Indicate (highlight) where non-empty metadata exists

There are many places to put metadata in Scrivener, which is great. However, this makes it easier to miss things that may have been encoded into Notes, or Keywords, or Labels, or Document References, or … (even once you have hit a rhythm and consistent usage convention :slight_smile:

One solution is for Scrivener to always indicate which of the metadata slots are actually not empty e.g. (purely an example) on the footer bar, highlight or color whichever of Notes, Keywords, or Document References actually has some non-empty content.

If possible, propagate some suggestion / indication of this up the tree structure of the outline (or binder) views, so when looking at a large chunk C, I can tell that somewhere in a descendant of C there are some Doc References (visually distinguished from - it is metadata on C itself)


I second this request. A typical scenario for me is the following:

  • Having prepared a preliminary structure of my chapters I sometimes write in the Document Notes before writing anything at all in the file itself (because I still have no clue about what I’m going to write in there).
  • I write a Synopsis for some of the files, while others’ synopses remain blank (because, really, I have no clue…)
  • Now I can only see at a glance in the Binder which ones of my files include some text, and which ones are empty. There’s no indication about the situation of the relevant Document Notes or Synopsis (the only exception are blank files with synopsis, which show a little visual cue in the icon).
    It’d be useful to have this information showing up somewhere, in the file icons for example, or elsewhere.

The icons on the buttons at the bottom of the inspector indicate this in the next update.

Might I suggest some indication in the outliner view? That would allow an overview visual scan, instead of visiting each document individually for the inspector view.

Thanks - Sophie

I’m afraid there will be nothing like that in the outliner view - to me, that would be overkill.
All the best,

Abject apologies, I actually meant the “Binder View”, not “Outliner view” above. I agree putting it in the Outliner make no sense.

Scrivener 1.5 (possibly earlier) now adds a miniature index-card red-blue icon in the Binder for documents that have Synopsis text.

Please consider the reasoning below as a proposal (actually, two possibly separable proposals — though I think they fit together) to improve things further in 2.0:

  • The synopsis indicator icon on “file” or “folder” documents is lost as soon as the document contains any text. The good: Binder indicates text. The bad: Binder stops indicating synopsis. That decreases the usefulness of the indicator a lot. Proposal: Use distinct icons for Empty document vs. document with Text vs. document with Synopsis.

  • To see the Synopsis text you need to look at Outliner or Inspector. The Outliner and Inspector also show all other meta-data e.g. label, keywords, notes. Proposal: Binder should indicate the presence of ANY metadata, not just synopsis (still distinguished from presence of Text). Not sure if it should be a single indicator for all metadata, or something distinguished for Synopsis vs. one for All-Other-Metadata. Displaying this extra information/overlay in the Binder might be configurable.

This would help users (specifically, me :slight_smile: ) get a birds-eye view of where in their project they have “something more” to look at – including keywords, notes, references, labels, status, synopsis – so they can peek there using the Inspector as needed.

As a newcomer to the Scrivener community, I’m not exactly sure what version this post refers to. The post was in september of 2008, but the version I’m using now in November 2009 doesn’t seem to exhibit the promised behavior.

Am I missing a subtle change in the UI behavior in my version, or is this going to be part of version 2.0, slated for a mid-2010 release?


Yes, this is going to be part of 2.0. Sorry, I was working on 2.0 even back then - it’s been in development since the middle of 2008, in fact, in tandem with the improvements that have been introduced into 1.x since then. It’s a big update!

All the best,