Can't figure out how to track word count for whole project and to set targets

I’m a newbie. I’ve read the manual, done the tutorial. When I go to outliner options, everything is greyed out. I like the option of having a daily writing target but can’t find anything to tell me how to set this up. What am I missing?


Hi, Deborah. From the Project menu, select “Show Project Targets” . You’ll see a little dialog box pop up like this one:


Just click and type in your targets in the text fields. By default, the “session target” is a daily target which resets at one in the morning. Also by default, the project target counts all the text in your draft folder. There are a bunch of fancier ways to set this up under the “Options” button, but this should get you started. This stuff is all described in detail in section 20.1 of your manual.

Hope this helps!

Note that the Outliner options are greyed out unless you are in Outline view.


Thanks Katherine. However, I’m not sure what the purpose is. Outliner is blank. When I click on Target or Target type it simply applies a checkmark but doesn’t take me anywhere where I can set a target. I’m very confused about all of this. Part of the reason I subscribed to Scrivener was to work with targets. This doesn’t seem very intuitive. Can you help? Thanks

If the Outline view is blank, move up to a higher level in the Binder. The “Outline” for a single document will always be blank: there aren’t any sub-documents to show.



There are actually two different processes here.

  1. Setting up the project target and daily targets. You don’t need Outline mode for this at all. Siverdragon has shown you how to do this.

  2. Setting up individual document targets, which you then monitor in Outline mode. You could use this, for example, if you want to allocate your novel into Chapters of 2500 words, each of which has 5 scenes of 250 words each.

For the second type, you need to allocate targets to individual documents in the binder. As a simple example, let’s say in your Manuscript / Draft folder you have Chapter 1, with five Scenes under it.

First, highlight the Manuscript / Draft folder in the binder and press cmd-3 to toggle Outline Mode (you may have to press it twice). You’ll see Chapter 1 — if it’s not expanded, then do so now.

If you look at the row of headers (Title etc), there’s a ‘>’ at the far right. Click on that to get the list of available column titles. Choose Total Target, Total Word Count, Total Progress, Target and Word Count and Progress fields.

Then, in turn double click on the Scenes in their Target fields (not Total Target) and enter 500.

You’ve now told Scrivener to monitor the word count in each of the scenes and show progress — and to count all these up and monitor the total against the Chapter.

This is what it looks like:

You can see here that even though you’ve not added anything to Chapter 1 directly, it’s summing up all the word counts / targets / progress from the individual scenes.

There are few wrinkles (you can manipulate it to have different levels of reporting), but this is the basic process. Hope it helps.

(PS if you have a standard word target for you scenes / sections, then consider setting that target in document template, so you don’t have to add it each time. Ask if this doesn’t mean anything yet!)