Custom Synopsis text missing from all my index cards

So I am assuming that at some point my file did not save properly and became corrupted. For the past year or so it had been working fine then all of a sudden here is what happened:

All the synopsis notes that I wrote on all my index cards have vanished. I have a ton of cards using Novel with parts and the majority have custom notes written on them, not auto-generated. But the text is missing when the file opens up. The labels and colors are there but no synopsis note in the cork board editor or in synopsis view in the inspector.

When I look at the index cards in cork board view I will click on the first card and using the arrow keys cycle through all the cards and magically the custom notes re-appear on all the cards after I pass by them. With all of them back I saved the file as a different save as name. Closed it. Opened the newly saved file but alas all the notes were gone again. Sometimes I can bring them back by cycling through, sometimes I can’t. I’m stuck. I have years of info crammed into this thing and not sure how to save a clean properly working version. Any idea on how I can save a clean copy that will show the notes when the file opens so I don’t have to cycle through (and sometimes that doesn’t work).


Barry T.

Hmm, this sounds to me more like a display bug, where the program is trying to draw the cards a certain way but failing, rather than a problem with the content of the project. As you say, if you scroll through then the text returns—it is there, just not displaying. That’s a very important distinction in that it means your data is probably just fine.

The first thing I would try is to wipe out your project’s display settings. This is safe, but it will reset everything about how your project is displayed back to factory default. So if you’ve spent a lot of time customising how the project looks (such as outliner columns, corkboard settings, etc.) then you might wish to first save your display settings to a layout. Use the Window/Layouts/Manage Layouts… menu command for that (note the checkboxes below the thumbnail after you create a layout from your current settings).

Now click on the File menu and hold down the Option key on your keyboard. You should see an alternate menu command appear, “Close Project and Clear Interface Settings”. Do that, then reload the project. As I say it will be completely reset in terms of appearance, which even means nothing will be selected in the editor, all folders collapsed in the binder, etc. So at this point I would expand the Draft out and click on a folder with a bunch of cards. Do things look better? If so, try applying the preset you saved earlier and then visit another folder. Does the problem return? If not then this problem is likely gone forever and nothing to worry about.

Thanks Amber V but unfortunately it didn’t help. I saved the layout then closed project and cleared the interface settings, reopened it but the same issue exists: none of my notes appear in any of the cards until I’ve clicked on a card and then left it for another card.

So I was thinking about what you said about the data is there it’s just struggling to display. I thought maybe I just need to get the data into a brand new clean template. I opened a brand new empty Novel with parts project template and had it and my existing novel side by side and I dragged and dropped my existing manuscript, characters, research essentially the entire binder into the new Project file. Then closed the new file, renamed it and so far the notes appear on the cards as normal. I needed to re-customize my display settings like you said, no biggie. The only odd thing was a label color that I used for a particular set of cards in the binder appeared as a totally different color in the new project. Everything else, my notes and comments and even revision colors look to be the same and intact.

Do you think this is a good long term solution or is there a better way to go? As always, thank you and the community for the amazing and tremendous support. You are the best. Barry T

You can use the layout to apply your settings to the new project as well. Since layouts only describe general settings they are universal. So that should save you some time.

Migrating your content to a new project is safe, though there will be a few things that don’t transfer over automatically. Some specific project settings like global targets (document targets should copy as they are a part of the document you dragged), custom text formatting overrides, project notes and compile settings, are things you’ll need to copy yourself. Label and keyword colours should be coming over cleanly. If not maybe you are using an older version of the software? You should be on 2.7 or 2.7.1 (if you purchased from the Mac App Store).

One last thing: if you don’t mind sharing the project with us (all confidential of course), we could take a look at it and see if the problem occurs for us as well. If it does we might be able to figure out what went wrong and even advise on how to fix the original. If that’s agreeable, feel free to send a zipped copy of the project to our support address, mentioning this forum thread URL so that the person that receives it can forward you to me.