Ability to apply multiple LABELS to items

If it were possible to apply more than one label, it would open up the taxonomy of our projects to much more versatile and subtle categorization.

The way Gmail uses labels is a perfect example of this.


I believe most people use keywords for this.


Briar Kit

You can also have multiple custom meta-data tags, if I’m not mistaken.

Of course using some custom meta-data is possible, but it’s not the best way.

It should be more better, to create personnal meta-data with a list of values, not an empty field to fill it each time we need and could contain not the same value for the same meaning. So two kinds of those lists should be appreciated: a list of values where only one is possible to be choosen (like the normal labels) and a “small squares list” where many values could be choosen.

Then, those personnal meta-datas should improve as much as possible the search abilities of Scrivener if it was possible to create real smart folders as a Mac can already do (Finder, Mail rules, iPhotos, Aperture, iMovie, Final Cut, etc…)

Keywords fit the bill.

  • More than one keyword per document is possible
  • Project Search can focus just on keywords, and other search options allow you to require all or just one to match
  • Saved search collections can work like Gmail’s tags when you use the appropriate search options
  • There’s a master keywords list (Project Keywords) you can drag from onto a selection in the binder or outliner to apply them

You don’t get to have a drop-down list, but that wouldn’t even work for applying multiple values.

Also of note; keywords work best with searches if you don’t allow any spaces in a keyword. Use underscores to join parts_of_a_keyword, or RunTheWordsTogether, whichever you prefer.

Maybe I haven’t enough experience with Scrivener, but at this time I don’t find to built some smart collections which they combine many rules at the same time (like I do with Mails, iPhoto and much more with Aperture).

An example:
Please Scrivener, show me all the documents which:
they have all of those keywords
NOT those other keywords
AND have been modified after date …
AND Status is …
AND contain “this expression”

Perhaps I over-stated the capability of keywords + project search; I haven’t used Gmail in years. I don’t think you can combine specific values for a variety of metadata without searching all metadata and text. And I’m afraid I skimmed the last part of your post when I was replying, missing your request for more sophisticated smart searching.

But for the purposes of having a list of tags (keywords) that are not just a free-form text area the way that custom meta-data is, Keywords are your best bet.

I’m using Scrivenver 3. Very nice GUI and I like the new Outline format! Great for those blogging and journalling. I am in the process of setting up Scrivener for blogging and in the process I noticed that there’s no convenient way to set multiple categories to a post. “Keywords” is best for tagging, not categorizing.

I like both the Label and Custom Medata List. Both allows me to conveniently click on it and a list appears for me to choose from. Label has “color” coded whereas with Custom Metadata List there is no color coded. This gives me options and I like that. Need color? Go with Label, otherwise go with Custom Metadata List. However, both fall short in that you can only choose one on the list. Suppose I have a blog post that can go under three different category. What would be the best way to achieve this? I can’t seem to figure it out. Label and Custom Metadata List only allow me to pick one.

EDIT: Well, played a little bit more and found a way around it. Not the most convenient but it works for now. Custom Metadata Text allows you to type in anything. Metadata Title “Category”, Type “Text” and on the Outline, type in the categories separated with a comma.If you want, you can use this Custom Metadata TEXT for tagging.

EDIT2: Feature request: When the Custom Metadata Text is lengthy, it gets truncated on the Outline view mode. I assumed that by hovering my mouse over it that it will give me a popup with a complete text. Apparently not. It would be great if I can get a quick view of all the categories associated with a post by just hovring my mouse over it…

(Long metadata fields)

On the Custom Metadata panel, you can set a field to ‘wrap text’ and that works in the Outliner too, so you can see the entire field at once. Does that do what you want?

Obviously, if you’re using that text field as a ;-delimited one, then you may want to leave a ; between them.

But TBH I don’t understand why you’d want to use this field for Tagging, when you can use Keywords, which are designed for exactly this purpose.

OP is not using it for tagging, as stated. OP is using this custom metadata for Categories, which is a relatively fixed and smallish (compared to tags) list of enumerated values. Tags are more free-form and ad hoc.

“If you want, you can use this Custom Metadata TEXT for tagging.” :smiley:

But aside from that… The wrap text feature should help with his/her requirements, I hope.

I have attached an image below to get an idea of what we’re discussing. The downside to Keywords is that I’m stuck with the word “Keywords.” Can’t change it to “Category.” Another downside is that I can’t double click on the Keywords field to add text on the fly, but with Custom Metadata Text I can double click on it and type in whatever. Furthermore, I can have a custom title for this Custom Metadata and have it as “Category” which is much more readable overall. At the moment, this seems to be the best solution… with only one minor problem: If you have more than one category and if they happen to be lengthy then it will be truncated. Hovering the mouse over it will have no popup to show the full text. Wrap text doesn’t really solve the problem and only make the height of the row bigger than it should be IF you have “Synopsis” turned off. If Synopsis is turned off then “Wrap Text” unchecked is the best way to go. Either way, a popup text will solve this minor problem whether wrap text and synopsis is on or off.

Fair enough – no problem with the request, I thought the Wrap Text option would help.

Just from your screenshots – it looks like you’ve got the ‘fixed height’ option set on the first two. Don’t know if you’re aware, but you can turn this off (View > Outliner Options > Use Fixed Row Height) so the long categories in those screenshots don’t overrun at the end. It’s a useful option, even if it doesn’t answer your specific point.

Didn’t know about the “Fixed Row Height” thing. This seems to fix the truncated problem for the Custom Metadata. When “Fixed Row Height” is unchecked, the Outline only list the title of the post without any excerpt. That mean I would have to manually fill out the Synopsis, something I prefer not to do. But for now I’m okay with it. Thanks again for the “Fixed Row Height.” With it I get to see all the Categories in real-time.

Glad it helped – it was only when I saw your screenshots that I realised you had Fixed Width on, which does truncate the last visible line.

Again apologies if these aren’t new to you: I thought I’d mention them in case they help.

  1. You can save the ‘Fixed Height’ status and columns as part of a layout, so you could define a ‘Categories Outline’ specifically for this task. You can assign a shortcut to it in the normal way. (This is all on Window > Layouts > Manage Layouts. cmd-) )

  2. If you highlight all the documents and choose Documents > Autofill > Set Synopsis from Main Text, you can save a bit of time, if all you’re doing is using it to pad out the space.

The ‘popup’ text is a good idea and perhaps it will come at some point.

As someone who is still new to Scrivener, these are very helpful. Thanks again!

No problem, glad they help.

But I’ve been using Scrivener since 2009 and I still find stuff in it which is new to me (even before we get to V3)!

I would love to apply multiple labels in part for the ability to add color. (In my fantasy here I’m imagining the cards on the corkboard with two stripes of color or a half stripe of each color.)

Here’s why: I’m writing a novel that spans a big chunk of time and is told from the POV of two different characters. I currently use the label function for each POV. I can instantly “see” in outline or corkboard view how much I’ve allocated to each character, whether I’ve neglected one of them etc. I love the new thread view for this.

I’d love to simultaneously be able to visually track backstory and foreground story. I can add dates to meta data etc but I haven’t found as simple and elegant a way to track those elements which are important for me. I could use status and have a stamp on the corkboard but I like to use status for idea, rough draft, etc.

You can show keyword colors on the Corkboard as well, and you can use as many keywords as you like.


Thanks. I’ll try that.