How do I export characters, places, etc?

Hi, so I just grabbed this and I am attempting to get all my notes in to it. I am working on a lengthy series (starting book four now) and I am hoping to use this tool to help me keep names, places, etc organized. I can see how to export (compile) a book in to a word doc, but what if I want to gather all my various notes into a word doc to send to my editor along with the story? How do I do that?


There are a few ways to do this, and it will depend a bit on where you’re keeping these notes. If they’re document notes (that is, you’ve put them in the “Document Notes” pane of the inspector), you can check compile these just like you would the main text by checking the “Notes” column for all the rows in the Formatting table in Compile; you could also select “Title” for all of them and deselect “Title”, so you’d just get the document title and its notes for each of your Draft items set to compile.

If the notes are all in the binder as their own files, you can select them all and create a new collection (Documents > Add to Collection > New Collection) that you might name “Notes to Compile” or what have you. In the Contents area of compile, you can then select this collection as your compile group. Only text documents will compile, though, so if you have images or other file types (PDFs you’ve imported, etc.) they won’t be included in this.

The non-text documents you can export simply by selecting them in the binder and choosing File > Export. You can just as easily export text documents this way as well, but each document will be discrete, as it is in the project, rather than merged together in a single document the way you get via compile, and you won’t have the chance to standardize formatting, etc. as you do with compile. Since they’re just notes you’re pulling out, however, that might be all you need.

Thank you for your reply!

Not sure what you mean. What I have is a pane called “Binder” on the left hand side (I am using the default layout it came with). In that I have “Manuscript” which is where I would put chapters, and then under (but at the same level) that I have folders like “Characters”, “Places”, and etc. It is those things I would want to make one big file.

Ok, cool. So basically you want to go with the second option, creating a new collection containing all your note documents–Characters, Places, etc.–and then compiling that collection.

As with most everything in Scrivener, there are multiple ways to do this, but here’s one method to get you started:

  1. In the binder, expand your Characters folder, Places folder, etc. by clicking the disclosure triangle to the left of the title so that you can see all the notes documents you want to compile. (You can hold the Option key while clicking the arrow to expand/collapse all subfolders in each of those as well.)

  2. Select all the documents, folders, etc. that you want to compile as your notes/

  3. Choose Documents > Add to Collection > New Collection. This will simultaneously open the Collections view in the binder (you’ll see some tabs at the top of the binder now, with your new collection selected and shading everything some arbitrary color) and create a new collection which will have all your selected items in it. Collections are essentially lists of aliases to your documents–they’re not copies of the documents in your binder, so making changes to a document from a collection will affect it in your normal binder as well. But with a collection, you can pull together items from anywhere in your binder to view and work with them together in a different context. For instance, you might use a collection to gather all the scenes of your novel from a certain character’s point of view. In this case, you’re taking advantage of another feature of collections, which is that they can be selected as a group to compile, just like the Manuscript folder (typically called “Draft”, but it’s been renamed in the project template you’re using).

  4. You can rename the “New Collection” to anything you want by double-clicking on the title in the tab (it’ll be pre-selected for you at the end of step 3).

  5. To switch back to your regular binder, you can either click the “Binder” tab (it’ll be a couple below the new collection tab at the top of the binder) or the “X” in the right of the binder footer. To also close the collections so you don’t see all the tabs at the top, you can select View > Collections > Hide Collections. (You can also toggle this with the “Collections” icon in the left of the main toolbar.)

  6. To compile your new collection, choose File > Compile, then from the “Compile” pop-up menu, select your collection from the bottom of the list. You probably will also want to select “Original” from the Format As pop-up, since you don’t want things like Chapter One and whatnot included for this compile the way you do for your actual manuscript. “Original” will leave everything looking pretty much just as it does in the editor.

If you want to add more documents to your collection later, you can right-click them in the binder and choose “Add to Collection” or, if the collection tabs are visible at the top of the binder, just drag them to the collection tab and drop them. To delete items from a collection, just display the collection in the binder by clicking its tab, then select the item and hit “Delete”–this will only remove it from the collection; the item won’t be deleted from the regular binder.

Thank you very much!

Took a bunch of playing with the compile options because I wanted synopsis and title in it, but I have something pretty close now. The one thing I have not been able to figure out is how to persevere the folder structure in the compile. So to make up a silly example, I might have:

Characters->Heroes->Female Characters->Human->MM
Characters->Heroes->Male Characters->Human->Bob
Characters->Villains->Female Characters->Dogs->Mike

And so on. Now when I compile, the ORDER is persevered, but not the debt. So if I open to random page and see “Mike” there is no way to know that Mike is a female dog working with the bad guys. (Unless I add to to synopsis/etc). Is there a way to persevere the information form the folder structure?

You could perhaps use indenting. In the Formatting pane, you can set up formatting rules for each type of icon, as you’ve probably discovered since you figured out how to add synopses. You can also add rules for depth of the item. Click on the file icon in the top list, and then the button that looks like an “add outline row” icon. That will make a “Level 2+” row in the list. Modify the formatting of this so it is block indented by a half inch or so, then make a third one. Just add however many you need, indenting them by an increasing amount.

Make sure the override formatting checkbox is enabled in this pane, otherwise this trick won’t work as it needs to be able to change the editor formatting.

if you want to see a practical demonstration of this, check out the enumerated outline “Format As” preset (though do save your current settings first so you can get back to them). The outline preset has five levels for each icon type, and they are all indented by a bit more so that the result is an indented list of titles for the whole compile, based on actual binder depth.

Hey thanks for that! That put meon a path where I found “non fiction with chapters (hierarchical)” (or something like that) and that got me close enough to tweak into the general idea I was looking for. It will take time to get this right, but at least now I can see a way to do it. Thanks!

One last stupid question for this thread… how do I save my compile settings? :laughing:

In the Format As menu, you’ll find a management option at the very bottom. That pops up a window and you can use that to add your own presets to the system. Clicking the + button will save your current settings to a preset.