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Use sort to change the order in which read operations return documents. Sort tells MongoDB to order returned documents by the values of one or more fields in a certain direction. To sort returned documents by a field in ascending (lowest first) order, use a value of 1. To sort in descending (greatest first) order instead, use -1. If you do not specify a sort, MongoDB does not guarantee the order of query results.

Follow the instructions in the examples below to insert data into a collection and perform a sort on the results of a query. Consider a collection containing documents that describe books. To insert this data into a collection, run the following operation:

await collection.insertMany([
{ "_id": 1, "name": "The Brothers Karamazov", "author": "Dostoyevsky", "length": 824 },
{ "_id": 2, "name": "Les Misérables", "author": "Hugo", "length": 1462 },
{ "_id": 3, "name": "Atlas Shrugged", "author": "Rand", "length": 1088 },
{ "_id": 4, "name": "Infinite Jest", "author": "Wallace", "length": 1104 },
{ "_id": 5, "name": "Cryptonomicon", "author": "Stephenson", "length": 918 },
{ "_id": 6, "name": "A Dance with Dragons", "author": "Martin", "length": 1104 },
]);
Note

Your query operation may return a reference to a cursor that contains matching documents. To learn how to examine data stored in the cursor, see the Cursor Fundamentals page.

Pass the following sort document to a read operation to ensure that the operation returns books with longer lengths before books with shorter lengths:

// define an empty query document
const query = {};
// sort in descending (-1) order by length
const sort = { length: -1 };
const cursor = collection.find(query).sort(sort);
await cursor.forEach(console.dir);

In this case, the number -1 tells the read operation to sort the books in descending order by length. find() returns the following documents when this sort is used with an empty query:

{ "_id": 2, "title": "Les Misérables", "author": "Hugo", "length": 1462 }
{ "_id": 4, "title": "Infinite Jest", "author": "Wallace", "length": 1104 }
{ "_id": 6, "title": "A Dance with Dragons", "author": "Martin", "length": 1104 }
{ "_id": 3, "title": "Atlas Shrugged", "author": "Rand", "length": 1088 }
{ "_id": 5, "title": "Cryptonomicon", "author": "Stephenson", "length": 918 }
{ "_id": 1, "title": "The Brothers Karamazov", "author": "Dostoyevsky", "length": 824 }

Sometimes, the order of two or more documents is ambiguous using a specified sort. In the above case, both "A Dance with Dragons" and "Infinite Jest" have 1104 pages, so the order in which they are returned is not guaranteed. To resolve ties in your sorted results in a repeatable way, add additional fields to the sort document:

// define an empty query document
const query = {};
// sort in ascending (1) order by length
const sort = { length: 1, author: 1 };
const cursor = collection.find(query).sort(sort);
await cursor.forEach(console.dir);

With the addition of the author field to the sort document, the read operation sorts matching documents first by length and, in the event of a tie, then by author. Matched document fields are compared in the same order as fields are specified in the sort document. find() returns the following ordering of documents when this sort is used on the documents matching the query, sorting "Martin" before "Wallace" for the two books with the same length:

{ "_id": 1, "title": "The Brothers Karamazov", "author": "Dostoyevsky", "length": 824 }
{ "_id": 5, "title": "Cryptonomicon", "author": "Stephenson", "length": 918 }
{ "_id": 3, "title": "Atlas Shrugged", "author": "Rand", "length": 1088 }
{ "_id": 6, "title": "A Dance with Dragons", "author": "Martin", "length": 1104 }
{ "_id": 4, "title": "Infinite Jest", "author": "Wallace", "length": 1104 }
{ "_id": 2, "title": "Les Misérables", "author": "Hugo", "length": 1462 }
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