You might need a custom sortCompareFunction that checks for spaces and
strips off anything after it. Are all number parts 4 digits?
No they're not all 4 digits and I still want the column to display the whole string (including the space/letter)
In the custom compareFunction, you can create a sort variable by slicing off the letters. This should be pretty easy if there's always a space and then letters at the end. Your actual data wouldn't be stripped, the compare function would just use this variable for sorting.
var patternIndex:int; var temp:String; var numericSortVariable:String; temp = originalVariable; patternIndex = temp.search(" "); numericSortVariable = temp.slice(0, patternIndex);
I'm assuming you've already looked into custom compareFunctions, but in case you haven't this looks pretty helpful: