No functionality difference between Draft vs Research Node

I love Scrivener, and use it daily. Recently, I’ve found myself using the Research folder less, relying more on references and notes in Draft topics. Because managing two entries for the same topic (one in the Draft for writing, and another to store Research and links) is cumbersome for me.

Could you make it possible to add or move Research nodes to the Draft, giving them a different icon and automatically excluding them from all output formats.That way, we could keep PDFs, web archives and research data close to (or as child topics) of nodes in the Draft.

It would also be nice to have one additional export option that applies to Draft nodes. That would be to export any URLs saved as document references as a list of hyperlinks below the generated text of each draft topic.

Thanks so much for developing this killer app. It has already changed the way I work.

You can already do this. You can apply your own icons to any item in the binder. And if you set your own Label (or Status) for research documents, you can then select a checkbox on Compile to automatically exclude them.

Having said that, I much prefer to keep research notes separate from the draft, but if works for you, you can do it.

Actually, I was referring to items that cannot be moved to the Draft. For example, if you create a web archive or drag a PDF into the Research folder, those nodes can’t be moved to the Draft. I’m suggesting that the Draft folder could support such entries if the compile routine were enhanced to automatically exclude nodes that can’t be exported (e.g. PDFs, spreadsheets, etc.). Aside from the export limitation, those nodes would behave like other nodes. You could change their hierarchical position in the Draft, for example. Any non-exportable item should have a special icon.

This could be implemented without radically changing the way Scrivener works today. Scrivener would allow anything in the Research folder to be moved to the Draft, and vice versa. It would ignore non-exportable items when content is generated. Those nodes would be hidden from appearing in compilation dialogs, because they don’t represent content.

Thanks for commenting!

Ahh, sorry.

I’m probably one of the knuckleheads that would find that confusing. Everything in my draft is part of the draft. That, to me, is why it’s called a draft. So I’d probably put a PDF or something in my draft, and then expect it to compile. And of course it wouldn’t. And so I’d be grumpy and say rude things to Keith and then he’d be all politely gruff and quirky and I’d be red-faced when I see my mistake. Or something like that.

Anyway, sorry for the smoked fish and I hope you find a process that works for you.

You could try inserting a scrivener link of your desired PDF inside your document notes. When this link is clicked a quick ref window appears of the PDF reference.

screen shot of the above (can’t seem to figure out how to embed images)

I too would like to put selected Research items (web archives, PDFs, etc.) alongside the corresponding Draft nodes. It is already great to be able to combine them in 1 project, would be even better to locate them closer to the corresponding writing work. Some auto-icon and auto-exclude from compiles would be nice too.


It’s a definite no, to this, sorry. The whole point of the Draft folder is that it’s text-only. Without that limitation, we may as well get rid of the Draft folder and Research folder altogether and let you compile from any folder - which may not be a bad thing one day, I don’t know, but certainly not in a 2.x update. But you already have the ability to link your research up with your text documents via references and suchlike, and personally I think that separating out the text from the research is a good thing. Part of Scrivener’s purpose was to keep me more organised, and I shiver a little at the thought of being able to completely mess up my Draft folder with all my research documents. :slight_smile:

So, that’s certainly a no for the foreseeable future, but thanks for the suggestion anyway.

All the best,

Thank you KB. I have been assimilated into your way of thinking, especially since I am now using scrivener properly (meaning not as a super flexible way to confuse myself).

Now my thought is, didn’t you add collections or some such to do this type of looser association? I have never actually create a collection on purpose (I get scared of what scriv can do to be honest), but maybe some other part of scriv can allow this type of association.

Just procrastinating.

I agree, but being able to compile from any folder would be handy. I currently use a collection for this purpose. It’s useful for projects containing multiple completed drafts, such as short stories or blog posts. Basically, where a Scrivener project as a repository. If you don’t use a collection it can be a pain making sure your documents and folders are in the order you want them in if you have to move documents in and out the draft folder every time you wish to compile something.

Isn’t that what the compile options are for? It’s very easy to only compile part of the Draft folder. On the Mac, look at the Contents panel of the Compile window.

I tend to have multiple drafts in a project as well – for instance multiple articles for the same client, partial drafts of a larger work, etc. – and I just use the Compile window to select the pieces I want.


Yes, as Katherine says, there’s no need to move everything in and out of the Draft folder just to compile different folders. You just change the compile group option from above the list of documents in the “Contents” pane of Compile - pick a subfolder of the Draft instead of the entire Draft folder. That way, you can have all those folders inside your Draft folder.

All the best,

I get your point but no this would not suit my purposes as you still have to make sure the correct things are selected. I use folders to act as categories of information. Different folders mean different things as I wouldn’t want them together in the draft folder.

I’m not sure I understand why that would be an issue, but anyway, Compile and the Draft folder are intimately related and are not verging on divorce any time soon, being one of the key concepts of the program. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Keith rightly said, “you already have the ability to link your research up with your text documents via references and suchlike”. I had never thought of linking documents in the Research folder as references for a node in the Draft.

That technique works great, and it completely meets my need. This program is so flexible. I’ll be learning its ways for months to come. Many thanks to all who responded.