Tip of the week #6: More inventory management tips

I have returned, rejuvenated! And I’ve brought my watermelony lights to shine on your Second Life. Awhile ago, I did a video tutorial aptly titled “How to manage your inventory“, which you should totally see if that interests you.

Tying together tangents as I often do, I got plenty requests to follow it up — so here it is, a potpourri of more inventory management tips!

Topics covered:

  • How to use combined (coalesced) objects
  • How to see all creators of inventory items
  • How to show proper permissions of objects
  • Why the “Snapshot” and “Texture” icons are different
  • Advanced inventory item selection
  • How to move your system folders to the top

I must state for clarity that these tips (like so many other facets of Second Life, actually), don’t just exclusively apply to inventory-sorting, because they connect to content creation, and generally having a better knowledge of how to use Second Life. That means, don’t be scared, it’s easy, and hopefully you’ll find this both useful and fun.

It’s long been a foremost priority of mine that when better solutions aren’t forthcoming soon, that I share workarounds, in addition to making the non-obvious clearly accessible. I want to make things easier for you! When I create videos, I often think about usability improvements (I’m also on Benjamin Linden’s Resident eXperience Team here at Linden Lab) our developers can apply; I end up mentioning these ideas to them, and it never ceases to amaze me how many seemingly disparate aspects of our world are related.

For example, a critical concern many of us share is inventory loss (UGH, I HATE IT). Hamilton Linden’s been driving a new team focusing on addressing both actual and perceived inventory loss. Stay tuned to our blog for more info on this…

I often get asked, “Why can’t you just fix inventory loss?”, and to really understand the subtleties, granularities, and why our heart is in ameliorating this but why it isn’t so simple, be sure to see Inventory Recovery Steps, put together mostly by my fine colleagues Frontier and Jeremy Linden. It’s an evolving compendium of actionable steps towards solving these invloss problems. In “More inventory management tips”, I mention coalesced objects as being a technique for bundling stuff, yet misunderstanding how it works (and it isn’t that intuitive, I agree) is a cause of perceived inventory loss — thus, we have a section dedicated to it on that page, and I hope the system itself will be improved.

Much of the feedback I’ve received so far on these Tips of the Week have seriously resulted in a great heap of possibilities I’ve been sorting out and doing one after another, so I don’t have a shortage of topics to cover. I SAY THANK YOU GRACIOUSLY. So don’t let that discourage you from suggesting, because you may help enlighten me! And if you’d like to meet me inworld, I’m hosting a couple of Office Hours most Fridays @ 6 AM and 2 PM PDT, including TODAY. See ya in Second Life… and,

don’t let happiness be a stranger,


Torley Linden is a Product Manager & more who regularly contributes to the Official Linden Blog. Read Torley’s previous posts. Torley enjoys experimenting with sculpties using Sculptypaint and PloppSL.

About Torley

Who am I? See http://torley.com/
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59 Responses to Tip of the week #6: More inventory management tips

  1. Smiley Barry says:

    Yay! More tips! Although I knew ’em all, hehe… But, sometimes (textures I have marked with the icon of) textures I have are actually inworld snapshots uploaded with permission from photo sharing websites for inworld use.

    I’ll now make a JIRA ‘issue’ for that… 😉

  2. Milo Bellow says:


    Is Torley’s Voice Slowly Morphing Into The Voice Of “Comic Book Store Guy” In Teh Simpsons?



  3. Ponk Bing says:

    I’d love to be able to create tabs for different folders in my invent, it looks like Iraq in there.

  4. Dante Tucker says:

    Welcome back Torley!

  5. Cherry Czervik says:

    Torley has the most friendly voice on the planet!!

    This is all good stuff. Should help out instead of explaining to people how to clean their inv. I love it when people complain that they have 2000 items now and can’t cope (hides the true number of mine, and how many of them are just called OBJECT!).

    Good stuff as ever Torley x

  6. Koroz Kline says:

    Come on folks….. good inventory management is key !!!

    1. Delete all unecessary Items e.g. the 200 boxes of cowboy hats, etc. 25 pose stands and so on.
    1a. Dontforget all those unpacked Objects where the only thing left is an LM and a notecard!!!
    2. Organise you inventory into logical subfolders
    3. Rename folders into memorable names.
    4. Empty Trash

    Cant ya tell its a Friday???

    Nice work Torley… keep it up with these tips. :)))

    I’m a guy…. I cant organise a booze-up in a brewery 😦

  7. Vincent Nacon says:

    … it would make a better management if they could improved the inventory window like MS Windows’ Explorer.

  8. Blinders Off says:

    I want to know 2 more things:

    1. Did Torley take a speed-reading course? Must have, to be able to read those quick blurb flashes. 😯

    2. What’s in the ::LOVE NOTES:: folder Torley? Busybodies wanna know. 😀

  9. Berry Steinhoff says:

    Welcome back Torley! Me and my (hippos) thank you for another awesome video tip of the week.. 😉

  10. Ceja Laval says:

    It would also be helpful if Recent Items was ever fixed so that it worked the way it used to… hard to organize new things into folders when you can’t even find them…

  11. The XO says:

    If it helps….

    My inventory is organised into “stuff” like a clothes folder, shoes folder, furniture, hair and so on. Within those main folders I create another with the year and month “Feb 07” for example. Then under that I put everything that i got from that month and catagory.

    It works quite well and it’s easy to find things…

    Clothes -> Feb07 -> Outfit 1
    Shoes -> Feb07 -> Red Shoes

    … as long as you remember roughly when you got them :-p

  12. The XO says:

    @ Ceja Laval #10:

    Recent items *does* work – you just need to set the “filter” to work as you want. Use the menu on the inventory window and set the filter to x hours or x days and choose what you want to display.

    It works better than it ever did!

  13. ari blackthorne says:

    Woohoo! Thanks, Torley! 🙂

    This is like the very first one I’ve watched where I already knew all that stuff. But – it was fun to watch ~anyway~ 🙂

    Thank you again!

  14. william Fish says:

    awww you deleted my post 😦 i think torley’s signature is funny!

  15. Bau Ur says:

    Thanks Torley.

  16. Dekka Raymaker says:

    How about a tip of the week for the Europeans, “How To Fill Your VAT Form Out”

    Sorry bad joke, but great tip tutorial as usual. To short my inventory out I also box items up, for example I hoard textures, so i sort them into categorized groups and put them all in a box, then dump the loose textures, at least it gives the illusion that I have under 5k items rather than 8k items 🙂

  17. Penny says:

    @10 – Make it work the way you want it to! If you want to see what’s new since you logged in (which is how it used to work I think) set the filter to “Since Logoff”.

    I change my Recent Items filter depending on what I’m trying to find. If I know that I bought or made something yesterday I change the filter using “Days ago”; if I know I only bought or made it a couple of hours ago I set using “Hours ago”.

  18. Lexcom Ultsch says:

    cheerio, another cool tip

  19. pantaiputih korobase says:

    before I try myself…. anyone knows how many objects can I link? do I need to link it one by one, i.e. the first and the second and then the first two and the third?

  20. william Fish says:

    I didnt watch the clip… but here is a tip:

    USE THE SEARCH… it’s wonderful and awsome. you dont need to waste time organizing your inventory at all. I have a fav. pair of shoes i like to wear (when the tp feature isnt shoving them up my arse or taking them off completly) so i will type in the name of the shoe. in a matter of seconds they are there for me to wear.

    Yes limiting your inventory will help with the speed of the search. So take that into consideration.

    ANd yes… half of the cool stuff (crap) that we go when we first joined we dont need anymore. Perhaps if LL could put a filter on the search for “date, last used” and let us simply delete all the stuff we havnt used in the last year or two. that would be great!

  21. Kellym Watkins says:

    Yay another fun video by Torley =)

    Thanks a million for the tips x

  22. Garth FairChang says:

    Great tips ! (and I can post)

  23. Ryozu Kojima says:

    a·mel·io·rate (-mly-rt)
    tr. & intr.v. a·me·lio·rat·ed, a·me·lio·rat·ing, a·me·lio·rates
    To make or become better; improve. See Synonyms of improve.


  24. Wolf says:

    Recent item Filter? Do I need that?

    Moons ago it was common to find there the new items since logout.
    Thats what i want.

    If i want to search and filter my inventory i dont need the recent item tab.

  25. I feel empowered!! 🙂 Glad you are back Torley. Missed your very informative tutorials while you were away. I learned something this week! Keep up the great work!

  26. Relentless Roux says:

    These tips are SOOO useful! Thank-you so much. I’ve found that I was already doing a lot of them…treating my inventory like a Desktop. Really, I thought I was a technological newbie, but maybe not??
    Anyway, any chance of adding colour (yes, I’m Canadian) to the text of the Inventory Folders? I thought it might help in spotting things, when going through folders – like RED, lol. Thanks so much for the video tutorials!

  27. Lex Neva says:

    Another awesome tutorial! Quick suggestion, Torley… not all of us have minds that go 90mph like yours (though I wish I did!) Those little notes you flash by on the yellow backgrounds go way too fast… I often have to rewind and press pause. I think a good rule of thumb would be to leave it out about twice as long as you currently are, because sometimes I don’t immediately notice that a note has come on the screen.

  28. Bucky Barkley says:

    It would be great to be able to supply tags to any item in inventory. This would help find things (especially when the item is no-mod and we cant change the name).

    I would also like to see more meaningful default names, such as appending location or timestamp (a patched SL client does this). e.g:

    Object – Oct 5, 2007 – 8:47am

    instead of just “Object”. Same for Snapshot. That would sure beat
    20 items all named “Object”.

    One other thing – allow inventory search by creator (or if you enable tags, make the creator’s name one of the ones supplied by default)

  29. Sams Back says:

    Loved the tips! I was wondering….is there a way to open up all the inventory folders and print it out. I could study it offline and make clean up plans to implement later.

  30. Leslie Zeta says:

    The coalesced objects is vital to understand. I thought I had lost a L$12000 bed once until I realised it was bundled up in the boat it was in when it was auto-returned.

  31. Darek Deluca says:

    How recent is the coalesced objects icon? I have older coalesced items in my inventory (6 months) that do not show the coalesced objects icon.
    These were coalesced by a parcelwide return objects by owner command.

  32. Egon Rothschild says:

    how about a tip on how to BACKUP our inventory?

    missing gestures. persistent missing textures on items rezzed in world. unable to rezz items because they are missing from the asset server.

    we need help.

  33. Chandni Khondji says:

    Welcome back and hope you had a great holidays 🙂 Thanks for all your great tips Torley they already helped me a lot. And i agree.. your voice is so friendly and always make me grin when i hear it. Thank you for doing this tip-series and keep it up *thumbs up*

  34. Dekka Raymaker says:

    @ # 20 william Fish Says:

    … half of the cool stuff (crap) that we go when we first joined we dont need anymore. Perhaps if LL could put a filter on the search for “date, last used” and let us simply delete all the stuff we havnt used in the last year or two. that would be great!

    Oh no! don’t do that. I did it once or twice and everything I dumped someone eventually said hey have you got thihgymyjig in your inventory, I really need one, it the kiss of death deleting anything LOL

  35. Marianne McCann says:

    One of my fave tings to do with concated stuff is to set up things in my skybox jes like I’ll want them at ground level (in a shop or wherever), then take em all an plop the whole ting into place. Means I can do the full set up in what seems like no time at all. But before i concate it all, I’ll rez a cube, an name it, like “My Art Show” or whatever. Dat will be the last item I’ll take, so dat way when I put stuff down, all I gotta do is rez the whole thing, select an position, then delete dat box.

  36. This was a great tutorial even for and old timer like my self. I however was little annoyed to find out in this video that show filters is now in the file menu.
    show filters used to be in the sort menu and when it disappeared from there well over a month ago i thought it was a temporary measure and it was being fixed or something and would be back soon. I feel more like ass for not noticing it in the file menu all this time. but I’m still disturbed that a major change to the inventory menus was not more wildly announced. I used that function a great deal when it was in the file menu and I am very perplexed why it would of been moved from sort to file especially since it is a sort function.

  37. martin magpie says:

    Torley you rock my socks 🙂 Keep up the excellent work!


  38. Isandra Willunga says:

    I can’t wait to see Tip #99 … how to manage the Database! 😉

  39. Amanda Ascot says:

    Welcome back, Torley! We missed you, but you know that, already, I’m sure. As usual, your video was entertaining and informative, and don’t worry about your five-minute limit. I’m sure most of us aren’t concerned about it. I actually didn’t know about one of the things you mentioned. It never occurred to me to use ctrl select on inventory objects, since nothing else about the inventory folders seems to work like most of us are accustomed to seeing folders operate

    I’m beginning to really dislike having to do anything at all with my inventory, and it’s all because of that cute (I’m sure the person who programmed it thought it was clever) behavior of folders to open on a mouse-over. It’s not clever. It’s one of the most annoying things ever in Second Life, even ahead of lag and griefing, in my book. If a folder is closed I want it to stay closed until *I* decide to open it. If a folder is open I want it to stay open until *I* decide to close it. This is the expected behavior. Imagine being in the real world and trying to find something in a large file cabinet, but the drawers keep popping open and closed unexpectedly. It’s no different here. Moving things around in inventory is especially risky since, just as you’re ready to drop an object in a folder, another folder suddenly opens up and your object goes into that one, instead. And then the folder immediately closes and you have no idea at all where your object went! For those people who like fighting with an inventory system that *thinks* it knows what we want, let them have a menu option: Inventory/Folders/Spastic.

    Coalesced objects. This has to be one of the most hair-brained schemes to make our lives more difficult that Linden programmers have come up with yet. I do not consider this a “feature” where it concerns returned objects. If you’ve ever had a large build with multiple unlinked objects returned to you, either intentionally or by mistake you’d be right on the same page with me. I had this happen once and did not have the luxury of rezzing the whole kit and kaboodle because I didn’t have a parcel big enough for it, except for a sandbox, and we all know how “dangerous” those have become as of late. If you return my objects I want them to come back to me as linked sets — not as one big glommed glob of glued-together objects. I had another build returned to me (I knew it was going to happen, so that wasn’t an issue), and the objects didn’t re-appear in their proper places when I rezzed the coalesced object. It took me almost a half hour to find one of them. Now, to be fair, there are times when I like to to use this feature in a controlled manner — when I’m taking a number of pre-positioned objects into my inventory. However, the aggravation of having to deal with returned objects really needs to be addressed. It could be done in one of two ways. Either disable coalescing of objects on a “return” altogether, or make it possible to “disaggregate” a coalesced object while it’s still in inventory — probably not possible, but I can’t think of any other options.

    Hmmm … sounds like I’m in a bitchy mood, but I’m not. It’s just that there are some things about inventory that are so completely annoying that I can’t believe Lindens haven’t been affected as badly as the rest of us have.

  40. Sasha Nurmi says:

    /me hugs Torley
    Hope you had a good vacation =)
    Ive played this game for almost a full year soon, but you show me nice stuff in your tips that I didn’t know from before, thanks =D
    Although I suffer some big inventory issues like some, but managing to keep it on a leach for now, hihi.
    Thanks again for a new tip of the week and hope to see a new one next time.

  41. Sylver Bu says:

    Hey, Torley. O.O I was peekin at your invi; and I thought “Wonder if he’d ever do a SLTotW wearing my avatar..” 😛

    Thanks for all these nifty tips! =D

  42. Aenea says:

    Torley, the tutorial is wonderful, but I have a REAL, not perceived, problem with inventory loss that isn’t resolved with clearing cache. I am losing huge numbers of items which, when I attempt to wear or use them, say that the item is missing from the database or that it is an unknown object. I have this happen on both my WinXP laptop, as well as my iMac. Items are gone in both instances.

    The problem seems progressive (everyday I find new items missing), and LL Support was unresponsive beyond the clear cache “solution”.

    There is a real problem here. I have about 9.5K items, so my inventory isn’t exorbitant, but I’m losing real money here on a problem that has yet to be acknowledged.

  43. Sparkle Junot says:

    Torley, you are so cool! I love your tutorial, thanks tons!

  44. Tijn Erde says:

    I can’t help but wonder if the tutorial could be done in two minutes if Torley hadn’t been stoned whilst recording it.

    @Aenea.. the asset server (which handles inventory, as you probably already know) is acting up more and more lately. I haven’t got problems with lost inventory, but am regularly having large delays where inventory isn’t usable for minutes or where scripts have to be compiled a number of times before they succesfully save to the asset server. Perhaps your inventory isn’t lost, but just delayed. I’ve personally noticed today the body shapes in the Library part of inventory wasn’t accessible because they weren’t loaded yet, according to the error message. Sometimes a relog helps fix the connection with the asset server.

  45. Sougent Harrop says:

    I’d like to echo my distaste for the inventory folders opening/closing automatically, as well as re-arranging themselves. Makes what should be simple dragging and dropping between folders a pain in the buttocks. Even using two inventory windows can be problematic.

    A feature I’d like to see is the ability to sort/filter on the properties of all those objects, most especially Creator. The ability to search within a coalesced object would be nice too. Wasn’t aware of the fact multiple objects are returned as one coalesced object, will have to look for a few items I lost and see if they’re really there.

    Love the tips though, even when I don’t learn anything new, it’s entertaining in any event.

  46. Pingback: The Blog @ ACTIV8 » Treasure Trove of Tips & Tricks

  47. mimi says:

    Thanks for making another great tutorial!

    @bout the inventory recovery steps guide:

    “A malfunction or region issues may cause a scripted vendor to fail to deliver purchased items. Unfortunately, there is nothing Second Life Support can do to help recover items that were never received.”

    This happens in unscripted vendors too. I have emailed you a list of items that didn’t arrive after buying them which use no sales script.
    They were all in unscripted vendors that use the simple ‘buy’ option provided by secondlife in the edit menu.

  48. Uccello says:

    Thanks, again, for wonderful work, Torley! Your hints about Missing Inventory are great, too. I’m frequently telling folks about them. But what about inventory that is lost just for being LOST? I opened my Halloween goodies storage prim and found that nearly 1/2 the contents “no longer existed in the database.” And for about 1/2 of those I couldn’t even call up the UUID. It was a mix of things I made and things I purchased. I estimate the loss at about L$1000 … if I can find replacements. And advice?

    Red @45: “A feature I’d like to see is the ability to sort/filter on the properties of all those objects, most especially Creator.” Yes! Please! Excellent!

  49. Alura says:

    @@Aenea …oh dear you have no idea of the pain…sad smile. I’ve lost some very special collections ..including wonderous Asian homes and decorations. Beautiful pieces that wonderful SL artists created. When it boils down to the monetary loss I can take the hit (what else can I do?) But this asset loss issue is eating away at one of the reasons I loved SL…the BEAUTY of the creations…and as I watch them disappear (thousands of them lost)…I grow less and less inclined to push that “purchase” button for fear it will just be another one of those “the item is missing from the database” which happens with almost every item dropped these days.

    And yeah, I’ve cleared my cache till my cyber fingers bled..and SL don’t care…or know what’s going on in their asset servers.


    Alura E

  50. Jessica Elytis says:

    Re-Tip for Managing Inventory.

    For LL to allow us to move LL created folders. Example; to move all LL created folders (scripts, objects, sounds, etc) into one major folder, so we can CLOSE that stuff that some of us never use.

    Along with deleting the Library.

    I have to say I love my own inventory management with folders and subfolders. My only problem comes with “junk” left from LL that I can not get rid of.


    P.S. That’s not a compliant, only some strong feedback. I ahven’t really liked the inventory system since it was changed that LL folders take TOP priority on the folder list. Alpha-numeric made much mroe sense.

    P.S.S. Will someone at LL please FIX THE DAMN RECENT TAB?!?!?!?
    It’s been showing my las 6 months inventory as “Recent” since we reported this bug waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back then.

  51. zephytoshihiko says:

    I wonder if we can get a comment on why when items get returned to lost and found folder often times they are always called ‘object’ even if we had been good and given them a name when we built them. That would certainly help keep inventory a bit neater!

  52. Becky Tardis says:

    @50, etc

    Go to Inventory>Recent Tab>File>Show Filters and click show items since log on

  53. sirhc DeSantis says:

    Yep loved this – so where is the “leave random folders open” box so i can uncheck it? now that is annoying everytime i open up inventory. If i clear a search item i want to see two folders – library and inventory. or did i miss something? Anyway big thanx to you Torley

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  55. Georgette Whitfield says:

    Welcome back, Torley! Glad you enjoyed your vacation. I would like more tips on uploading textures, like I thought they had to be square but then someone I know gave me a rectangular one–how did that work?
    Keep doing great things! <33333333

  56. Grey Kurka says:

    Absolutely super cool would be some sort of thumbnail preview in Inventory. Especially for textures.
    Love and donuts

  57. Jimbo Hefferman says:


    I’d love to know what software you use to make the tuitorials..


  58. Vint Falken says:

    What’s really needed:

    How to change the permissions for multiple objects at the same time.

  59. Pingback: Inventory (Inventar) in Second Life handhaben » Digitalia

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