Freeform Corkboard

Freeform corkboard seems inconsistent - or at least the scenarios in which it is available. I try to free form in collections and it doesn’t allow me too. Collections are flat lists so experimenting with that list should work. I think i get why you can’t do it with smart collections but freeform should work for most else. Even Hoisting a binder de-activates Freeform option at footer. Please let me know.

I can’t find any inconsistent scenarios where Freeform is disallowed. The main condition that would cause that to happen is when you have a multiple selection in the editor. Having a freeform corkboard in that context would be meaningless, as any changes made to the corkboard would be lost the moment you click on anything else.

So that brings up the question of exactly how you are loading collection lists and hoisted binder folders into the main editor. The way to do this proper is to click the hook arrow button right next to the “X” button where you close the sidebar and return to the main binder. Refer to figure 10.4, in The Collection Header Bar, pg. 225 of the user manual.

You will note the header bar in the editor indicates the Collection itself is selected (and incidentally you can jump straight to any Collection by right-clicking on the header bar and using the “Go to Collection” submenu; no need to open the sidebar first and click on the button). With hoisting, the button will load the actual group you hoisted into the editor, which of course should be capable of handling freeform.

But if your approach to loading a collection into the editor is hitting ⌘A to select the entire list—well that won’t work because as you can see in the header bar, that’s a Multiple Selection.

Thank you. I fully understand the process about selections and why multiple selections would render it moot as they come from different hierarchy’s/groups. That said, I’ve ran through collections and smart collections and I don’t have a single one I could use in freeform corkboard. Because I have all my files subdivided by 4 folders in the Draft folder (which is not a lot of folders) it is near impossible for me to do a search and not come up with files that are children of different parent folders (of course I’ve got to weed out any thing that comes from Research root folder too). I just can’t see many instances where you could use a search/collection to use freeform (since searches will prob show up in various folders (root included). Thus I just realized people prob rarely do this. They just click on folder (i.e. chapter 1) and load it to play with order (freeform).

Also, I used the header (collection) context menu like you said which is helpful - at least shows you a lot of options. One thing I noticed is it doesn’t track smart/search collections if you check Reveal in Collections. (I loaded a keyword tracking collection and it came up with none of those items were in a collection) That sorta makes sense - it seems like it can only track a manual collection.

Right! Search collections, I forgot about those. They won’t have a freeform corkboard, as you guessed. Things can so easily come and go within them.

Although it really should be working for standard collections, that is probably a safe bet. I’m sure most people use Freeform in the binder, as it isn’t obvious how one would get a Collection, as a thing, into the main editor. It’s better than it used to be, but it’s not like simply clicking on a folder, that’s for sure. But it’s good to know that collections will in many ways work like “folders” once you have them in the editor. You can lock the group view mode, etc.


I’m trying to think of any settings that might restrict this behaviour, but nothing is coming to mind. I wonder, if you do some playing around with the interactive tutorial, do you run into these same issues?

Hmm, actually that should be working—in fact that is why this submenu can sometimes be a little slow to build, because it has to go out and run a search on all of the saved search collections in the project to cross-check whether the item you’re checking matches anything.

Re: Reveal in Collections. I think I know what did wrong and probably didn’t communicate it well enough. I was loading a normal Collection clicking on a doc, going to header bar and seeing if that doc was in any other collections. I guess since the header bar Menu refers to that collection that might be where my issue is. Binder selection including non-contiguous multiple selections will reveal what collections selected docs are in. I even got results clicking on multiple docs within that group mode. But I’d assume it’s only returning the collections the first selected doc is in. Is this accurate behavior?

Precisely so. The header bar contextual menu acts upon the thing that is printed in the header bar, not what you have selected within the editor. Scrivenings mode is a special case, the contextual menu targets the currently active text chunk that is printed in bold in the header. There are some inconsistencies here (Multiple Selections and Scrivenings both), however, that we might need to take a look in to, but in most cases this rule of thumb works.