed property. After the full crawl is complete, you should be able to select Title as a sortable property in the web part.

  • Thanks for the idea. We are only site owners and don't have permissions to make Title searchable, but someone on the team that manages our onsite installation must have done that, because it is now available to us.
    – Rothrock
    Sep 25, 2015 at 20:02
  • I agree with this approach and would even go as far as requesting that specialist to make the adjustment for me in the system.
    – klewis
    Feb 11, 2016 at 22:44

SJNBham answered the question but here are the instructions for dummies like me. You'll need access to Central Administration/Search Administration.

  • Central Administration > Search Administration > Search Scheme
  • In the Managed property filter search for "Title"
  • Select Title > Edit/Map Property
  • Change Sortable to Yes (Two options here, choose one that works for you) > OK
  • Run Full Crawl
  • Select Title as a sort in the Content Search Web Part

If you are is an Office 365 context, it's impossible to change existing managed properties in order to make it sortable. The only way is by using one of the RefinableStringXX proprties (that are Sortable by default).

  • John, I'm in O365. My RefinableStrings have "Searchable" turned off by default, and I can't change that. Do you know how to change that? I'm looking at Site Collection Admin / Search Schema. Thanks
    – PMartensen
    Apr 16, 2018 at 13:32

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