Images in text files or as Research items

Still learning (and loving) Scrivener (3.3.1 on macOS 13.4).

I’m building a project which has successfully imported dozens of .rtf files from another application.

(Most of) these files contain inline graphics. They’re TextEdit files.

Which is considered best Scrivener practice, please:

  1. keep these Notes as is with inline graphics
  2. remove graphics from each file and store them in my Research folder (i.e. outside the Drafts hierarchy); and link to them?


What do you ultimately want to do with the images?

The biggest reason to store them separately from the text is performance.

1 Like

Thanks, @kewms - I’m making a kind of offline Wiki for myself… notes I’ve taken over the years on music theory. Only for me to read and refer to. Not for publication.

I’ve collected, as I say, many docs, which are in my Drafts folder in a carefully-designed hierarchy. Not so many, though, as to make Scrivener at all slow.

I need those images as illustrations of, say, notes on the staff; tables of keys and note values; diagrams of key relationship; matrices of intervals.

Each graphic is closely tied to its surrounding text.

But my obsessively tidy mind tells me that these images are really ‘assets’, ‘resources’, separate non-text files. And that I should mirror the hierarchy I have in my Drafts and store all such images there - as I have done all my pdfs.

My main aim is to follow good L & L/Scrivener good practice and use (this aspect of) the software as it was intended to be used :slight_smile: .

Here’s my approach, not just for performance but also for flexibility, in case you need different images for different purposes — different resolution, different export formats, different audiences, etc., divided into different folders.

managing images in Scrivener

1 Like

Thanks, Bobby. Makes sense.

But in Research or in the main Drafts folder?

If you want flexibility, neither. The notion explains putting them in a different external folder (on the hard drive) for each purpose. Replacements could point anywhere, though — if the images are in the cloud or on a web page for instance. Or they could be modified to point to different folders in Research, but that could lead to a huge project size.

1 Like

I do want flexibility, Yes.

But most of all I want a clean and manageable structure within Scrivener.

So I’d like to stick to having them one-for-one in ‘Research’, which in this (Scrivener) Project I’ve renamed ‘Resources’.

I don’t mind a larger project - provided its organization and structure are transparent and durable.

Given that I suspect you have a lot of images, I think advice by @drmajorbob is the “best practice” rather than the practice you wish for. However, feel free so do as you prefer with cognisance of the advice above.

1 Like

You’ve had lots of advice on different ways and benefits, but I’ll come back to your original question:

And you say in response to @kewms :

Furthermore, given your description of the graphics as:

They don’t sound to me as being particularly resource heavy.

So my answer to your question is that, given that Scrivener is very flexible and doesn’t impose structuring or working style on you, “best practice” is therefore what works best for you.




All of the advice is sound. My suggestion is rather than go back and move your images outside the project look at current project size. Do a zip backup and check the file size. Depending on your computer if the size gets over 400 or 500 mbs may slow down when use. You could take the project and break into logical parts (to you). It is easy to create a new blank project and name Music theory two (or a sub part like History of Music Theory) and drag the folders from the big slow project that fit your new sub topic project and can have in project favorite list (File>Project list and File>Add Project to Favorite) so can take a large project and divide into more managable data chunks since this is for you only, make it convenient for you. I had a writing project to hold information from books I read or internet articles and it got slow to open so split into two projects to make more flexible. Certainily consider storing large PDF’s or big images outside your project in folders and use external links as well.
Always ask questions, everyone tries to be really helpful here.


I hear you, @xiamenese. Thanks. The wisdom of following your advice is one of the strengths of Scrivener, isn’t it.

If there’s nothing to be gained (or lost, for that matter) by putting the images in my ‘Resources’ folder, I shall probably do that - simply because it’s tidy and because no-one has counseled against it.

I guess that makes me double-check: Is there a preferred way to link to them from the texts to and in which the images belong?

Thanks for all that advice, @GoalieDad. The project is not large; nor is likely to be: 51MB.

I do like the idea of having all dozen or so topics in one Scrivener Project.

I also like to think that it’s all logically and transparently arranged :slight_smile: .

You certainly do. Thanks. Yes. I hope to be able to contribute myself in time as I get more familiar with Scrivener.

If it were me, I’d do the exact opposite. Taking inline images and moving them when there’s no clear benefit to doing so strikes me as time that might be more productively spent elsewhere.

There’s also the “if you mess with something long enough, you’ll break it” principle. Moving the images carries a risk, however small, that you might inadvertently mis-link them. They’re stable and findable where they are.

1 Like

At that size wouldn’t change anything, but bookmarks , keywords, links, and other metadata can make the project even more useful

1 Like

Understood; thanks @GoalieDad :slight_smile: .

Thanks, @kewms - I see. I shall think about it some more.

What this thread has taught me - thank you to everyone! - is that Scrivener does not prefer one method over another.

PDFs, webarchives, other text files etc - they are better off in Research. But if there’s no downside to inline images, that really maybe is the best way to handle them.

I asked about best practice. And the consensus seems to be that ‘best’ is what suits the user best because Scrivener is so flexible. Appreciated!

1 Like

Well, the potential downside would be performance. If you were, say, creating a photo book or an art history book, and expected to have dozens or hundreds of full resolution images, and then wanted to pull the whole manuscript together in a single Scrivenings session … in all likelihood I’d be advising you to use linked images, with just thumbnails or placeholders in the body text. But that’s not your situation.

1 Like

I’d absolutely concur with that; as I said, the images you describe don’t seem to me like resource-heavy images, unlike the full resolution photos that @kewms mentions.

But you have to balance that against your need for orderliness. What works best for you.



1 Like

No, it’s not; too few images for that. I now believe I should do as you suggest - after all. Thanks!

Yes; thanks, Mark! I think I know now :slight_smile: .