Folders in collections

Hi, I am using scrivener to manage a large non-fiction book. I want to create collections within collections to fine-tune the extensive data. I see it is possible to use “folders” in collections. However, when I add a folder, it just sits there empty. Scrivener does not allow me to add anything to the folder. Can anyone clarify how the folder function in collections is meant to be used. Thanks.

Collections aren’t hierarchical, notably because adjacent documents in a collection could be in very different parts of the binder.

As such, a collection treats folders just like any other file, as does Scrivener. In fact, folders in Scrivener are only treated differently in two parts of Scrivener (that I can think of currently): the automatic assignment of document types (see Project->Project Settings), and in a few spots in creating a custom compile setup (notably, default separators).

That’s something you need to remember in the context of Scrivener: A folder is nearly identical in function to a document, and one can be transformed into another without losing any information.

OK, thanks. So what I think you are saying is: in collections view, folders function solely as document separators. The only place one can put files in folders is in the binder itself, not the collections.

It’s a small matter, but I dearly wish there was a way to organize large and unwieldy collections, without making new collections. I expect to have about 300 collections all told already. I’d rather make sub-collections within collections, instead of creating even more collections.

What specifically are you trying to organize? Might something like keywords be a better tool?

You can assign multiple keywords to a document, and then search for any or all of them.


I am trying to organize approximately 5000 references to historical documents. I am using collections for this and it is mostly fine. However, with over 300 collections now in play, it does get a bit unwieldy. Keywords might work for a smaller project but not one for this size. Anyway, to date scrivener is still the bast data management system for writing that I have found.

One solution I will try in future is making smaller projects. This will help with collections management.

Thanks - appreciated.

You might also consider looking at other tools. Scrivener is not a database, it’s a writing program. 5000 references is an edge case for Scrivener, but is right in the wheelhouse of something like DevonThink.


OK, Thanks