Accessing Shared Templates folder documents from Scrivener projects?

Once one designates a Shared Templates folder in Scrivener General Preferences, how does one go about accessing the contents of that folder from within each Scrivener project?

This is an extension to the document template feature, in that it adds to the Project ▸ New From Template submenu, or to the green plus button menu in the main toolbar. This is of course where any templates in the current project will appear, but with the shared templates folder, the files in that designated folder are added as menu commands to all projects, even if they don’t have a templates folder.

It’s a nice way to have “normal” file templates. For example I have some Scapple files that are meant to be starter files, that I put in there. I can select them from this menu to spawn a new copy right in the binder and go off and edit them. I also have some Taskpaper todo list type files for common procedures. Anything that you might want to create in multiple projects is useful in that folder.

What it is not as good for are Scrivener-specific things, like having documents that are set up with a custom icon, maybe some metadata, a section type setting, etc. Since they are just normal files on the disk, none of that is really applicable to them. So for that kind of stuff you do have to use the regular templates feature.

What can they contain? Text? Images? Laundry?

Think of it like you would think of importing files, of any kind, into the binder. That’s essentially all the feature provides, only it gives you a nice convenient interface for doing so. If you repeatedly import a particular file over and over into new projects, this feature is something worth looking into. So if you can import an RTF file with images in it, yes, that will work. You can put an image file all by itself in the folder too, though it would be a little odd to do so.

For some examples of what I have:

  • A text file with a bunch of lorem ipsum text, used for designing and testing things.
  • Some .scap files with starter boards for how I document certain processes and procedures.
  • Todo lists of things that often need to be done when starting a new project.
  • A cheat sheet of Regex patterns that I’ve built up over the years for fixing text.
  • Several documentation PDFs that I like to have easy access to in projects.

Others might find spreadsheets of use, etc.