New docs, collections and composition mode


I’ve been using collections a lot lately; I find them more conducive to experimenting (which, I know, is one of their reasons for being). Naturally I end up adding new documents to them while I’m experimenting, and that’s OK… except when I do it in composition mode. The new docs don’t show up in the collection when I switch out of composition mode or quit the program. They exist – I can find them in the collection’s folder in the binder – but they don’t display. Which is different from the behaviour in non-composition mode.

Is this a bug? Or a feature I don’t understand? Or am I just doing something wrong?


This has to do with context and the underlying location of the file you were working on when you created a new file off of it. When you create a new document from within the Collection sidebar view, you are adding it to that collection as well as creating a new document in the Binder (under its special folder). However when you create a new document from the editor, then your context becomes based on the binder position of the item you are working on in the editor. That’s exactly what you want when you think about it, if you add an index card to a corkboard in the editor, you will expect it to be added to that folder, not whatever is shown or selected in the Binder.

In other words, you should see the same thing happen outside of Composition mode if you create the new document with the cursor blinking in the editor, rather than having the Collection sidebar active. When you do that, you’ll note you get pushed back to the Binder to name the file, and the file won’t be added to the Collection you started out in.

You will even note that if you add a new card to a corkboard (even for the Collection’s inbox folder!) it won’t be added to the Collection. The same logic governs adding cards to a corkboard as it does adding cards from an editor. The editor is quite ignorant of what sidebar you currently have enabled, in these regards.

There is however a way you can work the way you want, and that is to load the Collection itself into your editor as the basis for your session, rather than just clicking on its tab and loading it in the sidebar. Now when you hit Cmd-N from the editor, since your context is rooted in the Collection, items will be created in the collection as well as created in its special folder in the Binder.

Thanks for the reply, AmberV.

But I’m puzzled. What you’re describing just isn’t what I experience. It’s so different, I think I must be missing something fundamental.

Bear with me and I’ll walk through what I do again.

In regular view, when the cursor’s in the editor in a document placed in the Collection from another folder, I click Cmd-N. The new document gets created in the Collection’s folder in the Binder. It doesn’t get created in the folder of the document the cursor started in, which is what I think you’re saying should happen.

Nor does the focus shift from the editor to the sidebar (is that what you mean by “pushed back to the Binder”?): it stays in the editor. The new document’s “untitled” title is highlighted. The new document does show up in the Collection’s sidebar, but the focus stays in the editor.

All this is fine by me — what I’d like is the same behaviour to happen in Composition mode.

About your last para: if I loaded the Collection’s folder into the binder, I would only see the files created in that folder, not the ones I’ve gathered into the Collection from other folders. But the way I’m using the Collection is to create a new sequence of existing documents, then read through the sequence, adding new documents as I read. Sometimes those new docs are to-do notes, sometimes they’re new writing. I want to be able to come back later (days later, sometimes; after quitting the program) to that Collection and read through it again, adding or cutting the new writing, executing the to-dos and deleting the notes.

I can do that in regular view, but I can’t do it in Composition mode.

Does this make sense?

Okay, I think I see what you’re getting at now, thanks for the clarification. That looks like it might be something we could fix, but it may be tricky. Consider some people use multiple screens and leave the project window open while using Composition on the second screen.

Sorry, I was unclear, I did not mean the “inbox” folder, but the whole collection. You need to click on the header collection’s header bar title, the one below the tab if those are open. At that point it works almost like viewing a folder from the Binder.

That won’t help you with this by the way, I was thinking you were looking for something different.

Ah. I can only dream of a second screen.

But OK, I think we’re on the same wavelength now. And I’m guessing by “fix,” you mean “adjust Scrivener for the next update,” right?

Yes, this is what I’m doing now with Collections.


Well I can’t say that for sure. I’ve made a note of it for Keith, though.

Fair enough. Thanks.