Assorted questions

Keith,

Many thanks for a great product; it may be exactly what I need, so I’ve been test-driving it for the past couple of days. But I do have a couple of user questions – I’ve searched the forum for answers, forgive me if they’ve been already been supplied elsewhere and I overlooked them. Some of these may actually be “wishlist” requests; if so, please file them as such, with my apologies.

  • Is there a way to import web pages into the Research binder via drag-and-drop, like I can with the Scrapbook add-on to Firefox? I know I can import via File>Import>Webpage, then copy the URL into the pop-up box, but that’s a lot of steps, a real barrier to usage.

  • Can I collapse individual note cards on the Corkboard (to just a line, say?), or change the size of individual cards?

  • Can I make the Corkboard full-screen?

  • Is there a way to drag-and drop notecards into a free-form array, outside the grid array?

In general, I like how the Corkboard notecards correspond to the actual outline; that’s a real help in creating a working draft. On the other hand, what I also need is a corkboard with deep flexibility. When I’m starting a book project (as I am now), basically I just throw notecards on the wall, shuffle them around, and let them gradually fall into place over a course of weeks. I tried to emulate this on my laptop by throwing Stickies all over it: I can quickly change their size and color and shuffle 'em around to wherever. The results sure are pretty (see attached image) – but I can’t save the thing, and unlike Scrivener, the cards don’t correspond to actual documents. I can do something similar by creating a MS Word doc and opening little text boxes in it, changing their background color etc., but it’s a very finicky approach.

As far as I can tell in Scrivener, though, the corkboard only lists index cards in sequential order; I can’t even create arrays, i.e. rows and columns. Meets a certain need, true, but isn’t very helpful (for me) in trying to creatively visualize a project from scratch. What’d be supercool (he said casually, knowing nothing whatsoever about programming) is if cards could be individually, optionally tethered or untethered to the outline: some cards could be locked into place, but others left to float around the edges until I found the right place for them.

But maybe I’m asking too much. Or (more likely) I’ve missed something–it’s already possible in Scrivener and I haven’t yet figured out how. In either case, I’m deeply impressed with what you’ve created thus far and look forward to incorporating it into my workflow … just as soon as I get around to working…

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Hi tzero,

Sorry it’s taken me a couple of days to reply - I’m in the middle of moving house.

You can drag the URL from the browser directly into the binder (though not into the Draft folder, of course). This works only with Camino in 1.03, but in 1.1 (you can get the 1.1 beta from the Beta Testing forum), it works with Safari, too. I admit that I haven’t tested 1.1 with Firefox yet, but it may be worth downloading the 1.1 beta and testing it out. Let me know if it doesn’t work.

No - the cards are of a uniform size (3 x 5) always; you can choose how many cards you have across at any one time - which will make them bigger or smaller - but you cannot resize them individually.

'Fraid not - you can only view text in full screen mode.

Again, I am sorry to say: no. It seems to me that you may be familiar with an old Mac program called Three by Five (and later Corkboard - or it may be the other way around). That allowed you to drag index cards around in a freeform manner and connect them in different ways. The trouble with implementing something lies in the whole Scrivener model - which in most areas is a strength, but makes it nearly impossible to implement the freeform dragging of index cards. Consider that any document can “contain” other documents. In the binder and outliner view, you click on the disclosure triangle of the container to get a list of the contents. Select the container and the contents will be shown as index cards on the corkboard (depending on Navigation settings). The corkboard therefore necessarily shows a straight list which corresponds to the children of the selected document in the binder. If you could arrange them in a freeform way, how would they then show up in the binder or outliner view? Not to mention the programming hell of making it possible to join op index cards and create relationships.

I certainly don’t rule out a more freeform corkboard in the (distant) future, but right now I can’t imagine how it would fit in with everything else.

Sorry. :frowning:

Thanks and all the best,
Keith

thanks for your reply. i guess i’ll have to live without the supercorkboard for the time being, or with some version of my Sticky-board. but i like Scrivener a lot, especially the backup and full-screen features. (however, i do find myself dropping my research PDFs into Journler instead, mainly because there I can open them with Skim, which enables me to highlight and markup the PDFs.)

re Firefox, i tried drag-and-dropping a URL into the Research folder, but end up only with a blank page and the URL, no actual content. (but it does indeed work in Safari – very impressive!)

Out of interest, how does Journler handle open PDF files in Skim? Currently you can open PDF files in their default application (usually Preview) in Scrivener, so I just wondered how Journler let you choose. Guess I should download and check it out…
Best,
Keith

Journler has a button that allows you to open the pdf with Skim. Since Journler stores a pdf as a link, you have to first open the pdf in Journler to have access to the button, which seems an extra step to me.

Wth Scrivener it’s simpler. You can do it two different ways: you can add pdfs to a file as references then if you double click them they can open in whatever default program you have set for your system. I have Skim set as my default program, so all my pdfs automatically open in Skim.

Or you can copy the pdf directly into Scrivener and then ‘Open in’ from the menu or using the toolbar button or keyboard combination. Again, you have to have Skim set as your default pdf viewer.

So unless I’m missing something (which is always possible), it seems easier in Scr. than in Journler to open a pdf in an external editor. It does, however, require setting Skim as your default pdf viewer on the system level.

Alexandria

Great to know! I’ll activate it right away … Many thanks …