Document template as a form

I searched and all I found was a wish list mention from 2016.

Is there a way, in Scrivener 3, to make my document templates lockable so that I can input new info but not change the actual template?

Like a fillable form?


No. You can’t lock parts (or the whole) of a document.
The best thing to do is to take a snapshot of the original before filling it up. So this way you can copy paste back requiring parts of it if you messed it up by accident.

You can design a table to make the process more convenient, but again, nothing will stop you from messing it up.

I thought that was the purpose of Document Templates…

For instance, in my “Food” project, I have set up a “Recipe” template. It actually consists of three documents: the main document titled “Recipe” for info about the recipe, where I found it, or it’s history within the family; a child document titled “Ingredients” which is set up with the paragraph style for listing the ingredients; a child document titled “Method” ready for the cooking instructions.

When I encounter a new recipe to try, I don’t open that template in its folder. I make sure I have selected the appropriate section in the Binder for that recipe and go to Project > New from Template and click “Recipe”. A new set of documents, “Recipe”, with “Ingredients” and “Method” child documents is created at the end of the section I have chosen. So I change the title “Recipe” to the name of the dish, put in all the details in the appropriate places, and then move it to where I want it to be in the list (which is sorted alphabetically within sections).

I don’t touch the “Recipe” document template in the Templates folder… it remains unchanged. In essence, it is a fillable form. Or have I misunderstood your problem?



Yeah. Now that you’ve put it this way, the initial question is actually quite ambiguous.

OP, please expand/refine.

Vincent you had the correct understanding. You can always accidentally change your template while using it.

Not quite, by fill-able form I mean like a PDF form. You can not change the form headings or other wording. You can only enter additional information. Once you add a template to a subdocument, there is nothing to prevent accidentally deleting or changing formatting from the template.

I do not know how to do this in Scrivener, but assuming you have access to Word, and if you wouldn’t mind keeping your template in your resource folder or as an external link in your bookmarks…

I transcribe hundreds of historical records. The boilerplate text/form within each category is repetitive. (Much like a character sheet is)To save time:

  • I created a form in Word (or other word processor) with fields to contain the “blank lines”
  • The document can then be locked to editing only the fields (blank lines).
  • Save this form as a template in the word processing program you use.
  • Add the link to this template to your resource folder (or bookmarks) and set it to open in Word.
  • Test your link in Scrivener. It should open your Word template in Word.
  • Fill in the blanks/fields
  • Use “Save as” and create ‘new name.rtf’ (type .rtf is important here)

I’m working from memory, and not at my computer to check the steps right now, so forgive me if I leave something out.

Now you can bring the completed doc back into Scrivener as an .rtf (Scrivener’s native format). It won’t be locked to editing, but your template will still be locked.

As an rtf, the newly created document from Word should work anywhere in your binder or draft. If you are not worried about changing the 'filled out form", but only the template, this could work for you.

Alternatively, I think there is option to keep the fields visible (shaded) and the rest of the template locked. In this case I don’t think Scrivener can read it or keep it locked to editing. (I’ve not had the need for this, so haven’t tried). My understanding is that a doc of this type would have to live in your resource folder, and open in it’s native program/external editor.

Just fyi, when you save as RTF, it effectively ‘erases’ the field shading and locks (which is what I use) - then my transcription looks identical to the original I transcribed from.


Thanks I’ll try this

1 Like