Newbie wish list (mostly footnote related)

Howdy, everybody…

I’ve been toying with Scrivener for a few days now – definitely a huge step up from my previous “system” (MSWord files inside folders, inside folders, inside…). I just have a few thoughts / requests for future versions of the app:

  1. Footnotes that get out of your way.

I suspect many folks like the idea of in-line footnotes, but I’d rather have just a sub/superscript in-line, with the body of them elsewhere (as is the case after you export from Scrivener). Maybe this could be a “Preferences” option, somewhere down the road?

  1. Resizable partitions within the Inspector column.

Maybe I’m missing something (Scrivener veterans, feel free to chime in), but I can’t give (for example) the Synopsis section of the Inspector column more space. I can open it or close it with the little triangle, but there’s no way to “grow” it – or make it “auto-grow” to match the amount of material in the Synopsis. What can I say, I like long synopses and hate scrolling…

  1. Color coding based on “Status”

It’d be nice if an item had some visual reflection of its Status. Corkboard push-pins are color-coded as a function of Type, maybe cards could be color-coded as a function of Status? Or card outlines? This’d give you super-fast indication of which items were most in need of writing / editing attention.

  1. OmniOutliner integration (a guy can dream, can’t he?)

I’m not a big fan of how the “Outliner” view in Scrivener looks, what with multiple columns and all. It’d be nice if Scrivener could at least import OmniOutliner outlines, and maintain their indentation structure.

That’s it for now,


Hello, and welcome to the forums.

Scrivener uses the Apple text engine, and unfortunately, the Apple text engine (as yet) does not support footnotes. I therefore had to go with my own implementation, and since Scrivener doesn’t have a page view, I decided to make the footnotes inline given that anywhere else would mean a lot of extra work. Besides which, Scrivener is supposed to be sort of a “first draft” app, so the implementation was kind of based on how I insert footnotes into my work when I’m drafting (which is generally inline). Ultimately, the answer to this one lies with Apple. If Apple introduce true footnotes into their text engine with Leopard or beyond, then Scrivener will support them; otherwise, the current implementation will remain for the foreseeable future.

This has occasionally been requested by other users, but there are good reasons for not allowing this. For a start, the index card is supposed to maintain the proportions of a real index card. This encourages you to keep the synopsis short, for one thing, but more importantly, the strictures of split view and the bugginess of resizing views within them means that it is best to have some sort of restriction in the inspector. Basically, this won’t change - sorry.

Status is shown as stamps on index cards in the corkboard rather than coloured pins (alt-cmd-S to show stamps). Given that you can rename “Status” and “Label” and customise the lists, you could, if you so wanted, completely swap them, so that status were represented by coloured pins and label by the stamps.

Maybe in 3.0, in 2011. :slight_smile: Until then, remember that you don’t have to look at all of the columns in Scrivener’s outliner - you can rearrange them and hide or show whichever ones you want. Personally, I just like to have the title, synopsis and label columns visible most of the time. (Use the “…” button in the corner of the outliner view to customise the columns.)

All the best,


OK, fair enough. I can live with this.

Grumble, grumble… Would it at least be possible to make the size limitation an item in the preferences (choose from large vs. small synopsis partition)? I was hoping to use the “Synopsis” field for chapter summaries so I could just export an annotated TOC from Scrivener straight to a book proposal. The current limitation won’t really let me do this, it limits me to a too-short summary.

OK, I’ll have to tinker with this – thanks.

You hear that, everybody? Keith’s posting a release schedule! :wink:

OK, I guess I was just hoping that at some level (say, within a document, or chapter, or paragraph), things would simplify, and Type and Synopsis and such would go away. So long as I restrict my use of the Outliner to be within a chapter, I guess I can blow away some columns and make it look like bullet points. Sounds like I need to do some more tinkering…



Hmm, I’m not entirely sure of your difficulties. The synopsis card wasn’t really intended for really long synopses, but just for a couple of sentences, so that you can glance at what is going on quickly in the corkboard view. If you use very long synopses, the corkboard view becomes a lot less useful. Still, some suggestions:

  1. If you really want to use the synopsis card for long(er) synopses, you can at a push make the inspector very wide, thus making the index card rather large.

  2. For printed outlines, though, I prefer a different method. For very short, pacey outlines, I do indeed print out the synopses - each having a couple of lines. However, for longer outlines, I would use folders. That is, I may have a folder set up as a chapter, and inside it would be lots of small documents that make up scenes. Folders, by default, are set not to export. So I would write the longer synopsis inside the text of the folder (remember that you can turn off the corkboard of a folder to see the text area). Then, upon exporting using Export Draft, I would use “Combine documents… [b]Not[/i] marked for export”. This would mean that only folder texts would get exported, giving the longer outline of the chapters but not of the individual scenes.

Hope that makes some sense. :slight_smile:



Du-ooh! Don’t know how I missed this before…

Oh, now this is COOL! I’m now tinkering around with folders and file groups to see how I can misuse your brainchild. One thing I noticed, though – there seems to be no way to turn off export of labels on everything. So if I export a bunch of files, each one brings with it labels for “Synopsis” and “Title” and such. Am I missing something? I could trim the label lines out of the exported file with a piece of AppleScript, but would rather just not export the labels in the first place.

Another interesting thing I stumbled across, w.r.t. drag-and-drop of URLs into the Inspector’s “References” section. I can D&D URLs from Camino, Safari, OmniWeb, and NetNewsWire – but not from Firefox. Is this repeatable, or some oddity of my Firefox install?

Thanks a mint for such a cool tool,


Depending on which method you are using to export, and if I understand your problem correctly, this should be something you can fix. When exporting the draft (Cmd-Opt-E), in the Content tab there are a set of checkmarks that let you disable or enable various forms of information during export, depending upon the type of item in the Binder. The line that disables label export is “Meta-data.”

When exporting files (Cmd-Shift-E), make sure the ‘Export meta-data’ checkbox at the bottom of the dialogue is disabled.

Yes, in the current version the “synopsis” label is automatically included and there is nothing you can do about it, I’m afraid. That may change in future, but it is a limitation for now.

As for Firefox - I believe this is just a limitation of Firefox. It doesn’t drag out the URL type that OS X apps understand.