Make Synopsis files RTF

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.