Group labels together in Outliner

I’ve been trying to figure out how to deal with the multiple subplots of my novels in a more flexible and intuitive manner. In the past I have suggested the multi-storyline feature similar to Writer’s Cafe’s version, but that was rejected. I have since tried to forget about it, and just utilize whatever Scrivener can do in its present form. (I no longer use Writer’s Cafe’s storyline feature because having to use two separate software for structuring the plot just wasn’t ideal in terms of workflow and intuitiveness)

Now, as one of my novels is really starting to get a bit complex in terms of multiple subplots, what I’ve done is to color label the different subplots, so I can see in the Binder and Ouliner views exactly which scene belongs to which subplot. Although I can focus on a specific subplot in Binder view by color-labeling, then group the search results for a specific color label into a search tab, it only allows for a limited one short sentence for each scene, and that’s not as useful as the Outliner, which allows you to put as much text into each entry in the Synopsis column as you want and can see all of its contents. But in the Outliner, because each entry has more text, they are a lot thicker than just one line of text, and with different subplots/color labels stacked together, it’s very hard to get a good overview of a single subplot/color label without the distraction of other subplots/color labels. I’d have to scroll up and down to visually assess the flow of the dramatic structure for a single subplot.

My feature request, would be to allow the Outliner to show only the color label you want, so I can get just a specific subplot shown without the other subplots taking up precious space. It would be like having the search results tab of the Binder view, but for the Outliner.

Having that would make the pain of not having a multi-storyline feature more bearable, and would really help me in my plotting sessions.

EDIT: On a related note, having the ability to isolate the index cards on the corkboard for a single subplot/color label would be great too. But this would also require that we be able to see all the index cards for all the chapters at once, instead of only being able to see the index cards in one specific chapter at a time (the way it is now).

Have you looked at Aeon Timeline?

Seems like it’d be nearly perfect for wrangling your multiple subplots.

And once Scriv 2.0 for Windows arrives, you’ll be able to synchronize your timeline with your scrivener project.


Looks like Aeon is on its way to become the multi-storyline feature that I always wished for in Scrivener, and having two way sync between the two is just brilliant. I’m now going through the user’s manual and videos to see if what I’ve described in my first post is possible in Aeon (specifically, having enough room for the entire synopsis of a scene as opposed to just one single line of text), while allowing grouping of subplots without distraction.

It sounds like what you want to do is run a project search in “Label” for whichever subplot you’re after (click the magnifying glass in the project search bar to limit the scope to just the "Label"field). You can save the search if you want for easy repeat access, and you can select all in the binder to load just these files in the outliner, where you can then view the synopses, etc.

I already use the search results tabs to groups color labels for subplots, but I don’t see any way to show all the content of the search result tab in the Outliner view at once. How do I do that?

With the collection loaded in the binder and focus in the binder, you can use Ctrl+A to select all the files, or Shift-click, etc. The multiple selection will load in the editor, and you can then switch that to the outliner view by clicking the icon in the main toolbar or selecting View > Outliner.

I just figured it out on my own. My first few attempts didn’t load my selected content for some reason–it only showed a blank outline. But after a few tries I’ve figured out how to get them to show consistently.

Thanks for the help!