How can one change the background color of a document / folder?

How can one change the background color (not only the one of the text background) of a single document / folder or more? E.g. from white (default) to green.

Try the Tools>options>appearance tab.

Many thanks.

Sorry, how can I assign a color for a single item?

Many thanks again

Hi Biff,

I looked around a bit in the manual and in Scrivener, and i don’t see a way to do that.

What are you trying to accomplish? Let us know what your end goal is. Maybe there is another way to get there.


Hello Jim,

Many thanks for your efforts.

Yes, I couldn’t find a way either.

Yes, sorry, I should have done it already: when I select a folder containing (sub) folders / documents I would like to be able to (easily) differentiate between e.g. special scenes by different colors (not by text formatting and such). One cannot display the title of an item in that view (e.g. near the dotted lines or so), if I know it right.

Many thanks again

Hello Biff,
If what you are trying to do is differentiate items in the binder so they can easily be found by giving it a background colour i.e. a particular type of scene or such, it can be achieved by giving that document or folder a label. Right click on it and assign a label (whatever you wish to call it) and colour. Now go to the menu View / Use label colour and select binder. All of the binder items can then be coloured to give an indication of their content. If this is not what you want maybe you can be more specific as to what it is you are trying to achieve.

Hello broadsides,

Thank you very much.

Actually this is not what I wanted in this thread, but it is what I wanted, if I remember it right, in another thread, really great, very useful.

Sorry for my bad explanation. What I meant is quite similar to the labels you just told me but for the background of the editor: In the editor (after clicking a folder in the Binder) I would like to make out special scenes immediately, for example alternate scenes or so. E.g. the background of the scenes (the arrow points to) in the editor shown on the screenshot shall be red or green or blue or so.


If you want the background of documents colored differently within the editor, as mentioned previously, you cannot currently do that. Editor background color applies to all documents.

If you want documents colored differently from within a list of documents, than you can do that in the Binder (label color/use label color in binder) (as broadsides mentioned) and also in the Outliner (label color/use label color in Outliner Rows).

In your reply to me earlier, it sounded like seeing the documents colored differently in the Outliner is closest to what you are looking for. If not, please clarify.


Hello Jim.

Yes, yes, I know, I just tried a new explanation for the new question.

Yes, alright, I had understood.

Yes, yes, it indeed is quite close, respectively not so far away, I would say. I would like to be able to identify the different scenes / a special scene (see screenshot) as fast as possible without leaving the view (and actually without taking any action), so actually that was what I wanted to achieve.

When I click in the editor in a scene the item in the Binder belonging to the scene is not marked so I cannot see which scene is active at the moment. May be I am missing anything.


A picture is worth a thousand words.

Here is how one of my projects is set up. POV (Label) color is turned on for the Binder and the Outliner. Mary’s POV is green, Abigail’s is yellow, Nathan’s is blue, etc.

Here’s another view with the Binder hidden. When working in this view, I will scroll through the Outliner in the upper pane, select the scene I want to edit, and Scrivener will display the selected scene in the lower pane. In this example, the Scene: Buck falling is love is selected.

Are either of these close to what you are looking for?


Hello Jim,

Very many thanks for the screenshots.

Yes, it is quite close, indeed, a very useful manner I will use.

When you now select in the Binder (put cursor in lower panel before) or Outliner (upper panel) e.g. the folder “Acts” you will see all of its containing secens in the lower panel, I assume. When you then scroll through these scenes (e.g. for editing or else) and you put the cursor in one of the scenes (or without it) how can you immediately see which scene the cursor is put (or just by scrolling without the cursor) in (without pressing any key or doing any action), the name of the scene, the titel of it, where it is located?

Many thanks again


Not quite.

When you select a folder in the Binder or in the Outliner (need “open selection in other pane” button enabled) -

  • if the Scrivenings button is active, then you will see the Scrivenings text in the active pane, for sub-documents in the selected folder

  • if the Corkboard button is active, then you will see the Corkboard in the active pane, for sub-documents in the selected folder.

  • if the Outliner button is active, then you will see the Outliner in the active pane, for sub-documents in the selected folder.

I’m not sure I understand the question.

Does “put the cursor in one of the scenes” mean “select the scene from the Binder or the Outliner”? Or does it mean “put the cursor in the Editor”?

Biff, have you run through the Tutorial? You should do it, you’ll get a lot out of it.

Thank you very much, Jim.

Very sorry for this, yes, the editor I meant.

Yes, yes, I did, Jim…but the slow brain is getting older…and smaller…and slower.

Many thanks again

Thanks Biff, I think I understand your question.

Question: When scrolling or moving the cursor through documents merged in a Scrivenings pane, how one can identify which document the cursor is in, either by displaying its name, or by showing where it is located in the Binder or the Outliner?

Answer: The only thing available to you in the current Scrivener version is Reveal in Binder (Ctrl+Shift+8). This will reposition the Binder and highlight the document your cursor is in.

There is no comparable functionality for the Outliner, i.e., no Reveal in Outliner.

You may want to check out this recent thread for an explanation of why Scrivener works this way:

If I misunderstood your question, or if you have any others, please let me know.

Yes, exactly, I wished I would have been able to say it like that. And additinally this: …without pressing any key or doing any action. Sorry again, I forget to mention this the last time.

Yes, thank you, I use the shortcut quite often.

Alright, I understand.

Also many thanks for the link, yes, very interesting.

No, no, that was the right question. And yes, I will do so, the next question will come, very many thanks for your great help, Jim.

I totallly understand your concern… the software does not have a direct solution to this but I guess I’ve found out an indirect solution. I write non-fiction and what I need is a note for clear (polished) writing and a note for the draft version for each paragraph I write. so I want to discern the difference between the two immediately, don’t want to spend time to understand the difference or do not want to write in the wrong note by mistake.

so the solution I have found is to create a highlighted note for the draft version. it almost looks same as a note with a background color (i.e. just like you can do it in word). see the demo example in the attachment…

Many thanks!

Where, how can I get / create a highlighted note?

I am trying to change the background colour too, but not for the same reason.

I am writing a novel where part of it takes place in complete darkness, and so I want those bits to be set on a black page with white text to make the difference between scenes very apparent to the reader (and to me as I am writing).

The highlight workaround does not look anywhere near what I am trying to do, since the line spacing is 1,5 and there are white spaces between each line.

But I am following this thread to see if a solution pops up.