Assigning metadata to multiple notes

I have to say, my wish list for Scrivener is getting shorter all the time. KB has found some innovative ways to address almost all the issues I had with SG (not to mention Devonthink, Notetaker, etc. etc) Scrivener is a brilliant program and my current writing tool of choice, especially on my spanking new 24 inch Imac! As a playwright, I was very pleasantly surprised to see the script formatting features appear.
Thanks very very much. Where do I send wads of cash?

That said, (you knew this was coming, can’t we just say “Great Program” amd Shut up? Not this puppy):

  1. Given my zillions of notes, I would love - nay NEED - a way to quickly assign Keywords, Tags, Labels and Status metadata to more than one note/document at a time. Doing them all individually is just too time consuming.
  2. Why not allow users to decide which of the individual panes they want to display in the inspector? Given my new real estate, I 'd love to show synopsis, general, keywords, notes, and resources all at once.

That’s it, everything else is just right.

Thanks again


Thanks for the kind words, Eiron. :slight_smile:

The ability to assign keywords to specific documents from the keywords HUD is on the list for beta 3. Labels and status will remain per-document, though, I’m afraid.

This has been discussed before, and my question remains: how? :slight_smile: When first designing the new Scrivener, I pondered upon an Aperture-style inspector, where you could collapse/expand items as you like rather than having them in separate panes. The problem with this model, though, is that Scrivener is quite different in that certain elements need to be resizable by height - the notes pane and and the keywords and references tables should be able to be resized by the user. The Aperture model doesn’t allow for this (split views, which are notoriously buggy, certainly wouldn’t work in such a model). So, I think the current model is the best for now.

Thanks again,

Well, I wouldn’t presume to know what the hell I’m talking about :smiley: but I looked around and was surprised to see that no app I could find did this – though Nisus Express and OO do have hideable/expandable panes in a drawer and I suppose that could be adapted.

Not surprisingly, Scrivener itself provides the best model: is there any reason the synopsis, general and keywords panels couldn’t be made resizable just the way the notes & references panel are? Perhaps a series of small icons below, or a checkable expansion of the current popup menu, would allow us to decide which panels to show. We could choose which one(s) to display and resize at will.

Glad to hear we’ll be able to assign keywords to more than 1 doc at a time. I look forward to beta 3. In the meantime, maybe having to apply them manually will force me to take a closer look at my notes - not necessarily a bad thing.



Yes - I call it Split View Hell. :slight_smile: Split views are very buggy in Cocoa - an Apple issue, they haven’t updated them seriously since NeXTStep days (maybe they will with Leopard given the proliferation of new split view types there have been in Apple apps recently and how they seem to be dropping the drawer paradigm in favour of split views - I hope so). Basically, every view inside a split view needs a minimum size, and after the split reaches that point then it has to be set either to collapse, or to resize no further. Otherwise, controls within the split views start to move around uncontrollably and will only get reset if you restart the app. Now, imagine having five such splits (for synopis, metadata, keywords, notes and references) in one vertical view, which itself can be resized by changing the window size. Now you know why you will never find an app that uses lots of split views in a row (note that you may find some, but only if the contained views are single views, like a single text view - not views with lots of different controls inside them).

Also, notice that Nisus’s elements aren’t resizable in themselves (if I recall correctly) - you can’t grab the bottom of each element and drag it downwards.

All the best,

In that case, I’m sure using (command)-3 and (command)-4 is a small price to pay for staying out of hell.

That’s all my questions addressed and answered. Many thanks.

Back to writing.


Like almost everyone else on this forum, I say “three cheers to Keith” Its a great program!! Yay! Now, for my one request. I’m glad we can batch edit label and status, I would love to be able to batch edit references as well. I know its trickier, because there is not a single list of references. The way I work is that I load a source (pdf or html) in scrivener, then I take notes on notecards in splits view. Now, I want to make this PDF the reference of all my notes. This way, when I move them around to create an outline, the source comes along with them. All is well, except, after creating 50-60 notes on a source, I then need to go back and associate each one with the reference. Please, pretty please think about allowing us to batch edit references. Perhaps it can work like the iTunes batch edit meta-data. You can type in anything, but it also gives you a list of all the other entries in that field. Even if we could only use this batch method to add references, but not edit or delete them, it would make my research so much better.

Thanks again for changing the way I write research papers. I love scrivener!!

Did you know you can assign project references? You can select between document and project references by clicking on the references title bar in the inspector.

Thanks for the quick response. I’m learning to love scrivener, but the active forum makes it even better.

Two things (and an idea):

  1. I just tried to call up project refs, but clicking on the reference title bar does nothing. I’m not sure if there is a preference I need to turn on or something.

  2. Project wide refs are not really what I am looking for. I want to associate a particular notecard with a reference, so when I drag that notecard around, I always know the source. The reason I want batch editing, is that as I read through a source, I can take 50-60 notes. Each one needs to have the reference added, but doing so as I go along is inefficient. Without batch editing, doing so after I finish is also inefficient.

(the idea) I just thought of this. Perhaps there could be a button that applies the parent file/folder as a reference. This way notes or docs can be created in (or dumped into) one folder and the click of a button will apply the folder as a reference. Then when they are rearranged to draft the document, they will still be associated somehow with their original parent doc/folder. I’m not sure how to implement this, but it would be great for establishing connections between large groups files. It would not allow you to delete references, but thats ok. (though true batch editing would be even sweeter).

Thanks for writing a great program and providing such great support.

This would indeed be a helpful feature. I work (as a novel writer, not as an academic) in a similar way when doing research - only that up to now I did it with real cards: While reading a source, I take notes on cards (not so much, maybe 10 or 15, but anyway) and have always the trouble to jot down the reference (usually an abbreviation for the source and the page number where I found the information). Establishing 10 or 15 references by clicking and searching etc. is something I wouldn’t do; I would stay with the abbreviation system, because it’s faster. But to assemble all notecards as children of the source document and then to establish a permanent links from all of them to the parent - that would be a tremendous help, and it’s logical also. After that, I’d start moving the cards around, to the scenes where I want to use the information I excerpted. And in case there are questions while writing, I’d have the original source with a click.

I can’t say that this is something that is likely to appear any time soon, if ever, I’m afraid. I would, in fact, take 1.04/1.1 (in the beta forum) to be the last big change for some time…
Thanks and all the best,


OK. In a way, I appreciate that, because I’ve already started wondering when you will find time for the novel you wanted to write in the beginning of all this…

Thinking about it, I guess I’ll stay with this abbreviation + page number system I already use. The abbreviation can go in the title of the reference document, and for any note, it’s just a few characters more to type. Plus it will work also when printed on paper!

Not sure this got responded to. Are you using the latest beta 3 version of Scr., v. 1.041b? If not, then you won’t have project references. If so, then it should be there in the title bar of the reference panel in the inspector (where is days Document Notes). I know it’s not exactly what you are looking for, but you should be able to access this feature nevertheless.

Hope this helps,