Finetuning the Keywords List

A few more random thoughts from my writing today:

When I split documents the keywords carry over to the new document. (I wonder what people think of this behavior? Is it something worthy of adding to the preferences?) Anyway, when this happens I delete the keywords from the list as I’m usually writing about a different subject in the new section (i.e. writing about different characters).

Here are my ponderings:

Edit: I realized one of my requests was already standard.

  1. What do you think of shifting focus in the keyword list to the next item above (or below if there is none) in the event an entry is deleted? I know you can shift-click to select multiple items but behavior similar to what one might find in Mail might make more sense.

  2. [I can see a keyword entry is confirmed if you click somewhere else in the application but only if actual text has been entered. If no text has been entered the OS beeps and nothing happens, waiting for the user to press ‘esc’ or enter information. Would it be possible to simply cancel the entry in this case?]

Thanks, in advance, for your consideration, Keith!

Do you mean you split documents to create a new one? I generally use cmd-N, which gives me a new document without carrying all the metadata from the previous one. Unless you’re splitting up one long file into already-written chunks of course, but if your goal is a new blank file, try cmd-N for a new file.

I use CMD+K (Split at Selection) to carry over formatting. :slight_smile:

Do you have exceptionally complex formatting requirements? If not, you should try playing around with the Text Editing section in Preferences to see if you can get things set up the way you like as a default. You have full access to fonts and ruler styles. After fixing that, whenever you make a new document, it will be created with your preferred format.

Splitting not only carries over keywords, but labels, status, synopsis, references, and even notes. So you might be propagating more than you realised. As for whether or not it should do this: The tool was really mean for splitting a pre-existing document. In most cases all meta-data will apply similarly enough to both parts of the document; similar enough to retain it and allow tweaking if necessary.

I know I can preset the text requirements in my preferences but my goal for Scrivener is to use it for for than just writing books. I do a lot of research and I’ve found it to be quite delightful to import a series of PDF documents creating a sort of work center for studying and writing essays and biographies of dead folk—completely different hobby. Font requirements for these various projects may differ, so this may not be my desired functionality.

Regardless, I wouldn’t post a request for this reason alone. I also have to believe it would be a functionality change that other users would appreciate as well.

That said, I’m glad most of the other stuff carries over. A multi-part document is bound to share many characteristics across the board. Keywords, though, at least in my mind, warrant additional consideration. By definition a different section or document within the primary document will generally focus on somewhat varied content. Otherwise what’s the point of splitting it in the first place? As such, I imagine most Scrivener users will be assigning different keywords to different sections. I find it difficult to think of many usage scenarios in which this wouldn’t be the case. :slight_smile:

Create a new document. Cut the desired text from the previous section; paste it into the new. Set your new keywords.

That seems sufficient to me.


What I would find very useful is a common repository of keywords belonging to different Scrivener projects. That would make it possible to search for keywords not just in one project, but in all Scrivener projects.

You can set up a template with preset keywords.

Yes, but this has some clear inconveniences: for instance, it would imply adding to every new project a whole range of keywords which in many cases would have nothing to do with it.

No, my problem (if you can call it that) would perhaps be solved if it were possible to dig from one project into all other projects. This would probably require some kind of superstructure: a common repository of all Scrivener Projects, a kind of Scrivener Universe in the home folder. Would this make sense? Would this be useful? Or am I talking nonsense?

Sorry, I don’t really see the purpose of this - it is a little esoteric. :slight_smile:


It seems to me that if you have a big document you are going to split up in Scrivener, you should just not enter any keywords for the big document that would not be pertinent for all the splits you want to make of it. And if you have a big document that you already went to town on with keywords, you can just decide if there are some keywords you should remove before you split that document up into little pieces.

Maybe a workflow solution like that will work for you.


P.S. What about keywords that really classify the whole of the large document, but don’t really belong attached to any of its resulting splits? In that case, what I would think to do is make a folder for the splits and assign such large-scale keywords to the folder. That way, my large-scale keywords direct me to the splits as a group but do not misleadingly direct me to any of the individual split documents.

Not nonsense at all, but why not export your Scriv projects back into DevonThink and take advantage of its super-searching? For me, the beauty of Scriv is that I can use it for discrete projects. DT remains my favorite place to store research and old drafts.

That is precisely how I work when cutting up imported documents. I assign common meta-data that will be applicable to all of the cut up documents. Even if that means entering incorrect meta-data into the root document initially. It is easier to change one or two things afterwards than one or two things fifteen times. So, I only select keywords that will be [largely] universally relevant.

… seems we have to issues interwoven in this thread:

a) splitting + keyword promulgation within a project
b) exchanging/poolong keywords between projects

I myself just stumbled onto question b) within my workflow. – like howarth + Timotheus I find the question of a tag-pool not exsoteric at all, but a very practical one. (but then esoteric is always a question of where you at, in this case with your work-methodology).

but then I totally agree with Keith:

… as simple answers are quite often the deepest, think about this again. it solves the question from my point of view (having the same motif as howarth + Timotheus). – as to the supposed “backdraw”:

– solving things allways has a backdraw for someone. but in this case I do not see a real unbearable backdraw in Keiths solution. if you think of the fact, that you can group keywords hierachically, the “project-selective”-approach would just mean, you group the keywords intelligently, put all in one – “master-universe” – template, and then delete the groups you do not like. (of course thereby you have some work to keep the master “up to date”, but again this seems bearable to me at first sight).

– I think, also, AmberVs hints are, as usual, productive. but personally working with Journler after giving up on some overload-problems within DT, I would always think solutions pointing to specific combinations do not work for everybody… especially if the second trabant is a whole nother universe to get into…