Help with (previous?) file type?

Hi, I used Scrivener years back and had some files from before, and just imported them in, but I can’t figure out how to create new files like this. The icon and organization looks like this:

I can create a folder but it’s not quite the same. Thanks!

These look like normal files in the Draft folder to me. Try hitting the Return button with things set up as they are in that screenshot, you should see a new file appear between the two (below “First draft”). The icon will be a blank sheet of paper, but that’s only because it has yet to be written in yet. Try double-clicking on the icon to load it in the editor, type something in, then pressing the back arrow button (or Cmd-[) to return to this view.

Might be worth going over the interactive tutorial again, from the Help menu, if it’s been a while.

OK, I don’t think I was clear. This is my preferred file type, and I want all my other files that look like this.

But I can’t figure out how to get them to look like that! The files I have from before, when I used Scrivener previously, look like this. But I imported a bunch of files from Word and they look like this:

Is there a way to turn those imported Word files (some of which have multiple pages as drafts) into the draft files that Scrivener makes by default? Or do I have to do it by hand?

Thanks again!

The icons in both screen shots look the same to me (default icon for a doc with text in it – as opposed to what the icon looks like when no text is in it). The first screenshot is showing us outline view, the second I am not sure. A text document is a text document is a text document in Scrivener. They don’t really come in types. In your first screenshot the docs happen to be named something with the word “Draft” in them – whereas in the second screenshot the docs have more colorful names. I also notice that you have assigned a draft Status to one of the docs in the first one (either by picking it in the Status column which you have showing in the outliner view or by picking that Status in the Inspector for that doc).

That is all the differences I am seeing, but maybe I will be lucky and said something that struck in the area!


Color me confused, too. The files all look like the same “type” to me. What is the difference that you are seeing?


In the first image, there are drafts within the project titled “We Need A Name”:

In the following screenshot, there are a bunch of single draft files that are the result of importing Word and RTF files:

This screenshot is identical to the first one, but the format is clearly different because it’s just a single draft and not a project:

One more time: Is there a way to turn these imported draft files (as seen in the 2nd and 3rd screenshot above) into the default “project files” with drafts within them (like in the 1st screenshot above). The icon is different for projects. I want these drafts to be projects. Is there a way to do that, other than to manually copy and paste each one into a newly created project in Scrivener?

  • A ‘project’ is the whole “book”, to use an analogy. You only see one project in a Scrivener window.
  • Within a project you can have a multitude of documents, which can either have a document icon or a folder icon, but they are all the same only documents.

Each project consists of three parts: the ‘Draft’ that holds the documents that make up the “book”, ‘Research’ which holds all your extra reference material and ‘Trash’.

What your screenshots are showing, both of them, is a bunch of documents within two different projects. The confusion comes from no one understanding what it is you mean. Try to explain once more but use the terminology I have just presented, please. Do you want each imported rtf-file to be a separate project (book)? Or what do you mean?

No, that’s not what the last two screenshots are showing. It’s what the first screenshot is showing, in the project titled “You Need A Name”.

The 2nd screenshot shows a bunch of drafts in the binder. THEY DO NOT BELONG TO A PROJECT in any way. !!!

The 3rd screenshot is what I see when I click on one of the drafts in the binder and look at it. It should be the same view as the 1st screenshot (where I am looking at the project “You Need A Name”), but because it’s a draft that doesn’t belong a project, it doesn’t look the same as in my 1st screenshot.

YES! I want the imported Word and rtf files that are loose drafts in the binder to each be their own project. Is there a way to do that automatically, or do I have to do it manually?

The binder only holds ONE project. You start a new project and then import whatever you want in it. Each project is a ‘file’ by itself (at least it looks like that in Finder).
All your screenshots actually look the same. They all show ONE project with a bunch of documents in it. The only difference I can see is that in the first you are showing the Outline mode and in the others the binder.

If you haven’t used Scrivener since version 1, it’s probably worthwhile to do the tutorial first to learn what’s new.

By definition, if they are in the binder, they are in the project. Semantically they belong to the project, though you could say they are just on loan to the project, perhaps, there accidentally—but technologically speaking they are very much in the project because the binder is a master index of every resource in the project.

Just to point out one thing here, there is no project called “You Need A Name” in the first screenshot. There is a Draft folder called that, as indicated by that specific icon in the editor header bar that looks like a stack of paper with a couple of sheets peeling off the top, and the Draft folder is in a Binder, which (as we’ve learned above) is a list of things in the Project. Thus this folder called “You Need A Name” is in a project, it is not a project.

You might incidentally have this project file named “You Need A Name” in the Finder as well, if that is what you mean, then great, but we cannot see that from your screenshot. All we can see is the contents of one folder-inside-the-binder-inside-the-project that just so happens to be the special Draft folder, viewed in the main editor using the Outliner view mode, to which you have added the Total Targets and Total Progress columns.

To very literally answer your basic question, if you want to view one of your other imported text files this same way, you could click on it (such as “You Don’t Say”) and then use the View/Outline menu command. It will be empty, to be clear, because the file does not have child file items nested beneath it, but if that’s what you want to see you can certainly see it. You might want to stick to the basics first though, drilling into files and branching them out into multiple subfiles is something that can come later.

That is entirely impossible. You cannot have a Draft folder that does not belong to a project, because a Draft folder is a folder in a binder in a project.

So when you click on a single file in the binder (in the project) and say it looks different from when you click on a folder (in the project), then yes, that does make sense: a folder is a thing with many files, and a file is a thing you type into when you write. One is going to open up like a text editor and the other is going to generally open up like a corkboard or in your case, an outliner which lists files in the folder you clicked on, which are in the binder in the project.

Project Binder Draft [folder] "You Need A Name" [File] "First Draft" [File] "Second Draft" Research [folder] Trash [folder]

Are they all separate books? If so then yes that would make a lot of sense, but yes you would need to make projects yourself. The menu command for that is File/New Project…, and after you go through that process of selecting the type of project and where to save it and what to call it, you will have two project windows open, and two binders. Feel free to drag one of those loose drafts over to the new binder, close it, create the next, drag the next in the list, and on and on until you have a dozen projects or so. Note they copy, they don’t move, so feel free to clean up the original list by trashing them once they copy successfully.

It’s probably worth noting, since you’re thinking all of this is way more macro than it is, that Scrivener’s Draft and outline view are meant to represent a document, where one might have dozens or even thousands of entries that all represent one draft in the end. Where you have “First Draft” and “Second Draft”, one would normally put something like “Chapter 1” or even more detailed than that, “Mark crashes his car into a tree”, which represents two paragraphs in one scene in some chapter in the draft in the binder in the project. :slight_smile:

I highly recommend going through the Quick Tour in the user manual and the interactive tutorial in the Help menu. The former won’t take but 15 minutes to half an hour of your time, the latter is longer but can be taken in bite-sized pieces as you go.

OK, I’m giving up and using another program. This is too much work.

Actually, it’s not. You just need to learn the basic structure and the different ways of looking at the text you have. The Binder is the binder, like a file structure. The Editor can instead be an Outline, which is what you show in the first screenshot, or a Corkboard.

You could have just one huge Scrivener project containing all your past and future books, or you could have single projects for every book. It’s up to you. But the basic structure of Scrivener can’t be changed. There is one Draft section, one Research section and the Trash.

(don’t confuse the Draft section with different drafts=versions of your text)

I think a writer from 1809 sharpening her quill would have a word or two to say about anyone with a Mac saying anything they can do with a Mac is too much work. :mrgreen: