Feature Request: Abillity to select multiple values in a metadata field

I have tried using keywords but they don’t do it for me. What would really solve my need to capture multiple values (like characters in a scene) and have it “reportable” would be to be able to select multiple values in the custom metadata fields.

This is a restatement from a prior request (with resulted in really great feedback/suggestions from other users ) and after trying different options, I am back to this request.

Is it possible? Is there a significant technical reason it can’t be done at all or is the technical debt too great? Or if it can be done but it’s a low priority, please let me know.

I’m going to keep using Scrivener either way but would love this feature.


Discussion of other applications deleted. This forum is for Scrivener and Scapple feature requests.

What, specifically, do you want to accomplish? Keywords are reportable and searchable. So is a single metadata field with multiple values in the same string. The latter is the way Aeon Timeline sync handles characters in a scene.

Briefly, I like Metadata. I like it better than keywords.

the limitation with Metadata is when using a prepopulated list of values. You can only select 1 value when, ideally, I would like to select multiple… instead of a text field where I have to type the values in each and every time.

For example:

  1. Characters present in the scene
  2. Spells used in the scene (I am writing high fantasy/high magic novel…keeping track of which spells are used helps me keep the magic in balance and consistent. Some mages don’t know some spells and disciplines… etc…)
  3. Which items important to the story are in the scene.

There are other metadata fields where a single value is appropriate (POV, Location, Day #, etc…)

I’m using the text option even though there will be some limitation in how I can analyze the data but it’s not a critical failure.

I thought I would ask for the feature. the answer is “No”, i will move on. As I said, it’s not a dal breaker, i will continue to use Scrivener.

  • Keywords are metadata, so you can’t like metadata better than keywords. You mean custom metadata.
  • Did you call keywords “text fields”?
  • There is no limit on words in a custom metadata field. All your characters will fit. I suppose that’s the route you’ll take, but keywords can accomplish the same function (mostly).
  • There is no limit on the keywords you can select, either. If you have a keyword for each character — or spell —or other important thing, you can select as many as you please.
  • You can’t select anything when setting the value of a custom metadata field.
  • The drawback of keywords is that you can only report all of them (with <$keywords>), not just the keywords of a single category.
  • The drawback of custom metadata fields is that you have to type in the value. That can be onerous for a lot of characters in a scene, and a typo means it won’t show up properly in searches. That won’t happen with keywords.
  • The advantage of custom metadata fields is that you can have one for characters, another for spells, etc. — a decisive advantage for you, I think.

thank you, @drmajorbob , I appreciate the time you took to consider my situation and to provide some clarity around the use of keywords vs. custom meta-data. I’ve made some very brief responses (in bold) below.

Thank you again. I really do appreciate the help.

I for one, think it’s a great idea to introduce a new, multi-select custom metadata type. It would be nice if it helped you avoid typos, maybe just by auto-completing to match existing values. That’s something that the Keywords fields would benefit from, as you can enter new keywords in some places without knowing if you spelled/capitalized to match existing words/phrases.

Being able to essentially have multiple keywords fields would be quite valuable to me, but I want to be able to see a list of all the words used throughout the project, which is only possible if Scrivener keeps track of each unique value. Free-form text fields don’t do that for you.

There’s a dropdown to add more custom metadata fields (and a dropdown to add new keywords), but there is no dropdown to set the value of one. See the screenshot. If I want to set a value for Header, I’d click on Header and type in a value. I don’t get a dropdown to choose from a list of previously established Header values.

If the custom Metadata Type is List, then there is a dropdown for value selection in the Outliner (Windows Scriv 3):

Also one in the Inspector:

@drmajorbob Or are you referring to something else and I missed your meaning?


Thanks @JimRac I was about to post that it is found in Project Settings>Custom Metadata


I probably should’ve shared what it looks like when I use custom Metadata. In this view, I see the essetials nicely grouped as a quick reference.

When in Outline view, I hae this handy quick reference:

I find that his visual “heads up” nicely grouped custom meta data for quick reference is what I value. Oooh! I I just noticed that in the last scene I hadn’t set the POV… so, a double click and the selection list comes up fo rthat Custom Metadata is a list and I checked on Kairee and fixed it. yay!

Oh, And I see I misspelt Demonology… because I have to type it in instead of picking from a list.

<–world’s worst proof reader

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That’s fine if you want to choose one value. @MG_Martin wants to select many at times, and she didn’t specify List custom metadata fields.

I did say this “. . . to select multiple values in the custom metadata fields.” in my first post above, but didn’t specify “list.” I didn’t specify “list” as i am fairly agnostic as to it being a list or checkboxes or any other creative solution that may be found.

But you can’t select multiple values from such a list. Can you?

(I could easily be wrong, since I don’t use lists. If you can, I may start.)

Yes, that’s what this entire thread is about. @MG_Martin has requested a custom metadata type that provides ability to 1) enter preselected values, and 2) select multiple values.

So her request would work just like the current List type, but allow selection of more than one value. It doesn’t have to be called a List, although I don’t see anything to be gained in creating a new type, say List+, as opposed to just enhancing the current List type.

Regardless of any of that, you said –

– without qualifying what custom metadata type you were referring to. Since there exists a custom metadata type List that does allow selection to set the value of one, your statement could mislead folks who aren’t aware that List exists and how it works.



Good point. Mea culpa again. I’m a doddering old fool.

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Then again, I don’t think @MG_Martin specified, either.

Regardless, we’ve dissected the issue ad nauseam now. It would be a useful feature due to the advantage (over keywords) of being able to report a specific category of values and the advantage (over other custom metadata) of the values being selectable.