Keywords functionality tweaks

I’ve had Scrivener a few years now as I puttered along in my recreational writing, but recently I got serious about using more of the features, and after a few minutes of using the Keywords functionality, I’m cursing myself for not using it already. However, just as fast, I ran across a few ideas for it that would make the feature a bit more interactive and easy to use. I don’t see any indication that it’s built in already, nor does a quick forum search return any results on it, so I figured I would post about it.

The Keywords and Project Keywords panels could use a bit of love in a few places. A few small tweaks might make them much faster to use.

edit: I’ve added/edited three things since I posted this!

I work with a 34" display, which is great for doing multiple things at once, but I find that I’m frequently moving things around to do research or pop windows to the front and center as I need to interact with them. Every time I end up moving Scrivener (usually via Windows+Left/Right arrows), the Project Keyword window stays behind. In fact, if I snap to the edges, it either completely overlaps the main window, or is on the opposite end of the screen.

It would be nice if the Project Keywords window had some docking functionality. Options could include:

  1. The window could be dockable to the existing Inspector panel, and would exist below the Keyword sub-panel itself. I find that I’ve usually only got 5-15 tags on a given Text scrap, so the remaining space is often unused. It would also be great if you could provide a sizing bar so that I can adjust the space devoted to either the Text keywords or the Project keywords.
  2. The window could be dockable to the outer edges of the application itself (left or right sides) and would follow the document as it moved. Snapping left or right would dock the edge of the PK window to the edge of the screen.

As soon as I started to using the Keywords functionality, I realized it was going to take a lot of mouse interactions to use it. Other than the color square, no matter where you double click, you edit the keyword itself. However, sometimes I want to pick a Text document and just start applying keywords as I browse the list. To do this, I either have to control-click them all and then drag them as a group, or drag them one at a time.

Instead of this, what if you split the click actions up some? When you double-click the text of a Keyword, you edit the text itself, but if you double click anywhere else in the Keyword, it automatically adds itself to the focused Text scrap. Control-double-clicking removes it from the Text scrap, and Control-Double-Clicking a Project Keyword should remove it from the entire Project (probably best to have a confirmation dialog here, lest you destroy a keyword presentin hundreds of places…)

Hierarchy Functionality
If you place Keywords in a hierarchy, they could/should appear in that same structure when viewing them on the Text scrap in the inspector. This could be done via a checkbox toggle on the Gear button.

The reasoning is very simple. If I want to see all of the Location keywords added to a particular Text scrap, I have to either color all of the Location Keywords the same color, or browse the list manually. When I have a busy chapter, I might have 5 or 10 People Keywords, plus 4 or 5 Location Keywords, plus several relevant Plot Event Keywords, and it gets messy very quickly.

Keyboard Shortcuts
I grew up with DOS and Windows 3.1, so the mouse was optional a lot when I was a kid. I need keyboard shortcuts for repetitive, tedious tasks. When my Project Keywords pane is a foot tall, it’s a pain in the ass to have to click a hierarchy node, then go to the bottom of the screen, click one of the buttons, and then go back up to work with the results

Keyboard shortcuts for New Keyword, New Sibling Keyword, Delete Keyword, trigger Sorting, trigger Search. Since all of the natural shortcuts are already taken (Control-N, etc), perhaps they could work only when the Project Keywords window is focused?

Some food for thought!

I just joined the forum since I recently started working with Scrivener and so far my experience is really great. I am starting also to have questions as I explore its functionality, and one of them has to do with keywords.

I would like to assign keywords to my notes and then after I find all notes containing a specific keyword, I would like to use the flexible cork board mode so I can arrange them in a way I like. Is this possible at the moment? I was not able to make it work. If it not, that would be one feature that I would appreciate.