Minor suggestions

Hi Scrivener team !
I’m right now in the middle of writing some kind of long narrative poem (or poetical novel, as you want). Scrivener is my main tool. What I like the most is its elegance and versatility.
By the way, as I use it quite intensively at the moment, I have a lot of (minor or very minor) suggestions :

  • To be able to set by default the color of Comments, like you can already do with Footnotes.
    (I thought this option was scheduled for version 2.2 or 2.3, but I was very disappointed not to see it occurred with the last updates)
  • To be able to get the Custom Meta-Data also in the Full Screen Inspector.
    -A kind of “Binder Snapshot” : a “snapshot” that would take a picture not only of the different steps of a text, but also of the different steps of a folder (and the order in which files are sorted in this folder). It could be very useful when editing the order of several scenes in a Chapter, for example.
  • An option that enables only Files texts (and not Folders texts) to be visible in Scrivenings Mode
  • An option similar to “Show Card Numbers” but also for the Outliner and the Binder (Draft only).
  • In the Outliner footer, an “Show/Hide Custom Meta-Data” button (like the great “Show/Hide Synopses” button that already exists). I could be nice when you have a lot of Custom Meta-Datas and want to see from time to time only a very sober outline – without unticking each time all Custom Meta-Datas in the Outline Panel View.
  • To have some presets or templates for Labels. For example, each time you choose (let say) “Finished” as Label for a file, it also come with its box “Include in Compile” already ticked ; or when you choose “Alternative Version” as Label for another file, it comes with an selected number of keywords already included.
  • To drag a file from the binder and paste it directly in another document’s Document Notes as a Scrivener Link. I believe this was possible in Scrivener 1.5, but I may be wrong…
  • To make a search according to two methods in the same time (e.g. Status and Text…) instead of only one, or a search that exclude a word instead of including it, like you can do in iTunes.

OK, as you see, these are very minor issues, merely for comfort rather than for creativity or efficiency. Nevertheless, at least the three first suggestions would make me an even more happier Scrivener user than I already am. And I’m sure that many of my suggestions are not technically realizable. I wanted to share them with you anyway.

All I can say is : thank you Keith and all Scrivener team to provide us such an efficient and smart tool for us writers.

Sebastian, from France

Hi Sebastian,

Many thanks for the kind words! Answers to your suggestions inline below:

Although this option hasn’t been placed in the preferences, as of the next update - 2.1 - the last comment colour you used will be remembered. So, if you change the colour of a comment to red, the next time you create a comment (in any project), it will be red.

Making custom meta-data more widely available is already on the list, although I can’t say when I’ll get chance to implement it - it may be for 2.2.

This isn’t really feasible because if you returned to an earlier snapshot of the binder order, many of the underlying documents may have been completely deleted and new ones may have been created. It would mean that Scrivener would have to keep documents around even if you emptied the Trash just to restore a snapshot, making the Trash pointless and making it impossible for users to clean up their projects properly, and it would also mean that newer documents might not be available when you restore the binder, without a lot of fudging. By far the best thing to do instead is just to make a backup of the project before you make drastic changes to your binder structure.

Scrivener doesn’t really distinguish between files and folders, because folders are just special types of files that contain text too. And as Scrivenings is just a drafting area, I don’t think an extra blank line of empty text representing folders cause any problems and can just be ignored if you don’t want any text in the folders.

This would be awkward because the numbering would have to take into account hierarchies, and everybody would want a different implementation.

This would be quite esoteric, though, because it makes assumptions about how the user is using custom meta-data. There’s nothing essentially different about a custom column to any other columns, or any in-built reason for a user wanting to treat them differently.

I think it would be very odd if just selecting a label changed other meta-data settings - that could get very annoying. Have you tried using document templates instead? You could create blank documents with the settings you need associated with them in a templates folder (set via the Project menu) and then use New From Template to create files with the meta-data set up.

Hold the Option key down as you drop the document in order to add it as a Scrivener link.

This is on the long-list for the future, possibly for 2.5.

Thanks again and all the best,

You can do this with saved layouts. With the outliner set up to show all the columns that you’d sometimes want, open View>Layout>Show Layouts and then add that layout, being sure to check the box for “Save outliner and corkboard settings”. Then in outliner, remove all the columns you don’t want, so you’re trimmed down to your basic outline, and save that layout as well. You can then just use the shortcut Shift-Cmd-) to call up the Layout manager and quickly switch the outliner to show just what you want.

Thank you for your fast answers, Keith and Jennifer.
I see that any of the changes I suggested are either technically impossible, irrelevant, already scheduled or can be reached by another means. Thank you all the same for having taken the time to answer and recommend me some precious alternative solutions.

Go on the good job !

Sorry to be insistent on that first point, but I can’t get it work. As I change the color of a Comment for white, for example (right-clicking on a Comment “bubble” in the Comment and Footnote panel and choosing “Show colors” then selecting “Snow” in the pencils), when I create a new Comment (selecting another sentence in the Editor and press on the “+” button in the Comment and Footnote panel), the next Comment will always be that default yellow. Impossible to make it remember the last color I’ve used. Am I doing something wrong ? My version of Scrivener is 2.0.5, of course.

To be sure we are talking about the same thing : I am talking about Comments inside the Inspector, not about Inline Annotations – and I am talking about the background color of the “bubbles” in the Footnote and Comment panel, not about highlight or text color “inside” that bubble.

Thanks again (if there is any solution) !

Hi Sebastian,

The default comment color will be changeable the way Keith described in the next update; it’s not currently available. So you’re not missing it. :wink: But it will be for the “paper” color of inspector comments, yes.

Sorry : I read 2.0.1, and not 2.1. My mystake. :blush: