"Include in compile"

What do others think about leaving this little box UNCHECKED by default? It seems that it’s more of an effort to around unselecting what you DON’T want to compile and making sure the wrong things are NOT included than it is to go through and include what you DO want. The whole thing is very tedious to begin with (Scriv is great for thinking, but there are lots of things about it that are kind of like having to do your own taxes)–if you can shorten it up, that would be awesome.

I think both approaches have pros and cons, and maybe the developers had to ultimately commit to one only.

But you can emulate the desired effect by going to Compile|Contents and Alt-Click the Include column, which will deselect or select everything at once. If you deselect all, then over time you can decide at compile time what to include.

New text documents, however, will still have the Include flag checked by default.

Hope this helps!

I don’t understand the problem, to be honest. “Include in Compile” only has any effect for documents that are in the the group set to be compiled anyway (the “Draft” folder by default), so it’s not like you have to go through and un-tick this for every single document that you don’t want to be compiled. The checkbox is there just so you can exclude documents from Compile that you have placed in the Draft folder (or the Collection you have set to be compiled). You can safely ignore it otherwise.

That way madness lies (and other semi-appropriate cliches). It certainly would not work for me and would at least irritate me if not quite lead to insanity.

The entire point of the Draft folder is that it is, well, my draft. If I don’t want something compiled then I need to ask, “Why is it in my draft?” Sometimes there are good reasons: for example, when I’ve written something, but am not sure about it, so uncheck the Include in compile box until I decide. But this is an exception. Most of the time research goes in Research, edited snippets go in a cuttings folder (sometimes with a link in the relevant document notes), old drafts go in old draft folders, etc. But my current draft belongs in the Draft folder. And everything in my draft is intended to be compiled unless specifically, consciously, marked otherwise. Exactly as currently implemented.

The alternative, to have to manually mark everything in Draft as needing to be compiled, simply doesn’t make sense to me. But maybe you and I are using the Draft folder in very different ways? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we all use Scrivener in our own idiosyncratic ways, but it may explain why you find the current include in compile check box default frustrating and I find it the alternative unnatural and disturbing.

I guess we ARE thinking of drafts differently. To me a draft is anything with words in it. My early drafts might be voice studies, a few thoughts on what has to happen in a scene, with sections more fleshed out here and there. Maybe I have stuff that I’ve compiled for a workshop and then reimported and reworked, and I’ve sent the imported file to an INERT folder. But now I forget to uncheck the dumb compile box. No big deal in the long run, but my word count is thrown off.

The whole thing is a big pain.

If it’s a story collection, there are some stories that are ready to go and others where I’m not even sure who the character is, but I still have five pages. So the finished story has a folder with a bunch of scenes, and the as-yet-unknown story is in the same project and also has a folder, with one scene written and maybe a couple more with a paragraph each. I don’t want the unknown story to default compile.

A MANUSCRIPT, now, (vs a draft) is a different story. That’s something I’m ready to show to someone official. Like an agent. That’s something I’m serious about compiling. Not section by section, but as a whole. At that point, it had better be close to perfect. Which is why I’d feel a lot better about knowing for sure exactly which scenes I’ve got in which folders. And by then I would have gone over each one and decided whether they’re in the compile.

So, of course it makes sense to me to select manually for compile, and to have the default be to leave it unchecked. Because a new scene by definition is rough. A draft is a draft and doesn’t belong under anyone else’s eyes. A final version is something for me to hand-pick for my audience.

I guess what I mean is that it seems that more often you are opening a new scene to experiment with it, so it’s more likely that this scene is going to end up in your old drafts folder. So this is NOT the scene that is ultimately going to wind up in your compile. So why should the default be include in compile? 75% of the time when you open a file you will not be including that file, I bet. So it shouldn’t be default.

It’s easier to click include than it is to uncheck it. That’s what I think. I bet I’m right. :slight_smile:

This can already be effectively done, though. I don’t see why the default needs to change for everyone. I appreciate your working style—I interleave a lot of notation into my Draft folder as well (though nowhere near 75%). So I get where you’re coming from—but if you do have that many note documents in your Draft, perhaps you should set your Draft up to use a notation document by default, instead of a default text document. This is pretty easy to do, and if that is what you always want, go ahead and set this up in a blank project, save it as a starter project template for yourself, and use the “Options” button in the New Project window to set it as your default. Now Scrivener works for you instead of against you. :slight_smile:

I’ve attached an example project template that demonstrates one approach. For it, I just created a “Templates” folder, used the [b]Project/Set Selection as Templates Folder[/b] menu command to give it the special icon and work as document templates.

Within that I created two new documents. The first one in the folder is special, it will get an alternate keyboard shortcut added to it so that it is easier to create. I’m going to be setting the “Note” type as default for Draft, so you want a way to make a actual printable draft document easily, too. This is just a stock file with “Include in Compile” checked. The “Note” document has a special icon and has “Include in Compile” disabled.

Finally, I select the Draft folder and use the [b]Documents/Default New Subdocument Type[/b] sub-menu to select “Note” as the default type. Anywhere else in the binder, I’ll get an ordinary text file, but in Draft I’ll get “Note” instead.

As mentioned, to get an actual normal file in the Draft from now on, you’ll have to use the [b]Project/New From Template/[/b] sub-menu, or the [b]Shift-Opt-Cmd-N[/b] shortcut to add one with the keyboard. All normal ways of adding a new file to the Draft (and subfolders) will result in a “Note” file otherwise.

That probably all makes less sense than just trying it out for yourself and see how it works. You should see that the “natural” ways of creating new content in the Draft folder are result in yellow-icon Note files, that’s your 75%. For the rest, use the shortcut or sub-menu as described.
Notes.scrivtemplate.zip (42.8 KB)

I agree with Claudia. My Draft folder is very much the structure of what I’m writing. Some documents, most of them in the early stages of the script, are actually drafted scenes, while others are more of placeholders. While writing one scene I might suddenly realise that some sort of transition is needed between this scene and the preceding scene, so I add a document that just contain a note that “some sort of transition is needed”. That note immediately will be included in the compile, if I don’t un-click it.
Of course, as I get closer to a first draft, many of the placeholders become scenes, other disappears and its all compile-worthy.
Also if I put targets for my writing (only including compile-included documents), I, for one, only want real writing to be included, not “perhaps this is where I should introduce uncle Fred, but how? Perhaps he is in the same boat? BTW, should I really call him Fred? Eustace perhaps?” etc.
At least give us an option not to include by default all new documents in the Draft folder in compile. Please.

As noted, the software already has an option to do this by preference. I outlined how to set it up to work this way in the post right before yours, and even provided a sample template. Not every possible workflow in Scrivener should be a checkbox somewhere. The vast majority of its “preferences” are combinations of its persistent features, saved into project templates for future use. That is what the project template feature exists for: to give you a second layer of preference where the number of possible workflows and checkboxes would approach hundreds of thousands of settings otherwise.

An approach to solve this problem which has be useful to me is just using Comments and document Notes for that matter. I tried using footnotes as self-reminders as well, but at the end comments fulfilled my need more naturally. I’ve found that these featured tools do not clutter my view, do not distort the word count and are one click away when I need them.

Also, with some in line text which looked good initially but during a second pass seems unsatisfactory, I just mark it as an in-line annotation and delete it once a new rephrasing of the idea comes into place.

It seems that Scrivener was designed to make my life easier. 8)

Sorry Amber. Appreciate that you tried to help, but didn’t really understand what to do, couldn’t open your attachment (on Mac) and wasn’t sure that it would really help me if I did.
Also appreciate that I can’t get a checkbox for every whim. But among the preferences there are a lot of checkboxes that seems (to me, very subjectively) much more esoteric, than a simple choice between automatically include every new document in compile, or not to do it.

r6d2, good suggestions. I also use comments and in-line annotations a lot.

Your browser might have applied the wrong file extension. I’ve noticed the forum doesn’t tell the browser what a zip file is properly and sometimes .txt can be applied. Just make sure it has “.zip” on the end, double-click it in Finder, and you should get a “Notes.scrivtemplate” file that you can import into Scrivener via the New Project panel’s Options button. This will place a new template in the Blank category. Create a new project with that, and try adding a new document to the Draft folder. You should see it has a custom icon and the checkbox off. Like I say, if you don’t like the icon you can just fix that in the document template.

Basically we’re just changing the default type of item Scrivener adds when you create a text file in Draft.

Fwiw, I too use the comments to keep the narrative flowing the direction I have in mind while not affecting the word count. Most papers I have to write for submission are fairly small (2,500-7,500 words) so this works like a charm for me. If at the end i’m not quite up to the word count I need I can add things in from comments, and convert others that refer to other works i’ve alluded to without quotation. Since I typically start from a blank template this is the best option for me too R6 8)

Thanks Amber! That’s really helpful and I’ll give this a try. I think we have a disagreement about semantics… what’s a draft and what’s compile. To me, compile = output. I think of a compiled document as what you’d send to an agent, yes? The final final final. I wouldn’t compile something with any errors or issues that I was aware of. It might take me years to get to this point. The very lonnnnngggg view. So, when I open a scene, I’m really not even ready to think about the compile, even if I am ready to write the scene, even if it’s not just notes…

It’s a DRAFT, it’s not the final. It’s not meant to be thought of as the compile. It’s not in order yet, I’m not sure of the chapters, I’m not sure of the pacing, the amount of exposition vs scene, which characters I’ll keep, any of that. It’s DRAFT ONE. Even in DRAFT TWO, who knows. The COMPILE is the FINAL.

As I REVISE, I hit duplicate for the scenes, I move the old scene to INERT and I revise the copy, renaming it. When I get to what I think is the FINAL, then I click “include in compile.” How on earth does this not make sense? How does it possibly make sense for the default to be include in compile for a whole new scene, for a first draft, when you have no idea if it will turn up in the final, possibly five years down the road? You don’t even know if those characters will make the cut! Maybe that setting will be deleted!

This whole business of writing in scenes is new to literary writers, btw. John Gardner wrote 20-page chapters. That’s how he thought. Twenty page chunks. We still think in SCROLLS.

However, I am realizing that apparently you do need “compile” earlier on for things like page counts. It sure would be nice to have another way of doing that. There’s so much junk DNA in a Scriv project, it’s very hard to figure out how many real pages you do have. People keep asking me how close I am to finished, and I have NO CLUE. I’d have a much better idea in Word, if I’d just dumped the junked files to another folder. I am tempted to start a whole NEW Scriv project just because I have a headache looking at my INERT folders. But then it seems hard to get files to copy over.

Nope. If I create a document in my drafts folder, I expect to still be there at the end. Of course, it may not be there (and almost certainly won’t be the same), but I need to expect to be there or I wouldn’t write it. If it’s not going to be there when I compile, I remove it (not uncheck it). I delete documents from my draft folder (or “Manuscript” to use your terminology) I don’t want. I don’t need to uncheck anything and hence it would be a lot more effort to have to check everything I wanted included in compile.

For me, draft = noun applying to everything in my draft folder. Simple and logical. Compile is a verb, something I regularly do to export bits of text (anything from a few documents to chapters to the entire manuscript) for various purposes (printing for a manual read-through, sending to proof-readers, checking layout, playing with settings as a diversion from writing, other useful things including an export of penultimate draft to Word for final layout and proofread en route to the editors). Compile certainly doesn’t need to just be the “final final final”. In fact, unlike old fashioned hard-copy-and-print writing, compile is so simple and fast you can do it whenever you want. It’s just a couple of clicks and few seconds.

Probably will be deleted. But I will have compiled dozens, if not hundreds, of times by then. And anything deleted will not by in my draft folder but will either be gone or in a different folder. Why would I possibly want to keep deleted material in the main body of my manuscript? And if it’s not there, why does it matter if it’s marked “Include in compile” or not? If it’s not in a folder that is selected for compile, it won’t be compiled. Everything that is in my main draft/manuscript/thin-that-matters will be compiled - exactly as I would expect.

Also, not sure why you would continually duplicate scenes when you can use Scrivener’s snapshots which create effective duplicates (with the added bonus of allowing comparisons between versions).

I write in paragraphs. Almost every paragraph is a new document. I most certainly do not think in scrolls. A long continuous text without break is anathema to me.

You could take 15 seconds to compile and find out.

Have you gone through the tutorial? It seems that the way you are using Scrivener is creating a lot of extra work. Some of us choose to do that anyway because we’re paranoid (this applies to me, and may apply to you also), but perhaps a different understanding of the software might help with both the terminology and use.

I am using the terminology of the software in all of my statements above. I’m not talking about drafts in the sense of rough copy, or compiling in the sense of what you hand to your editor/agent. I’m talking about the Draft folder, as in the special Binder item that comes with every project where you put your WIP, and when I say Compile, I’m talking about the feature that you use from the File menu. These are not matters of semantics, when used in this fashion. They are what the features of the software are called. On the broader level of what one does when they write, I would agree with you, and I think Scrivener’s tools are adept at allowing one to work in this fashion, where what you have in front of you is not a “document”, as in Word, but a gradually refined product, as often composed of things that will be discarded, as things that will be there when you are handing it in.

Checking off “Include in Compile” is not a declaration of psychic and productive completion, it’s a way of telling the software that yes, this particular piece of the work should be exported when I hit compile to get a master outline report, or a word count, or whatever. When you “Compile” you aren’t done, you can do that thousands of times per project—or none, it’s up to you (and incidentally, to check word counts you do not need to compile, just use the Project Statistics option in the Project menu). Disabling the checkbox, on the other hand, is a way of saying that this piece will never be a part of the final work. It’s a scrap from a napkin I transcribed, it’s an old version I don’t like but am not ready to delete, it’s a removed scene that wasn’t necessary.

The Draft folder is your working area for all of this. It is your sandbox, your sculptor’s pedestal, and eventually it will be where you final cut is. We distinguish between that and everything outside of the Draft in that sense. By and large, the stuff outside of the Draft will never be a part of the final (though of course you could work that way as well, and some do), but rather be supporting material for what goes on in the drafting process.

There are as many ways to write as there are authors, and often what seems new is sometimes just an older art that has been lost. Nabokov wrote entire novels on index cards, which isn’t too far away from the more radical usage of Scrivener as Nom describes, where one has no more than a paragraph per section. Why even stop at scenes, in other words? I sure don’t, but you needn’t even work in scenes if that chafes your working style. That’s the point of Scrivener: don’t let your tools constrain your writing method.

Hi there, thanks again.

Are you suggesting that the “normal” way to use this is to write early drafts outside the Draft folder (perhaps creating a “preliminary” folder), and then move final scenes into the Draft folder?

I don’t like to delete scenes as I go because it’s just easier to have all the drafts in one place in case I want to go back and steal a para and put it somewhere else. So I usually have them in a subfolder within the section I’m working in (eg Part I Drafts, and within that, chap 1 drafts, chap 2 etc). If I’m SURE it’s bullet proof, or close enough, I move that whole draft folder an INERT folder (as per the tutorial I did take). That’s better than having to hunt down through the binder to find a draft scene I want to pull material for. But I suppose I could create another folder outside Draft as Amber suggests, and then move the final chaps into Draft. I’d still have the option of clicking include in compile if I want to send an earlier draft of say, chap 5, to a workshop.

Is that what you mean, Amber? I think the people who want scenes automatically included ON OPEN are those who probably write in a more linear fashion and who rework within a scene till it’s bomber. I don’t work that way.

And I do like that Scriv can accommodate a lot of different working styles. I thought it would be easier to have a file unclicked by default, because then when it’s final (however someone works) (or when you want to send a subsection out for review) you can simply click compile and move the earlier versions out. But apparently others disagree!

BTW, I don’t think of early scenes as notes. Sometimes they are placeholders, but in general they are scenes–they might just get cut or radically revised later. For notes, I just use the inspector note function, highlighting things that can’t get lost. I put some of the cuts there as well, if I think I’m likely to just be moving them, or revisiting them for that doc or another in the same chapter.

Right now I have dozens of files that are compiled drafts that have been reimported so I can pull from them if I want to. I always find that when I compile and see it in Word I revise again. Something about Word makes you look at it differently. Sometimes those changes are minor, sometimes not. So when I am going to start further work on a project (say after a workshop, or after a story has come back from journals), I need to start over with that Word doc. I pull it in and sometimes even break it into scenes again. !!

For ex, I just sent some samples for residency retreat applications and juried workshops. I compiled, revised again in Word, sent it out. Then when I wanted to send it to the next art colony or workshop, I looked at it again and made still further changes. I have to work hard to make sure the latest, most polished version is back in Scriv at the end of the day.

This is just how one person works, and it there’s another/better way to do this, please chime in. I’m sure Scriv has lots of capabilities (I did take Gwen Hernandez’s course, but I only remember the stuff that seemed most relevant to what I wanted to do) that I’m not aware of, just as there always seems to be a better way to do something in Mac than the one I’ve stumbled across as a former Windows user.

Yeah, sorry I misread you initially when I wrote that first post in this thread. I thought you were primarily brainstorming in the Draft and developing the proper scenes around and within that conceptual outline. Whether they are “notes” are “early scenes” makes little difference in the software however. My sample project assumed notes, one could just as easily put a normal text file in the Templates folder and set that Include box off, then set that as the default instead of the “Notes” document with a different icon and default font.

It is an interesting concept to do your rough drafting outside of the Draft folder and move things in as they are “finished”, but I’d wager nearly everyone writes directly into files in the Draft folder, as far as “normal” goes. I myself wouldn’t find that terribly useful since I prefer how Scrivener lets me merge the conceptual outline with the underlying written material and let the two evolve together. I work directly in the Draft for all things that could become a part of the final output.

Well, speaking for myself I wouldn’t say that is so. I want the checkbox on by default, and I want to work in a singular folder for my early writing as well as refinement, so I might as well do that in the Draft. When I compile from this before I’m done, I am fully aware that includes sections that are still rough—that is what I want. I want the whole thing compiled, warts and all. I’m not compiling a final draft, I’m compiling a copy for myself to review in another setting for a bit.

The main problem with your idea of this being off by default is that it would be quite confusing given how the feature and the software is designed. This checkbox, like I was saying before, isn’t really meant to be a part of a workflow. It certainly can be used that way—please don’t get me wrong—but the user interface is not designed around that usage, that is what I am speaking for here; the software doesn’t illuminate the existence of this feature at all, really. Most people would write a couple thousand words into the Draft, compile, and then panic because everything is blank. You’re asking people to somehow find this checkbox in an optional panel of the UI, figure out what it means, and then consistently remember to use it—that’s demanding a lot of exploration and maintenance from literally everyone that picks up the software.

Now, if this workflow were designed into the program, as an official way of using it, it would have been made much more obvious, perhaps all the way up to the point of the editor interface changing visually, new icons, and so on to indicate that a section has gone from “rough draft” to “ready to print”.

The software just isn’t designed to enforce that kind of dichotomy—but it can allow it. You can definitely set it up to work that way (excluding all documents with their status set to “Rough Draft” with a compile filter, for instance, or your method of using the Include checkbox), but it does so in a way that allows for maximum flexibility, as these tools can be used for many other specific tasks as well. I can for example use these same tools to print a list of all the sections in my book that are written from a certain POV or involve a certain plot line.

To conclude, I suppose what I’m really saying here is that you can already make the software work the way you’ve developed, so unless you have a pressing need to change or just want to try a new approach for a while that’s fine, but I think most of us would be hard-pressed to suggest that any one particular way of using Scrivener is “better” than other methods. Personally, I think your way of using the Draft folder is interesting and potentially very useful.

The only thing I’d suggest, purely from a standpoint of maximum flexibility, is what I mentioned in passing earlier: use the document Status for determining when something is ready for compile, rather than the checkbox. In the Contents pane you can enable filtering, and set the filter to exclude all documents with a certain status (like “First Draft”). That frees up the checkbox for its originally intended purpose if you need it. But like I say, that’s more of a minor tweak to what you’re doing, than a radical change, and it won’t really give you anything new if you never turn around and use that checkbox for anything in the future.
Finally, on the matter of what to do after you’ve compiled: well personally I would just make it a point to never touch the text of anything in Word unless I’m done with it in Scrivener. I do compile for review purposes, but I use PDF and make markings on the PDF, like I would pen & paper, then go through my notes later in Scrivener on the original text with the PDF in one split and the working material in another. That’s just personal taste though, I like a strict separation between those two tasks.

Outside of that, if I spot an error in the compiled document, I always fix it in Scrivener rather than the output, even though that means going back and compiling again (often immediately). I know it’s an extra step, but I’d rather not end up with a dozen forked documents that I have to merge, which would surely happen if I started fixing typos in every compiled output. I’m a proponent of keeping one central source for many outputs rather than having one source for every output, but that’s mainly because I’m a bit hair-brained and make a huge mess of revisions unless I follow a strict procedure. :slight_smile:

Anyway, this is all getting a bit abstract, but hopefully you find some useful tips in here—even if that’s mainly that what you’re already doing is good enough. That would be the ideal “solution” to this anyway.

I know AmberV has already answered, but I’ll add that I never work this way. I write in my Drafts folder and only ever move things out that I don’t want. I very(!) rarely write anything in Scrivener outside of the Drafts folder.

Writing in a linear fashion sounds nice. It must be wonderful to be able to think in such a structured, practical way. I can’t do it though. Not “don’t”, but “can’t”: I literally cannot and experience brain freeze if I try. When I write, I might work on a piece from any section of my draft on any given day, and often several pieces each from different sections. My current WIP is like a patchwork quilt (although it still has more holes than quilt). I have a good imagination (if I say so myself) but it takes a lot of creative effort - and suspension of my knowledge of the real world - to imagine myself writing linearly.

Me too. :slight_smile:

This is where you’ve lost me. Everything else seems to be just an interesting discussion on how different people approach their writing. I find it inherently interesting to see the different assumptions and approaches people make and take - although, as we get into the nitty gritty, it seems that much of what you and I do is very similar. But I confess I don’t even understand this paragraph, so really don’t know what assumptions and approaches underpin it. What do you mean by, “simply click compile and move the earlier versions out”? I am befuddled. :blush:

When I compile, nothing moves; everything stays exactly where it is. Nothing changes except that I have a version of the compiled documents in another format (usually, for me, this is a Word document but I like AmberV’s rationale for compiling to PDF and might start doing that). Quite independently of compiling, I will move documents to a clippings folder outside my draft (which usually functions as an intermediate step to the trash folder, but occasionally I will re-insert documents from here). But I will also occasionally uncheck the include in compile box for a document within the draft. Maybe it’s an alternate version, or I can’t quite bring myself to move it, or I know it’s needed but don’t know where and am keeping it “here” for the time being, or… actually, the reasons don’t matter - sometimes I keep things in my Draft and don’t compile them. This, however, is the exception. When I write something, my default expectation is that it will be included in my final version unless and until I remove it. This is a good incentive for me to edit each document into something worth publishing - which is where frequent compiling helps.

Note: I am posting because I am genuinely interested in understanding the different assumptions that seem to underpin our different expectations of Scrivener. Given that there are, at least on the surface, many apparent similarities with our approaches, I’d really like to know where the differences come from.