Custom meta-data fields: very much needed

I am test-driving your piece of software these days.
So you know where I come from, I have used extensively many scriptwriting softwares and found them generally very slow to improve their features and respond to their users needs.
I have always been interested in finding a piece of software that would be a good structuring tool as much as a good word processor. StoryView (as a structuring tool), used in conjunction with Movie Magic Screenwriter, was a powerful combination. Problem is: going back and forth between the two was a real nightmare. Strange, since it was from the same developers.
Sophocles was a wonderful attempt to fulfill both needs., and had many wonderful ideas But Sophocles disappeared suddenly.
I’ve learned about Scrivener from Jamie Todd Rubin’s shared notebooks in Evernote. I am always interested to try other people’s methods and he raved about Scrivener, so I gave it a try, and I must say I am impressed so far. This is very well-thought and very different from other word processors. Just the fact that you can write synopsis of scenes that will appear in index cards is a feature I have requested from scriptwriting softwares for years. To be able to have your research “in” your project is also a big + I have hoped for for a long time.
Now, I am a Windows user and one critical feature is missing from this version, making it rather useless as a structuring tool to me: custom meta-data fields. And the 1st utility I see to custom meta-data fields is the possibility to have sortable timestamp to different storylines. The fact that now you almost always tell a story out-of-sequence was something Sophocles did wonderfully and that StoryView can do quite well. But I don’t see how I can use Scrivener this way. Maybe it is possible but I have not understand how.
In fact, a new meta-data field with the actual date and hour of a scene/text, formatted as such, would be a very useful thing.
Hope my English was not too bad, I’ll follow developments and go on trying Scrivener for the next few days.

Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear the software hits a number of important points for you.

As noted elsewhere, the Mac version is several years older than the Windows version, and as such it represents a de facto to-do list for the Windows version. There is no need to request features which already exist within it. If you were unaware that the Mac version had that feature already, then you’ll probably like how the software continues to evolve and grow over the years, as it sounds like the things you feel you need are things we’ve anticipated as well. :slight_smile:

I do not know if you can answer this question, but is custom metadata fields high on the priority list?
Really appreciate the spirit around here, I think I’ll hang around for a while…

Custom meta-data will be coming with the 2.0 release, but we don’t have a date to announce for that yet; it’s still a ways off, and I wouldn’t want to give you the idea that it’ll be available in the next month or so. Something you might try now while you’re playing around is to insert the date as the top line of the synopsis (if necessary you can go to the Navigation tab of Tools > Options to adjust whether pressing Enter when typing a synopsis creates a new line or ends editing when typing on the corkboard or in the outliner). That will make it immediately visible from multiple views, so you can at least have the option of yourself manually rearranging as necessary for chronology.

Creating collections to save the different orderings may be useful for you too, if say you want to have your narrative structured with a back and forth timeline but also want a view personally for writing where you can quickly get the overview of the internal chronology of the story events. Shuffling items in a collection doesn’t affect their placement in the main binder, and you can create as many collections as you need for different arrangements of your scenes.

I am still hoping to see this features in Scrivener, before jumping on-board.
It is not included in the new beta release, isn’t it?

The beta is, not 2.x, so, no.

hmmm, and still no ETA for 2.0 ?

“Custom meta-data will be coming with the 2.0 release, but we don’t have a date to announce for that yet; it’s still a ways off, and I wouldn’t want to give you the idea that it’ll be available in the next month or so.”

Ok, same answer than last June. Oh well…

Sometimes it is all too easily forgotten that software takes years to create.

But you have a Mac, you have this feature already :wink:

There is that! Although I started using Scrivener in 2006-ish, and didn’t have custom meta-data until nearly 2011 (alpha builds aside), there is that, too. :wink:

Love this program. Am using it (in Windows) on several writing projects, but the main item right now is managing documents in a sizeable piece of litigation (am a lawyer). A key need here is chronology. I’m doing it now by preceding each doc title with the date, e.g. “2012-06-12 letter from X to Y.” That works and it allows me to sort by date manually. I will be even happier when the announced ver. 2.0 arrives, whenever it arrives, with the meta-date (or meta-data date) field so that, I hope, I can sort and filter by date programmatically. I know, I can do this in any number of data bases, but they aren’t anywhere near Scrivener’s league as writing tools, are they. A chronology-apt data field will also be very helpful for a novel I will be rewriting which takes place over a number of decades, and where I need help in keeping track of what happened when. So, kudos for Scrivener, a great writing tool, very happy to have found it, and would not hesitate to pay more than the modest price asked.

Have a look at the beta if you’re interested. Custom meta-data is already in, and will be broadly available when 1.7 is released soon.

Great, great, great. Can wait to go back to writing and use this new feature!

Great, so I am back to writing for a while and able to look into this lovely feature.
I have an obvious question.
Can we sort and/or filter meta-data fields in the Organizer?
I just can’t recall

Do you mean the Outliner? You can display your custom fields as individual columns, but we do not yet have sorting implemented in the outliner. You can also search for custom meta-data values in a general way, using the Project Search tool’s magnifying glass menu.

OK, so I guess sorting through the meta-data fields in in the future, as in the Mac version. Correct?

Correct. We almost had sorting implemented for 1.7, but there were still too may remaining problems with it, and we’d already delayed the release long enough, so it had to be deferred.