Include Synopses in Edit Scrivenings? And more...


I am a relatively new user and I’m hoping that I can be set straight on something…

Is it possible to have synopses appear within the text when one edits scrivenings? If the answer to this is obvious, please feel free to provide a pointer to the relevant part of the tutorial or forum and say “duh”. :wink:

I ask because I’m still trying to sort out exactly how I’m organizing my work in the program. I’m writing my thesis, so I have lots of little notes that must be referenced. I can totally grasp how I would use Scrivener if I were writing fiction, but it’s translating that to research that is causing me some issues.

I have my basic outline laid out in the Binder, with multi-level folders (e.g. my chapter on the fate of the sites that I am looking at has a top-level folder containing a folder for each of the sites). It is at this point where the index card and I are dancing about.

In the past, I would write with a paper outline and then on notecards, I would have something like the following (using the code tag as a graphic device):

[code]General Topic From Outline {# of reference}

The text of the individual note followed by a page number (8)[/code]

I can easily do this as synopses in Scrivener, but the synopses doesn’t (seem) to appear in the document created by Edit Scrivenings. Does that matter? Or can I lay out my thesis in this manner and then export the synopses to Mellel?

I can also create separate text documents for each note and then everything shows up nicely in Edit Scrivenings, but leaves me with a bunch of untitled documents (it seems like overkill to come up with titles for notes like “built it 1889 near the hydraulic canal”) and that becomes confusing.

It definitely seems that the ability to move around information easily is a strength of Scrivener and I will be taking advantage of that. But does anyone have any advice on how to approach the organization of my notes? Am I missing something obvious here?


Hmm… There is certainly no way to view synopses in Edit Scrivenings, as that was never really the intention. What you could do is set up a horizontal split (cmd-=), click in the top split and select “Outliner” from the toolbar, and then click on the two arrows in the footer view of the top view (“Automatically open selection in other editor”). Then, go to View > Binder Affects > Top View. This will set everything up so that it acts like a traditional three pane outliner - clicking in the binder will change the documents that appear in the outliner in the top pane, and clicking on items in the top pane will open them in the bottom. This way, you can see the synopses in the top pane and their text in the bottom.

Not sure if that helps. You can also export everything exactly how you want for use in Mellel. If you go to File > Export Draft, you will see that there are options for exporting whatever you want. You could export just the synopses, or the synopses and the text, or the titles, synopes and text, and so forth.

All the best,

Yes, and I definitely respect that functionality. I think I would be approaching things differently if I were starting from scratch, but having just imported a huge amount of information that follows my old paradigm, I need to figure out a way to stick with that, else I will be creating more work for myself than necessary.

It definitely helps. I think the Exporting feature is key to what I want to do. I can still use Scrivener’s awesome organization abilities, but the actual end product will have to show up in Mellel rather than the Edit Scrivenings. And that’s ok.

I’m definitely learning a TON about this program from my travails though. It’s really great and even though I have this one issue, it’s doing everything else I want beautifully.

If you are importing stuff that has the synopsis along with the text, you can select the synopsis that you have imported into the text view and then click on the “…” button at the top of the inspector to set the document’s synopsis in Scrivener to the selected text in the main editor, if that helps at all…

I just wanted to follow up… I’ve played around with a test document and I think I’ve figured things out to fit with what I need to do. The ability to export the synopses to Mellel works perfectly, so I can stick with that.

However, there are definitely places where I have longer sections of information (for example, quotes and descriptions of places)… Those can go into text documents with the index card used as it should be with a synopsis.

I’m pretty sure this will export to exactly what I envisioned.

Well, if I’ve made the program fit my needs, then I think anyone could! And thanks again for the hint on how to set up the split screen… that helped me figure things out and it works nicely.

Glad you’re finding a workflow that fits you. :slight_smile:

Hi folks (esp Keith),
I have been using the outliner as I always have, so each level is what I intend to become a heading, sub-head etc. It would help immensely to see these in ‘scrivenings’ mode. Am I also missing the point of this function? Or is there a way to switch them on?
What do other folk do in this respect?


This has been discussed before and basically this functionality is not going to be available in any 1.x release because of the way Edit Scrivenings works. It would take a complete rewrite. Edit Scrivenings is just for looking at your text as though it is one chunk of text.

Thanks anyway - just thought I’d make sure.