Feature Requests - commit order from outliner view, more

• Ability to commit order from outliner view. I have a large list of sources, it would be great to be able to organize them in the binder based on the outline order. Currently I have to either switch to the outliner view or one-by-one drag the items into the order I want them.

• Ability to create “types” of text files - types relating to the custom metadata fields that appear for a given file. An “advanced custom metadata” option would be great too, to allow dropdowns, radio buttons, etc in custom metadata.

• Ability to relate icon to status or label. So giving a status of “urgent” could temporarily change a file’s icon to something with a ! in it until status is changed.

Status for selected text. It would be nice to be able to select a piece of text within a draft and give it a “needs work” status, or “copied from source” to prevent accidental plagiarism.

—> this could also give you the ability to create “To do” lists and other lists from multiple documents if you could also view these disparate text chunks in a dynamic document/search. (example: In my workflow I have various different areas (source-tracking, information-foraging, workflow-revision etc) that each have To-dos within them. Currently any document with To-dos gets an icon and a status so it is visible and appears within my “To do” collection, but I still have to search through those documents (I colour-code text to make this easier) - it would be super cool if just the “To do” text chunks could create a dynamic To-do list!

• While I’m requesting features, I find it really annoying that I can’t edit most metadata with multiple documents selected. It would be really helpful if I could add a keyword or custom metadata to 100 pages at the same time instead of adding a tag 100 times…

(I copied a couple items in here from my reply in the Applescript thread because they are general feature requests)

I’m not entirely sure what you are referring to as “outline order”, since that and the order in the Binder are one and the same. The only exceptions to that are (a) when you have a column in the outliner set to sort, or (b) if you’re viewing an outliner for a Collection.

Either way though, when you select multiple items in a view, the order in which they appear within the selection will be retained when you drop those items elsewhere (or even right directly back into the folder they came from—that’s a handy way to permanently sort by something unusual, like creation date).

For cases where drag and drop to the Binder would be inconvenient, you can right-click on the selection and use the “Move To” sub-menu.

Check out 8.5, Document Templates in the user manual PDF. This will do everything you asked for and more.

You can already kind of do this with labels, using the View/Use Label Color In/Icons option.

The Format/Inline Annotation command is designed for just this sort of thing. Anything you type within them will be automatically stripped out when you compile, by default. Chapter 18 goes over all of the various markings that are available, and how to search for them in the future.

Also documented in that chapter is the comments feature. If you want to simply highlight the text and “tag” it, that might work better. In fact, that’s precisely the method I use for certain types of to-dos, just like you describe. I highlight the problem area, make a Comment with Shift-Cmd-8, type in “TODO //” and then describe the problem. I have a saved search collection that checks for “TODO //”. The slashes keep the phrase unique, and they also give me an effective “Done” system (if I’m not deleting it outright), as well as low priority. “TODO -/” won’t match, which I use for low priority stuff. This system also lets you categorise things a bit. “TODO /POST/” might only be spots that I’m concerned about the final appearance of, after I compile. Those I might not delete, if I need to review the formatting in that tricky area every time.

So the trick to getting your “Dynamic To-Do List” is to search for your tag, then select everything in the search results list and switch to Scrivenings mode. Now you can use that Comments sidebar column to locate TODO markers, click on them to scroll to the spot and address them. (Note you can use Cmd–0 and Cmd–9 in that sidebar to collapse/expand all notes, respectively).

Custom meta-data, in its current simple implementation (don’t worry, it’s getting better), isn’t really designed for scenarios like that. If you have a hundred documents that all need to same meta-data token, you’re talking about keywords. Custom meta-data is for when most every document will have something unique to say for that category—like plot notes, or dates.

Speaking of keywords, just select all of the items you want to assign the keyword to and drag and drop it from the keyword panel onto the selection.

Wow, thanks so much and apologies for the redundancy. There I was thinking I’d gone over the documentation pretty closely! Hopefully it’s more enjoyable to be able to say “it already does that” than it is annoying to have to explain existing features :slight_smile:

Yes, that was what I meant. Your solution will do nicely (although enabling the “commit” button for this would be rather intuitive)

No way! I’ll do that.

True, although it would be cool to be able to link the actual icon itself. Not really a biggy.

Hmmm that sounds similar to the way I have done it in the past in Google docs…

Ahh, thanks for that on the drag and drop, I should have found that.

Well I am excited about potential custom metadata improvements! It doesn’t feel right to do some things as “tags” because they’re too general and have no semantic meaning. I might write a note about an author, about a work by an author, or about a passage in which someone else’s work is citing another author - and I might import a lot of similar-origin notes at the same time… This is where I find the custom metadata useful.

switch to Scrivenings mode. Now you can use that Comments sidebar column to locate TODO markers, click on them to scroll to the spot and address them

Hmmm this doesn’t quite work actually - comments don’t appear in Scrivenings mode, so you still have to do it document by document. I think colour-coding is going to work best for now.

Comments should work in Scrivenings mode, showing all comments for all text - could you provide more details, as I’m not sure why that wouldn’t be working? Thanks!

Ahh, I’ve figured it out. It seems comments don’t work in Scrivenings mode specifically when it is a composite of files from a search or saved search. It works from a regular collection, but a saved search allows access only to Project Notes and Project References.

Have you tried clicking on the editor window after selecting your saved search? It works for me…

…I see… :blush:

I guess I was confused by the fact that it only shows project-wide metadata until you do that, whereas in a non-dynamic collection it shows the scrivening-specific metadata as soon as you select the files (is this intentional?). And also the fact that all other metadata is file-specific when you click in the editor.

Thanks for your patience!

Yes, basically what is “active” is important to take note of. When you had selected the items in the search results, the sidebar was active. So technically all of the menu commands in the software would be relating to groups of files you have selected. Export, that kind of stuff. So likewise, the Inspector shows general project info. Once you click into the editor, now that is active, and the menus for text editing are now available—and the inspector goes to showing stuff about what you’re working on in the editor.

By the way, here is a tip: you can click on the shaded header bar, where it says “Search Results” (or whatever collection you are viewing) to load them all into the editor.

Note that if you want to apply metadata or notes to a specific block of text, you can simply put that text in its own sub-document and use all of the document-level metadata that Scrivener provides. From Scrivener’s point of view, the minimum “size” for a document is zero words.

I mention this because the ability to break a document into arbitrarily small chunks is one of the main reasons why I use Scrivener in the first place, but people coming from the traditional word processor paradigm sometimes seem very reluctant to do it.