I was left with the problem of wanting to re-sort the features in a DBF table of a shape file, by the feature name. The default is by FID number.
The output is exported as an.ai file for Illustrator and I wanted to have the paths sorted in some fashion to be easier to locate in the layer pallet.
I was able to do so by editing the table from within ArcGis desktop using the following manual method. (Illustrated gif image attached to this message).
I figure that if it can be done manually then there must be some way to automate this, any help or advice would be appreciated.
While this method is simple it is time consuming, so I would only use it under certain circumstances.
Sort the table by feature name then copy top feature in the table (using Edit from the main menu, not mouse or CTRL+C & CTRL+V) and then paste. Duplicate feature is placed at bottom of table with FID number higher than previous highest FID.
Delete the origional feature from the top of the table.
After doing this for all features, they are now sorted alphabetically and the FID is sorted so as the lowest FID is attached to the correct reature name.
After stopping the editing session and saving edits, new FID numbers are assingned to the features but they still are arranged so that the lowest FID is asigned to the lowest alpha feature name (31st) and the highest FID is assigned to the highest alpha feature name (Washington)
After the file has been exported as an .ai file and opened in Illustrator, the path labels merely say <Path>. But after locating them and identifying them, I named these and they are sorted alphabetically, ascending (as Illustrator does)