Different Custom Metadata for Different Scrivener Items

Is it possible to have different custom metadata for different items in your binder. For example, if I want certain metadata for Characters vs Scenes vs Locations vs Plots. Instead my Outliner shows one consistent metadata for all items.

You can save different outiner’s setups in the Layout manager.
That would allow you to have it display this or that way (which metadata fields) depending on your current need, as per situation.

But otherwise no. Custom metadata is common across all documents. And you can’t have a document display specific ones, while another document displays others.


Awesome… thank you for your help!

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Here are some further tips on how you might be able to cut down on how much metadata you are using to begin with. When you have a tool that supports regular expressions, you can get away with a lot more “freeform” data.

I have a Short Stories project in which each document is a separate short story. I want to use custom metadata to create checkbox metadata for each story point or prompt element I want each story to include. When I create a new, blank document from a template that has no custom metadata, the document (like all documents in the project) automatically inherits the metadata created for the prior document/story. If I edit the metadata, the changes reflect in every other document. In other words, I have project metadata, not document metadata. When creating or editing custom metadata, I see no option for isolating the metadata to the current document.

macOS 14.2.1 (Sonoma), Scrivener 3.3.6

It “can’t” be done. On the technical level, the app doesn’t allow it. Custom metadata is a project level thing.

But… you could use either the notes or synopsis panel, and design it as a list, and use strikethrough rather than a checkbox.

If the notes and synopsis panel are not available, there is a text custom metadata field that you could then use.

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Another idea could be to include special characters or perhaps emojis in the title/name of the documents, which you then add or delete. This would have the advantage that you can see all the “metadata” at a glance in the binder. If you duplicate a “template document”, these “metadata” remain in the title.

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You can also give each story its own project. Scrivener doesn’t care.

You can add as many custom metadata entries as you desire so you could have custom lists for different story elements. You can also have free /custom text edits boxes which allows you to tailor the info you add.

I realize it can’t be done, but would it be possible for a future update to perhaps be able to have different meta-data in each file? I often sync Scrivener with Aeon, and it uses custom meta-data there, but I have different data for Characters and Events- doesn’t make sense for Events to have an eye color.

Similarly if one could use wiki-links for the items in the meta-data, that would be very helpful.