I tried to like it. I really did.

Listen don’t get me wrong. the new scriv looks great. it’s everything I hoped it would look like. but there was a problem, back in 2017 when I first tried out the beta, and I can’t keep quiet about it any more.

The new inspector pane’s limitations disappoints me so much I can’t deal with it. here’s why.

In the old scrivener inspector, the Synopsis pane remained constantly displayed on top so I could view it and my custom meta-data pane at the same time. new scrivener doesn’t do that, and I have tried to live with it.

But being able to see both the synopsis and the custom-meta data at the same time is crucial to my drafting process. I write up a summary of the scene in the synopsis pane and then use my custom meta data to track POV, scene location, essential and literal scene action, emotional arc, foreshadowing/symbolism, and the way the plot cookie crumbles as a consequence of this scene. And I cannot stand having to switch back and forth to see two halves of my outlining whole. It distracts me, and then i’m grumbly about why is it different?

I have no idea why you changed it. But this was the gold star top feature for me, and I’m so disappointed it’s gone. I’ve tried to like the new version, and I just…i can’t. I’m sorry. this is too important to me.

I switched back to 1.9 today, and I doubt I will update when 3.0 is released. It’s sad, because it looks so good and it does all this neat stuff with analytics. I was looking forward to it.

But I will trade it all for this one feature. That’s how strongly I feel about it.

Did you try any of the built-in layouts? It seems they need a bit of tweaking, but there are plenty of ways to get not just one, but many synopses in one pane, which when clicked load a file in the editor in another pane, while allowing you to keep the inspector open too. Or you could customize an outline view to include title, synopsis, and custom metadata that automatically loads the file in an editor below or above the outline, eliminating the need for that use of the inspector, which could be purposed to look at related documents using the Bookmarks pane, for instance.

If you’re willing to adjust a little to how you get to that information, I think you’ll find that it’s worth the effort for all the other refinements that come with this change.

This is an old design bugbear, the lack of granularity in the Inspector, as we each may prefer different elements in our primary view. Scriv 2.9.X has actually improved in this area as it can now partition, collapse, resize and independently scroll some of the Inspector panes, particularly those in the General Meta / Custom Meta / Keywords group. I hope Scriv continues this slow evolution toward a user-partitioned Inspector with all of its components available to mix and match.

Fortunately 2.9.X has also added editing views. We can now split a single editing pane into a Corkboard and a Copyholder, So we can display document, synopsis and meta-data simultaneously while keeping the second pane available for reference, adding Quick Reference windows as needed.

I hope you’ll keep sampling the Betas. Scriv’s greatly enhanced capabilities are easily worth the small adjustments we make to deploy them.

Rgds - Jerome

I agree with oenanthe - having at least the option to switch on the Synopsis pane whilst displaying Custom meta-data would be a good good thing. It’s just natural!

Could you (or, anyone who knows, really) elaborate on this a bit, or point to any tutorials that are relevant? These layouts seem like a powerful tool, and I would love to learn how to utilize this.

Here is an image of how it might look like. Check out this video tutorial describing how to set up this kind of layout (but there is already a standard layout called Dual Navigation provided, which is close to this one) :

This layout only requires one editor plus copyholder:

An alternative (sorry, no screenshots) is to select a folder/container and enter outliner mode. Then customize the outliner. There’s a button to the right of the outline headers that reveals everything you can add or remove from the outline view, including custom metadata columns.

Once you have your outline set up to show titles, synopses, and the metadata you want to see, you can either split the editor, or create a copyholder for one of your documents as described in the video or the tutorial project under the Help menu or the template chooser window. Finally, there’s a button in the footer of the editor that’s in outliner mode that loads whatever you click in the other editor, or the copyholder, depending on the state of your editor.

Most of this is covered in the interactive tutorial (again, see the Help menu), which is just a Scrivener project that has content describing features and guiding you to use some of them. Read from the beginning, as they have some helpful highlights that illustrate what’s not yet implemented in the current beta. Be sure to trash the tutorial project you create every time they update the beta, so that it’s as up-to-date as possible.

okay, but that’s not what I was doing with the custom meta data and the synopsis being on the right side of the editor page, and it is this vary specific thing that is my entire reason to use scrivener. I did try two panes for a while, but it was much simpler and cleaner to use custom meta data, so it was all right there on the right hand side.

You could add a metadata field to hold a synopsis. It can be the first field of your metadata. You can set the text color the way you want. Then, because you have the metadata always present, it’s there, on the right hand side.

…why didn’t I think of that

I guess because I’m so used to the corkboard!

… probably because you would loose all of the proper synopsis features, e.g.:

  • no more synopses on corkboard cards
  • no more synopses right under the title in outliner
  • no more formatting of synopsis font in options
  • plus probably the loss of a lot more features and functions when compiling and in other areas I cannot think of right now.

Very true.

But if the OP wants the synopsis AND the metadata visible at the same time, as they were in v 197/198, in v 2906, this may be the best way to do it. I personally would like the synopsis to be visible with whatever else, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

Ideally, they would add a button that lets you insert another side bar, one that works exactly the same as the one that’s already there. That way, you could have two, each viewing different things. Turn it on or off as you wish. This would be similar to how a lot of programs with customizable interfaces work.

Or let me choose EXACTLY which metadata pieces I want to see in the sidebar? Like, synopsis and custom metadata?

That’d be nice.