How do I exclude documents from Scrivenings?

Hi Everyone,

I have now transferred my “big” project from Scrivener 1.5 to Scrivener 2.0. Now I need some help in learning how to exclude certain documents and folders from my editing sessions in the group mode. I’ve read the manual and scanned the forums for help … I’m sure there’s an easy trick I’m overlooking! :confused:

Here’s my issue. Under 1.5, I built a large project that includes many folders and text documents that were excluded from the draft (their include boxes were unchecked in the inspector). The old 1.5 Edit Scrivenings command then gave me the option to exclude those documents from my edit Scrivenings sessions. Perfect.

Now in the lovely and brilliant 2.0, those folders and documents have transferred appropriately. Their include-in-compile boxes are unchecked. That is fine, good and exactly what I would have predicted. But I can’t figure out how to keep these non-compiled folders and documents out of my group editing sessions. No matter what I’ve tried (general preferences, project settings, etc.) I can’t find a way to select a big fat folder in the binder (like my whole big fat draft!) and then see only the “include in compile” stuff show up as the Multiple Selections in a Scrivenings group editor. I know there must be a way! Scrivener 2.0 is so beautiful, it couldn’t have lost this convenient feature! (pause for prayer).

Here is the line on page 149 in the 2.0 manual that tells me I should be able to edit just the text that is destined to be compiled:

But how? Little help, please.

Regards to all,


PS My draft doesn’t contain any non-text documents (photos, etc.); I know non-text docs can affect group editing, so that’s not where my problem lies. Also, I have played with the Navigation Preferences (include enclosing groups in scrivenings), but that hasn’t enabled me to exclude the inner-nested docs and folders that I wish to exclude from my editing sessions.

Cmd-Click is your friend: select the documents in the Binder with Cmd-Click, then press: Group Mode (View documents as scrivenings…).


Thank you Hugh for the cmd-click reminder. But it comes up short in my case.

I have about 500 binder items in my Draft. About 360 of those items are checked to be compiled. Scrivener 1.5 used to let me option-click the Draft to give me an editing session having just those 360 items. Though cmd-click is my friend, I don’t think I can click on my friend 360 times and still value that friendship. :smiley:

Does anyone else know how to conveniently choose just the compiled items for group editing?


Never tried it … not necessary in my work, but when I read your first post, I thought "This sounds like a job for “Collections” " Can you not make a collection which only includes your “include in compile” documents?

Others more adept may comment more effectively.


As the manual says:

So, let us say that you have a bunch of “Biographic Notes” and you want to edit all the Biographic Notes in Chapter 5. You set the label (or status) of all them to reflect their role. Then you click on Chapter 5 in the Binder, and do a search for “Biographic Notes” with settings: “Labels”, “In Binder Selection” and, if you want, “Search ‘Included’ Documents”. Then select all documents in the Search Results tab, and go to Scrivenings mode.

It appears that in Scrivener 1.5 you could easily select all included or all excluded documents, but now you can only search among included or excluded documents. Of course, if you start all labels with the same few characters, then you could search for those characters with the settings above and find all included documents.

Does this help?


Thanks, Mark, for your suggestions of placing all of my to-be-compiled items inside of a Collection. I really like the Collection feature that Keith added to Scrivener, and so I, too, thought that Collections would be the natural answer to my issue. However, I ran into two difficulties for my work flow:

  1. When items are placed in a Collection, they are no longer in a binder-like directory hierarchy. And so if I want to change the order of items, I have to leave the Collection, return to the Binder, change the item order, and then build a new Collection of just the compiled items. Lots of steps!

  2. I haven’t found a slick way to build a Collection having only compiled items. Yes, it can be done, but as I understand it, I would need to build such a Collection via the search feature. I would enter a common term (a blank space or, say the letter “e”) into the search window, and I would limit the search to just the items that are to be compiled. So yes, I can in theory build a Collection that way, but, that’s a lot of steps to be part of my work flow. And besides, a Collection has its own drawbacks for me, as I indicated in #1 above.

So sorry to have to keep saying, “thanks but no cigar.” :slight_smile: But I remain hopeful that some kind person will point out the trick for asking 2.0 to edit just the compiled text under a Binder selection.


PS I just read “A”'s kind reply, which suggests using the search feature to build a selection (along the lines of my comment # 2). Perhaps, sigh, that is all I can do now that I have moved from 1.5 to 2.0.

Hi philm

I rethought my document structure as I transferred from 1.5 to 2.0. I ended up making it simpler, and it has (so far) served me well.

I just realized that you can make a selection (or a smart collection), select all in that tab, then move to the Binder tab and see the selection, and then tune the selection if desired. Then drag the selection to the top of your panel.

This is useful, because now you can see the structure of your tabs. As you move around in the Scrivenings you can then hit cmd-opt-R to see where you are. (You lose the selection in the binder, but your Scrivenings don’t change).

FWIW, perhaps this is obvious to everyone else, but what I do is to have split screens, left/right. I set the left panel into Scrivenings mode. If I am working on a section or a chapter, I drag it from the binder to the top of the left panel. I then set “Binder affects Right Panel” and I can click around in the binder, to see and edit individual documents there. You can of course drag a few documents to the right panel to edit them together. Anyway, I find it very useful to have “bird’s eye view” in one panel and “gnat’s eye view” in the other.


Hi A,

I am re-thinking my project structure as you suggest. But I wish I didn’t have to. Using the Search command to select just the compiled items in my Binder (and then lose the Binder hierarchy in the Search results tab) is a pretty big drag on my work flow.

What I’m trying to accomplish was so very simple in 1.5. Does someone else have a suggestion?

Cheers, A, and thank you very much for replying to my post. :smiley:



To A (alanterra),

Could you please point out to me where I can learn more about “Smart Collections”? I presume that would be a Collection that changes which items are shown in the Collection when the metadata of the members is changed. I am not seeing the term Smart Collection in section 8.3 of the Manual (though the Index does refer to the term “Smart Collection”).

I’m using Manual 2.0-01.

Thanks again. :smiley:


What you do is set up a search exactly like you want it, then click on the magnifying glass in the search field and choose “save search”. It seems to be assigned a random color. It gets very confusing if you set up a lot of them, but if you are judicious, it can save time.

I haven’t researched this in the manual yet.

Hmmm… When I built a Collection and then used cmd-opt-R to reveal the Collection items in the Binder, I ran into two problems. I’ve reported these in the Bug Forum:


Don’t know whether these troubles are machine-specific or whether they are worth bringing up in this forum, but I thought I should at least connect the threads.


As you say, “Hmmm…”

It sounds to me like a corrupted project. Until you get a more definitive answer from someone else, I would try a Save As, it might rebuild the project.

Hello, OK, here’s one last update to finish off this topic with the lesson I learned.

I’ve now spent the last hour studying up on Collections. I now realize that even though I had gone through the tutorial last week, I am an example of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” :smiling_imp: Following A’s recommendation of using Collections, I dove right in and created a Standard Collection rather than a Search Result Collection even though it had been my desire to create the latter. Warning: Don’t confuse the two! Here’s the note I’ll be sticking on my refrigerator: A Search Result Collection has a magnifying glass in the left corner of the header bar.

Having messed up on the type of Collection I built, I have no doubt that I then compounded my mistake by somehow dragging or re-shuffling items between the Binder and the Standard Collection. And since there were several hundred items in that Collection, one bad move had disastrous consequences (I wish I could tell you exactly which bad move I made!)

“But have no fear”, I said :smiley: , “the superb back-up features of Scrivener will come to my rescue.”

And indeed those backups were a lifesaver. My project is safe … I’m learning more about the Awesome Infinite Power of Collections … and I plan to use that power to get back to my old reliable work flow where I edit just my project’s to-be-compiled items in Group Scrivenings mode.

Thanks for the help everyone! Much appreciated!


Now that my technical question has been answered, I have moved my issue to the Feedback Forum. Please see [url]]