File Names in Binder

First off, this is my first post in the forums. I just spent the weekend bringing four novels and all their related files (over 400) over to Scrivener (after using the excellent CopyWrite for four and a half years). I’m really thrilled to be writing on a living, feature-rich piece of software again. Especially one as wonderfully cared for as Scrivener.

My novels are a series. As such, in Binder, I have the project named after the series and the various books in separate folders. This allows me to keep the extensive research files handy for each novel. And since the Draft Compiler will let me choose a folder to compile, this all works very well (although it would be nice if each folder had its own MetaData, but that’s another post: you may have already made provisions for that and I just haven’t found it yet). As a result, I spend a great deal of time poking around in Binder and I’m constantly clicking the file names once too many or something and causing it to highlight (so as to change the name). I rarely change a text file’s name after I’ve named it. It’s terribly distracting. My question is this: is there any way I can lock down a text file name so that it won’t do that? It would be nice if I had to right-click or something to change its name.

Thanks a bunch, and thank you for these fantastic forums!


There is no way to lock the title from edits, but you can safely ignore when this happens. Presumably you clicked on it to examine something about it, so any click in the editors or Inspector will cancel the edit. Likewise clicking on another item in the Binder will cancel it.

Thank you for your quick reply, AmberV. I really appreciate the info. However, I can’t completely ignore this. You see, two years ago my right hand was paralyzed. And while it’s mostly come back, I still have problems with double-clicks and miss hits. Which brings me to another thing I’ve noticed: it’s very easy to delete a file in Binder—just one click and it’s gone!

Considering the importance of these files (for me they represent whole chapters that I’ve spent tens of hours working on), I would feel more secure if they were a little harder to manipulate (maybe an option that I could turn on in preferences?).

Overall, though, my early experience with Scrivener has been a RAVE! I love this program, and I’m hoping that it’ll see me through the series I’m currently working on (just fifteen more years to go!).



Glad you’re liking Scrivener in general so far. Regarding deleting files, nothing actually gets deleted until you empty the Trash folder - hitting delete just moves documents there (the shortcut has been changed to cmd-delete in 2.0, to make accidental moves to the Trash folder less likely).

All the best,

Hi, Keith,

That’s great news. I was a little worried about leaving Copywrite’s file system (which I think is one of the best), but Binder is quickly winning me over. For one, I use can commas, periods, and apostrophes in the text file names (couldn’t do that in CopyWrite).

My main reason for leaving CopyWrite was because of workflow. Getting my work out and into manuscript form was a chore. On that account, Scrivener pacts serious mojo.

I didn’t take changing my writing software lightly. I’d been in CopyWrite for four and half years and had over 400 files tied up in it. I wanted to make the best choice before porting all that over. After taking a dozen novel writing programs for a spin, it came down to Scrivener and Storyist. Two excellent programs. But Storyist had a dealbreaker: its on-screen kerning in its editing mode was awful.

In truth, though, I was already leaning toward Scrivener. Scrivener’s forum looked healthier, and the explanation you gave in your blog about how Pages, Word, and OpenOffice files work changed my workflow for the better. I am in your debt.



Hi Ulf,

Thank you, and thank you for choosing Scrivener. Copywrite is a nice program, so I can appreciate your trepidation in moving things over to something new. I hope you grow to feel as comfortable in Scrivener. I’m glad my blog post was of use too!

Thanks again,