lock binder order to prevent accidental reordering

You know when you did it though?

  1. Do a search (cmd-shift-f) on .* (full stop star) and choose the option regex to get a list of all documents.

  2. click on the little arrow next to ‘search results’ (and cmd-3 to put them into outline mode).

  3. Add the ‘Modified Date’ column to the outline and sort it by reverse date.

  4. Click on the document and cmd-opt-r as before to show it in the binder.

Moving the document in the binder triggers a change to Modified Date, so this should at least narrow down the search and be simpler than trying to use the backup.

I’ll keep that in mind for next time, thanks.

+1 for this, or for undo moving items. (I just accidentally moved a lot of scenes to trash, and don’t know their exact original position. Ok, it was clumsy… but I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again… :slight_smile:)

+1 for what? Keith’s response that this is a ’no’?

As someone who has repeatedly accidentally moved things in my binder (on Windows, using a perfectly good mouse), I find the reasons given for not offering the option unpersuasive. I notice the reason wasn’t “we can’t do it for coding reasons”; it was, “if we do it, other things will be affected.” Well, as others have said, if it’s a lock-unlock toggle, the user can always unlock as needed. Or not use it at all, if it affects their work adversely. Me, I would use it immediately.

That said, a binder-only “undo” command might serve well enough.


Oops–I just noticed I’m in the Mac section. (Got her from Google.) Still, the need is there in the Windows version, also.

Hi starrigger, This quote is from the developer upthread, and is the reason the binder lock won’t be implemented. I can’t say whether it also applies to the “binder undo”, as I haven’t bothered reading the entire thread through.

I’m not trying to be snarky. Just wanted to direct you to the appropriate post, really the only one that matters in this thread, for why it won’t be implemented.


Thanks for the info, although I’m sorry to hear it.




= 0


I don’t know why, this made my day. :slight_smile:

The major difference, however, is that if I accidentally drag a file from one folder to another in Finder, I can undo that change. There’s no way to undo a Binder move action.

I understand that it would affect being able to drag other items into the Binder and such—hence why a lock/unlock toggle would be imperative. If someone tries to drag something in when it’s locked, they could be given a message that tells them the binder is locked and gives them to option to unlock.

Personally, I haven’t had an issue with accidental drag-and-drops. However, I’ve encountered several (and I don’t just mean a handful) people who have… and who have given up on Scrivener out of this frustration and gone to other software like Ulysses.

I don’t want to speak for others, but I would only ask that it not be dismissed out of hand without at least potentially exploring the possibilities. If it’s honestly something that just cannot be done because it has a cascading effect, I expect the majority of us would understand that, even if we still were disappointed. But just the “not gonna happen” kind of reply does feel dismissive.

Please don’t get me wrong… I don’t expect you all to implement every idea and suggestion offered by the masses. However, when the same issue keeps coming up and people are clamoring and posting and seeking out this forum to ask about it, I would hope it would at least be explored, even if only on a high level.

What Niassa said. Please at least consider it. I have on a number of occasions found (after the fact) that I have inadvertently reordered folders in a large, complex book–or dropped one folder inside another. It’s an irritant when I realize it at the time I do it. (An undo would be nice.) But the real risk is when I don’t notice it right away, and then I’m wondering why my text exported to Word looks different from what I expected. And I have to go looking for what I’ve done wrong. It’s not an insignificant concern.

I’m a Windows user, by the way.


Instead of assuming that KB is just dismissing you out of hand and continuing the “but please, listen to what I say even if you won’t listen to anyone else, all we want is just to know that it is really not possible” kind of posts…

…perhaps consider that:

  1. KB has heard that before, and inevitably when he explains why there is ALWAYS someone to argue about it.
  2. KB is a pretty thoughtful person, from all evidence, and doesn’t tend to dismiss ideas out of hand.

So instead of begging KB to be reasonable, perhaps it is time to recognize that his short “no” without explanation IS the moderate, reasonable response.

Just to chime in: it has happened to me several times that I’ve accidentally moved a file by drag and drop. Worst is if you don’t notice it, as is easy to do when you have up to a hundred files or so strewn across different chapters.

I can understand that you would not want to implement a lock option for the binder only, but have you ever considered giving the option of switching off drag and drop completely? I for one do not use it much at all (I prefer using shortcuts) and would switch it off in a flash if I could.

I suspect that if the option existed, you would very quickly discover the number of times you do it without thinking about it. Since Scrivener is fully navigable by keyboard alone, a simple test for this is to put your mouse out of reach and see how long it takes for you to get frustrated and move it back.

Even if you personally don’t use it, drag and drop is a fundamental part of interface models like the Corkboard within Scrivener, and of modern computer interfaces generally. Allowing users to turn it off is a terrible idea.


I repeat myself from up-thread:

Perhaps it is time to recognize that his short “no” without explanation IS the moderate, reasonable response.

Giving users options is rarely a terrible idea. The point of options is that you can change them if you don’t like the results. I turned off drag-and-drop editing in Word ages ago, and have never once regretted it.

There may be programming reasons for not wanting to implement it–I wouldn’t know. But usability isn’t one of them.

In response to the comment directly above this one, I acknowledge that the developer said no. But is a forum not a place in which one can, you know, discuss things?

It’s probably gauche to revive this thread, but I’ve been watching it with interest for some time and I finally couldn’t resist commenting. I consider myself something of an expert mouser, having been running OS X/MacOs forever, yet I too have fallen to the dreaded: “Wait, did I just move something in the binder? Oh well, I’ll just hit the trusty ole Cmd-Z and…” long pause “Huh.”

I am a pretty detailed outliner and I have an entire 9-book series in the same Scrivener project. With each novel broken out into Acts, Chapters, and Scenes that means checks project nearly 150 items (folders and files) per novel, not to mention the “Research” folder, the “Ideas” folder, the “Characters” folder, etc. I like to think I have a good memory but an inadvertent move in the binder is still both hard to detect and to unwind.

That said, I can respect the technical problem that would be “program a lock on binder moves”. In light of that I thought I would share my alternative solutions:

  1. brookter’s idea about sorting by modified date is quite clever and has been very helpful. That’s a good place to start.

  2. Since I’m a big outliner anyhow, I created a couple custom compile settings to print out just Part, Chapter, Scene headings and perhaps the scene synopsis (also some custom meta data in places) in a compact format. The result is a nicely detailed 3-10 page outline of the entire novel. A bit of prettying-up and you’ve got a detailed scene-by-scene outline with (or without) synopses–perfect for sending to editors/agents etc. During the development phase I make liberal use of the “Notes” section in each scene file. Add those to the “Outline” compile format and you have a great written document that keeps the entire project’s direction in hard copy. Side effect: That hard copy is an easy-to-access outline of the order of every file and folder in the binder.

  3. If you have the storage space, turn on the “back up with each manual save” option in Preferences->Backup and boost the “only keep [X] most recent backups” to a bigger number and get in the habit of whacking the save key a few times a day. This mitigates the “moved something in the binder two days ago and never caught the error and now all the backups have enshrined the error in the permanence of 10 backup files” problem.

  4. Every three months or so I increment the version number in my project name (e.g. “Series-v3” gets renamed to “Series-v4”). That has the effect of creating a new “backup epoch”. If you do this routinely, over the course of a long series development you now have a quarterly archive of old versions (and multiple backups of each). That’s nice if you end up with an error that propagated long ago. Also, if you are in film development or something if you ever have a rights fight over material you have a potentially years-long record of the progression of a project, an archive that is pretty solid “sole-authorship” evidence for copyright purposes. You might guess that I am a woman speaking from bitter experience on this point.

Obviously, my solutions are not for everyone and, admittedly, options 3 and 4 eat a lot of storage. Since all my research for the entire series is in my project it’s close to 100MB and that means 100MB per backup (not to mention the off-site saves on top of that). Still, “storage is cheap.” On big writing days I spend between 5-12 hours with Scrivener open. If you are a full-time writer it might be worth pitching for an external drive (4TB can be had for ~USD 100 nowadays).

Good luck!


Thanks for getting back to me. But there’s a difference between using the mouse and using drag & drop. I did not say to disable working with a mouse altogether (that would of course be a terrible idea!), just to enable switching off drag&drop for those who would like to do so for safety reasons.

While I use Scrivener nearly every day, I’m not the kind of power user who uses every last arcane feature. I love the binder because it gives me a view of my novel as a whole, but when I move scenes around, I actually use the keyboard. And if I want to move text within a scene, I use cut&paste. So actually, yes, I could do without drag&drop altogether and would never miss it.