Is it possible to bookmark files in external Scrivener projects?

First off, just want to say that I love Scrivener!

Here’s my problem. I am writing a fantasy trilogy, and I have detailed character sheets with notes, photos, maps etc. that I would like to share between the three Scrivener projects.

I use the bookmark feature so that I have access to these character sheets from within other documents in the project, which is great as you can quickly see a photo of the character in the inspector and carry on writing without having to spend extra time searching.

My problem is that my projects are growing quite large, and I want to keep the file size small as I change the filename and make a new back up every few days. I also need to ensure that the character sheets are kept up to date between the three projects. I’ve discovered that I can link to external Scrivener Projects, so I can put my character sheets there, but I can’t find a way to link to a character sheet within the external project.

Is there something I’m missing? The only work around I’ve found is to have the two separate projects open within the same Scrivener window and to swap between them to go from the chapter I’m writing to the character sheet. If there is a better way to do this, I would love to know!


You can just drag and drop an item from one project’s Binder into a document in another project, either in the text or the Bookmarks tab, to create a link.

To enable these to work well it might be better to keep your projects named the same, and if you want to do additional backup copies (over what Scrivener does automatically) then use the File>Backup>Backup to command and choose the zip file option. This will keep your working copy named the same but let you name the backups whatever you like.

You can also store the zipped backups on Dropbox or something for extra security.

Alternative strategies I have heard tell of (though you are writing at a scale unknown to me personally) — you have probably considered all these options before, but I thought it might be worth mentioning them just in case:

  1. Keeping all that support material in a dedicated “series bible” project — so none of the individual book projects “owns” that material. Keeping that open and tabbing over to it when needed.

  2. You can find on these forums discussion of the virtues of keeping the whole trilogy in a single project. You can create top-level folders for the text of each book and only keep the one you are working on inside the Draft folder. This way all of the series-common support material is at your finger tips in the Research folder within the same project. (If your trilogy is basically textual, it just isn’t so big file-wise that you have to break it up — a Scriv project is not a file in the first place, but an organized collection of files.)


Another possibility: you can select a file in the Binder, and then use the menu command Edit->Copy Special->Copy as External Link, then put the link in the target project’s bookmarks.

Personally, I use the “whole series in a single project” method, mostly because this is the only method that gives me access to my background (aka older works in the series) while in iOS Scrivener. In my sync with iOS, I find that I need to trim my snapshots about once a week (I use iOS sync’s automatic snapshots feature.)

The only problem I find with this method is that, with 242K words in the project, backups are a bit slow, but trimming my snapshots helps with that, too.