Auto numbering and re-numbering of index cards

I’m a screenwriter and I use scrivener for outlining individual scenes. One scene for each index card. I have my draft broken up into three parts corresponding to the three acts and each scene in the act on a card and then I use the final draft option and draft the scene from the card.

What would be really helpful for me would be if I had the ability to take the cards and auto-number them so I could easily see how many scenes I have and to re-number them when I move them around and be able to see the numbers on the cards. Possibly even to include the numbers when I print out an outline of the cards in draft mode or convert to an rtf.

Can this be done? Thanks

Gary Kessler … =post&f=4#

Hi Gary,

I’m afraid that this sort of live renumbering would be somewhat problematic, because cards are just documents and so the numbers would have to take into account all of the documents in the Draft folder, checking the numbers there, and it also brings up other conceptual questions: should the numbers be part of the title (involving updating parts of the interface elsewhere)? What about folders or text containers, should they be numbered too? And so on… So, whilst I absolutely understand the suggestion, I can’t see it fitting into the current implementation, I’m afraid.

Thanks and all the best,

I have the same desire. I like to see the number of scenes, but more importantly refer to scenes (or chapters) by number. This single feature keeps driving me back to Final Draft…

I’m a relatively new - and seriously delighted BTW - user of Scrivener (v1.5) - and I would like to add my voice - or my plea - to what I believe is being mentioned here. Specifically, the ability to have some sort of system - whether automatic - semi-automatic - or even manual - for NUMBERINGthe individual cards (I believe Scrivener also calls them “Text” entries as well?).

My reasons for asking for this are twofold. Like other users, I am a film writer - and during outlining and structuring, it’s often more than helpful - but actually essential - to have some type of numbering/labeling system to keep track of, for example, individual scenes or sequences which may make up a larger unit, usually an Act.

But this isn’t just a selfish individual request - it’s also vital to another aspect of screenwriting - which is that many film projects are, of necessity, COLLABARATIVE. I often work with other writers - not to mention directors and producers - and during the vital period of outlining/structuring, it’s often necessary for me and my collaborators to be able to work off of the same document - and to make reference to certain scenes or elements. Having a numbering system makes this a million times easier. That way, when I am on the phone with my director who is in a different time zone and sometimes on a different continent, and we’re both working from the same document - we can easily refer to Scene #17 - rather than having to find an individual scene based on, say, its Title or something else.

BTW being a long term semi-techie and semi-nerd in addition to being a scribe and writer, I understand that this ability - to number and renumber - would be not only “somewhat” problematic - but actually extremely challenging (and difficult) to implement. HOWEVER, it’s such an important (and, dare I repeat myself, essential) part of the collaborative writing processes which many writers must participate in - the ability to have common reference numbers for different parts of their story/script/outline/scene breakdown/manuscript - that it would be a great boon to (I suspect) quite a few Scrivener users.

Actually it might even be more complicated - because, theoretically, a good numbering/renumbering system SHOULD ideally be usable on the level not just of the entire draft - but more importantly, on the level of individual FOLDERS. Since a ‘Folder’ is the equivalent of an ‘Act’ in a screenplay - it would actually be much more helpful not to have a numbering system which would apply to the contents of the ENTIRE Draft Folder - but rather, more simply (?!?), to the contents of individual sub-FOLDERS which would be underneath/part of the contents of the main Draft folder.

Does this make sense? Not sure if I’m explaining the concept correctly. In a novel, it might be more important to have a numbering system which could number chapters sequentially over different sub-Folders - but in a Screenplay, that’s not as essential; it’s much more important to be able to number/renumber the individual elements/scenes of a given Act.

I hope at least some of these theoretical questions can be partially answered by what I’m suggesting above.


But the ability to partially number - or re-number - is so damn important for collaborative aspects of many writing projects (I’m actually using Scrivener on another multi-media project and will be collaborating with other people on it and, already, I’m wishing that this wish-idea could somehow become a part of it - that if time and circumstances at all allow this in the future…it would be a wonderful addition to what is already, as some have said, truly a ‘gem’ of a program.

Incidentally, Herman Melville once said that writers only need four things - time, strength, cash…and patience. Maybe he was right…

But if we could have five…I’ll get down on my knees, metaphorically and literally, and pray for some kind of numbering scheme…in a future Scrivener iteration.



Well…sigh…I finally figured out how to do it. For each individual scene that I want numbered (or re-numbered, as the case may be) - it seems I must do a 3-step process---- first go to the Edit Menu - then go to Insert - then go to Auto-Number - and then pick which style (numbers, letters, words) I want for my numbering scheme. Ooops, that’s actually 4 steps. And…it does work. Sort of.

So I will get down again, on even lower bended knees…and make my plea to the Scivener Gods (are you listening?) - for some more simple way to implement this process.

Because - truth be told - the process of having to manually insert codes to either turn things on or off - hearkens waaaaayyyyy back to the earliest dawn of writers using computers to write with (does anyone remember all of those codes for the original Wordstar? in the CP/M operating system which predated MS DOS and the Mac and just about everything else? Not to mention the now-defunct WordPerfect writing program for the Macs, which used to drive generations of writers insane with its demands for inserting multiple formatting codes into documents all the time…

I know that in the real world, when you strip away the simple beauty of our modern GUI (Graphical User Interface) and our post-modern WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) world where we are used to simple elegant and visual working environments - the truth is that, hidden beneath all of that, there are codes galore…

But (are you listening, Oh Scrivener Gods, feating in your Halls high in clouds above Mt Olympus?) Macs are and can be so much more simple and intuitive than all that - and Scrivener is SUCH a cool app because of this very intuitiveness…that there should (we can dream, can’t we?) be a way to implement Auto-Numbering in a simpler way?

In the meantime, I have to get back to my Edit, Insert and Auto-Numbering chores…and one more cup of French Press.


He is on vacation. Seriously.

You might want to stay clear of the MultiMarkdown section here. There is a whole group of writers who still swear by codes and are not at all fond of the modern method of hiding them. :wink: Down there, we’d say having to worry about numbering at any phase of the game is counter-intuitive and a waste of human time.

Oh, and have any of you seen this post?