Make Synopsis files RTF

In Synopsis I use a simplified scene card scheme with just Thumbnail description and Scene question data to enhance the usefulness of Corkboard displays. Minimal format support would make it easier to visually filter field content from field and content when working on scene order. I understand the Synopsis cards are saved as TXT files and thus do not support formatting. Adding Markdown support to the Synopsis editor, or switching format to RTF, such as is done with Notes would be much appreciated.

Upvote! I agree with this formatting proposal. For example, it would be nice to have synopsis for Character Profile sheets that can contain more than a single photo | text… Why not both at the same time? RTF is my vote.

FYI, upvoting isn’t a thing here. Simply provide the additional rationale/use cases.

Maybe it should be? It may provide more feedback from users who may not be as comfortable as others with leaving remarks on the internet “forever.” Food For Thought!

Anyway, does your response mean you’re more for or against this topic?

If L&L had wanted a voting system they would surely have created one. Some companies do.
I suggest you read the opening post in the Wish List, written by the developer himself.

In it he has a few rules for the Wish List, and among them: “Features are not implemented on a voting system; features are only added if I feel they a) fit in with my over-all vision for Scrivener and b) are practical. (Thus, for instance, please never respond to existing suggestions with “+1”.)

I apologize, i was unaware i was breaking any rules in my use of that phrase and was not in any way attempting to start a voting system.

In fairness to Nic (and speaking as a moderator), the rule is more about creating a post that consists purely of “+1” or something along those lines, and nothing else. Adding a little anecdote of how such a feature might benefit your work is good discussion, and helps frame the idea. We just don’t want to have to scroll through pages of “+1” posts, when our software design policy isn’t based on appeasement by popularity, and rather taking feedback and building a cohesive design from it. Sometimes that means listening to feedback and doing something entirely different that still yet increases the overall capacity of the software to allow one to accomplish what they were trying to do when posting the request.

Case in point: if you’re overloading what is functional data into the synopsis card, it might be a good idea to review some of Scrivener’s mechanisms for working with functional data—and maybe revisiting the Outliner as a primary tool for deeper level organisation. We’ve put a lot of effort into making Scrivener a rich tool for working with and tracking data, but hardly any of that is in the text field that is essentially meant to be the long form title.

I’ll come back to that, firstly, it’s probably a good idea to take into context the things that have been said in the past on this topic, and the various approaches one can take to accomplish similar effects without having this capability precisely:

I’m not sure of your familiarity with the software, so pardon if I tread through waters you know, but you could go briefly through §8.2.1 in the user manual PDF, specifically down to the subsection, Optional Index Card Elements. For example, the Label is a particularly powerful tool for making sense of a scene’s composition (or the composition of a chapter as scenes, depending on what level you’re working at), and made more so by the Arrange by Label feature (§8.2.5).

In another direction, as you can see from the screenshot in fig. 8.17, Keywords can be extremely informative, not only for their presence but their order. These are but two examples, in a system where you can fabricate your own metadata fields as needed.

I know you don’t mean it this way, but Scrivener is fully capable of Markdown content generation, and that includes what you put into a synopsis. As a pure Markdown author myself, I can achieve rather complex levels of information formatting in my index cards. Granted, they aren’t previewed that way in the card editor, which is more what I think you’re suggesting, but it you can put Markdown anywhere you can type in text, naturally, and have it become “functional” in the end.

Since you bring them up, Notes are another place where further expansion is meant to be done. We can think of the Title, Synopsis and Notes as forming an increasing gradient of meta-discussion about a chunk of text, both in length and capability. If you want a more detailed summary text & image character sheet that is still quickly accessible from group views, then use Notes. You click on the card, and there they are. You don’t even have to “load” the card. So by extension of that concept, where to put content into each of these three containers in some part depends on the type of content. Multi-line textual description? Synopsis is best. Single phrase identifier, sounds like a good Title. Multiple inspirational images and a bullet list of Things To Do? Sounds like Notes. Status tracking fields and other data? Custom metadata, keywords, labels, etc.

I think a good way of framing what the synopsis is intended to be more like is an expanded identification mechanism. The Title is the primary identifier for an item, but sometimes the title is not enough, we need to explain in a bit more detail what we’re going to cover in this section, or maybe disambiguate it from other similar sounding titles. So with that premise in mind, does adding a caption to your photo in a character sheet really help with disambiguation? Or is it really necessary to start getting into the character sheet details, before you get into the character sheet? If this card primarily exists to give us a hook into opening the sheet (or even its Notes, more passively), then all it really needs to accomplish is a readily identifiable form to click on—hence an image.

I’m just trying to spark some ideas here, hope that’s how it is taken.

Wow, truly an in-depth walkthrough of possibilities. I see now that we should change how we are approaching the issue instead of asking scrivener to change for us.
Thank You.

Wow. Quite a bit of information. I agree, by the way, with the idea that someone, somewhere along the line, needs to decide what features and bugs will be worked on or included. Having a “Wish List” admirably serves the purpose of inspiring changes and additions. And I’m finding the program more and more useful as I get acquainted and it matures. So I think you’re doing a good job of developing the program.

The Notes feature is quite useful and I make good use of it. I think it’s indispensable. And if you didn’t have the corkboard display mode I’d judge the software as severely limited. My point is that when looking at the cards in one of the Corkboard views, there is an information clutter problem. If you’re supporting Markup in Synopsis of Synopsis cards, why not provide a way to see the effect? I suggest continuing to treat the Synopsis window as an editing mode window and the corkboard as a order display and Synopsis preview window. You’re already setting Synopsis content to the last card clicked so removing that feature of editing card content in the corkboard window isn’t a burden. Or maybe have a display button at the bottom of the Corkboard window switch between card preview and edit modes? Of course I would want to retain the ability to re-order cards by dragging them around - that’s such a nice capability. Or maybe show both Markup characters and their effect - not my first choice, but definitely better than not having any preview at all - in any card display?