Adding columns to outliner: why won't they stay in order?

I followed your useful video tutorial on adding columns to Outliner and set up four (called Goal, Motivation, Conflict and Disaster, following the excellent Rock Your Writing approach).

Having filled in all necessary information for each scene under these headings I wanted to proceed to rewriting. I thought it would be more convenient to print out the information I’d entered in these new Outliner columns, so I attempted to do that.

Surprise number one: no amount of ticking checkboxes in the double chevron drop-down list allows me to print out anything other than title and synopsis. I tried copying and pasting all the columns into TextEdit and Evernote, but these wouldn’t recognise the new columns, either.

Surprise number two: somehow, in the printing attempts, the order of the new columns has become reversed, so that they now read Disaster, Conflict, Motivation and Goal.

Surprise number three: the scenes, which are still listed in the correct order in the binder, are now jumbled out of sequence in the Outliner. This surely is a result of me simply pressing the wrong button, but for the life of me I can’t find a way to undo this.

In other words, I have pretty comprehensively screwed up all the work I’ve just done. Any suggestions for how to get the columns back in the right sequence and print them out?

Many thanks!

Okay, for one thing printing an outline doesn’t actually print the “spreadsheet” view. The options for it are located in the [b]File/Page Setting[/b] panel under the Scrivenings settings. It’s more just a quick way to print out some information on each item. It is possible to add some data here, but not custom data.

What you probably want to do is export the outliner as a CSV file, using the [b]File/Export/[/b] sub-menu. This can be opened in any spreadsheet program, styled a bit if you wish and printed. When exporting, you can choose to include all columns or only those currently displayed in the outliner.

I’m not sure what happened with the column order, they might have just been accidentally dragged around. That is how you change the order at any rate. Just click and drag the headers.

This sounds like you sorted the outliner. Check in the column headers to find the one with the triangle in it, then click it once or twice until that disappears. Most columns can be sorted, with the header acting as a toggle through ascending, descending, off.

Thank you both, and many apologies for not responding sooner.

I have now managed to get the columns back in correct order–thanks for the tip, Jennifer. (Though, bizarrely, when I exported the outline to Excel the columns reversed themselves again!)

Ioa, I did manage to export to Excel, the only spreadsheet I have, but the result is a jumbled mess, impossible to read. I wish it were possible to print the outliner without having to wrestle a Microsoft program into submission (I always come off second best, which is why I left Word for Scrivener in the first place…). I’d like to get a an overview of the whole unwieldy novel by spreading out sheets of paper, see the entire outline at once rather than the limited amount that fits on one screen.

Anyway, thanks again for your responses. Much appreciated.

There are easier spreadsheet programs to use. Unfortunately one of the better ones, Numbers from iWork '09 is no longer available. They recently replaced it with a free version that really isn’t that good. However you may try that out through the MAS. Like I say, I think it is free. A lot of people like Google’s spreadsheet as well. If you don’t mind using a website for computer work, it’s also much easier to get a grasp on that than MS Excel.

Thank you very much for those suggestions. I’ll give them a try (does MAS stand for Mac App Store?).

Meanwhile, I’ve just thought of a workaround, which is to take snapshots (the Mac snapshot, I mean, shift-command-4) and print those out. I’ve got them on my desk as I write, several sheets taped together. The print’s very small but legible, and it’s giving me the overview I was after.

Yes, that is what it stands for. Pardon my jargon. :slight_smile:

Many thanks!