When I open the Trade Depot there is a list of thousands of items, not alphabetized. Is there a way to search through the list without manually scrolling?
AFAIK, in vanilla DF, there are no search options in the Trade Menu (apart from when you select the items to be brought into trade).
However, a user by the name of falconne at the bay12games forums has developed a plugin that enables, among other things, searching through the Trade Menu.
For the Trade Menu, the following applies:
q: Search through the left side list (the trader's list)
w: Search through the right side list (your item's list)
Alt + c: Clears the searches. This is needed because, while searching, you will not be able to trade.
While searching, the value and weight values refer only to the items currently selected and in trade.
A good way to trade several items without resorting to macros is to export everything onto Bins. This way, you only search for "Bin". This eases the trouble of selecting each Bin near-individually.
Pressing s will allow you to filter the list. Type in the text you want to filter by, and press enter. For example, pressing s, typing "mug" and hitting enter will show you all the mugs in the fortress. I'm less certain of this, but I think it also shows any bins containing mugs, which makes it considerably easier to send them to the Trade Depot.
I always use garbage dumps. Requires absolutely nothing in terms of materials, unless you count dwarf labor. Works best with a good bookkeeper, since you want to use the stocks screen.
Create a garbage dump zone on top of the trade depot.
When you need to trade anything, activate the depot and use the regular stocks screen [z] to search, filter, and find your trade items. Find whatever you want to trade and use [d] to mark it for dumping.
Your bearded minions will gather your designated items and haul them to the dump on top of the Depot, where they remain safely forbidden and untouched until a caravan shows up.
As a bonus, using "cleanowned scattered x" in DFHack will automatically mark all those gently-worn random clothing items to be dumped there as well.
Once a caravan shows up:
- [d][b][c] and mass-claim the pile of stuff on top of the Depot.
- Without unpausing, just [q] to the Depot to mark items for trade. Since it sorts by distance automatically, your trade-worthy stuff will be at the top of the list. Mark everything with a distance of 0 for trade and you're done.
Once this happens the goods still need to be hauled to the Depot, but this goes quickly since everything only needs to be moved a maximum of two squares.
My favorite things about this approach:
Items get automatically forbidden when dumped, so nothing you want to trade will get used for anything else in the meantime and will stay there indefinitely until traded. Old clothes will stay put, for example.
Using dumps means you can do all of the major hauling / designating throughout the season, whether there's a caravan present or not. This makes a HUGE difference in more mature forts, when you're trading away 500+ items at a time.
It splits up the task of assigning trade goods into smaller chunks, so when you DO want to trade away an entire year's worth of stone mugs or whatever then you don't waste 25-30 minutes just sorting through the trade screens.