Hide and Permission Binder Items

I write technical documentation, mostly for my employer. What I would like to see implemented is Information Rights Management (IRM) and redaction. I need to be able to permission individual items in the Binder so that they can’t be printed, uploaded, or read by people without top secret clearance.


I write documentation on an application that my company just implemented. It may include a brief case study, business problem description, how the app solves the problem, app install instructions, general user guide, application administrator guide, and other non top secret or non confidential info. However, it may also include things like a network diagram, traffic flow analysis, a list of firewall rules, financial info, and other top secret and/or confidential information. Thus, I’d like everyone to see the non top secret portion of the manifest but I’d also like to restrict other parts of the manifest to only certain eyes such as CEO’s, CIO’s, CTO’s, CFO’s, etc.

We could certainly write 2 separate documents but 1) that’s not fun and 2) it still wouldn’t prevent the folks with top secret clearance from printing, emailing, or uploading the document to the internet. So, how bout IRM and redaction?

I would say it would be simpler to produce standard documents, like PDF files, that everyone can read no matter their background in using Scrivener. And since you control what goes into a PDF, you already have what you’re looking for: the ability to produce multiple documents out of a source text. Trying to use Scrivener as a distribution or reading interface just seems to me way more trouble than it is worth, since every little detail about it is designed with writers in mind, not readers.

We recently discussed the techniques involved in excluding content during compile a few weeks ago. That initial post explains the theory, and we went on to discuss some of the particulars of it as well. As noted in that thread, the Scrivener documentation itself (available for download from our web page) demonstrates the concept of using a single source text to output multiple versions with excluded content removed.

If you really do want to go with this idea of distributing the project, consider putting all sensitive material in a Collection. When you need to produce a “clean” project, use File/Save As… to create a working copy, and then visit that collection, select all of the items in the list, and hit Cmd-delete to send them to the Trash. Now empty the Trash and you should have a project with all items you’ve marked confidential removed.