Heirarchical Index Card View in Binder

I think it would be a great feature if you could see, in the Binder, a hierarchical breakdown of your scene as index cards. In other words, the standard Binder . . . but instead of showing your documents and folders as, well, documents and folders, It would show you a “tree view” of your index cards, with your synopses written on them. That would be awesome!

Have you tried the Outliner view with only the Title & Synopsis column showing, and the View ▸ Outliner Options ▸ Use Fixed Row Height setting enabled? It’s pretty close to a stack of index cards, but with hierarchy!

That’s sort of what I’m talking about, but, what I’d want is this displayed in the binder, so I could edit the documents in question in the editor while selecting them in the binder and creating Scrivenings.

You can’t do it in the Binder, but you can split the Editor, put the Outline in one half, and use it to control what appears in the other half.


In fact, the Window ▸ Layouts ▸ Three-Pane (Outline) layout setting will set up a workflow for you where one uses a fixed row height outliner in the left editor, which is linked to the right editor, making the outliner act like a secondary binder. After loading that layout, hit ⌥⌘B to toggle the binder off, and now you have your super binder. :slight_smile:

But if you already use both splits, I can imagine you’d rather not have to sacrifice one to this purpose. An approach could be to open a Copyholder on the outliner side, and then link the outliner to that, via the Navigate ▸ Outliner Selection Affects ▸ Copyholder menu toggle.

Yes, I suppose I could do that. But wouldn’t it be cooler, and simpler, if Scrivener just supported an Index-card view in the Binder? (Because I already do use both splits, in fact. And it’d be cool because in the case of this feature, you could “zoom” the index cards to show more or less of the synopsis, and you could show images. And you could show more information in less space than with the Outliner, because the label color would be embedded into the outline of the index card, and not listed in a separate metadata field…) Basically, this would allow you to view your index cards in a hierarchical order while you write, which currently the software doesn’t really allow you to do. Sure, you can use the Outliner while you write, but that is noit the same thing, speaking in terms of skeumorphic UX design and the way a writer might actually organize his or her plot outline with real index cards (hierarchically instead of on a cork board, for instance).

Well something tells me Keith will not at all be inclined to add a quasi-corkboard style interface as an option to the binder, which is why I’m trying to come up with equivalent workflows using existing mechanisms. :slight_smile:

But there is something interesting in your request that I don’t think I’ve seen before. The notion of a hierarchical corkboard is nothing new—it’s been requested since the very first versions of the software. The problem with the idea is that it conceptually does not mix well with the type of arrangement—how do you clearly denote hierarchy in a grid of objects other than how it is currently done, by drilling down and replacing the whole view with the child contents. But the notion of making the “corkboard” more of a indented list of sorts is something new I think. It’s still not clear to me how it could be integrated with the corkboard, but it makes more sense to me than any other suggestion I’ve seen.

This fusion of display ideas is something we thought about during the v3 design phase in fact—and the result of that was the fixed height outliner option. The idea being that one could present an index card like listing with a spatially consistent box model that integrates with the hierarchical display that outliner affords. It might be that a better line of thinking would be along the lines of how metadata integration into that view model could be accomplished in a more index-card fashion, as an alternative to columns. Rather than a whole new view mode somewhere that takes yet another mutually exclusive slight variation on this fusion.

Well, with labels at least you do have the View ▸ Use Label Color In ▸ Outliner Rows toggle.

I know this is not exactly what you want, but if you click in the toolbar on this icon

It will show the selected binder content subdocuments as index cards.

Then, at the bottom of the index card window, click on this icon,

you will open the highlighted card in the 2nd editor. Make sure the 2nd editor is set to show Scrivenings.

You can also drill down and up in the index card hierarchy.

Yes, I suppose what I’m talking about is similar to what I saw in a program called Manuscript, which is sort of a Scrivener knockoff I bought a few years ago and played with. It showed you a “Binder”-like view on the left side of the screen, but instead of just icons with labels, like Scrivener has, it had index cards with the title out to the side of each index card, and the cards were arranged in like an indented hierarchy . . . and you could surf up and down the hierarchy to see your scenes or chapters or whatever. The problem of course, is that this isn’t very “space” conscious :slight_smile: and it takes forever to scroll through a large Draft. But it was an interesting way of doing things.