Outliner/Synopsis in Binder?

Hello Scrivener-Team!
Thanks for this lovely app!

But where the heck ist the Outliner-Mode? How to enable the Synopsis in the binder?
I cannot find the option to turn it on, like shown in several screenshots.
The setting is missing on my iPhone and iPad.


Hi Jan,

  1. In the binder, drill down into a subfolder (such as the Draft folder). Synopses are not displayed at the top level.

  2. Once in a subfolder, tap the gear button below the binder.

  3. Tap “Binder”.

  4. Tap “Show Synopses”.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Thanks Keith,
This for your help. This worked.

Good support Night.

Greetings from Germany

seems quite odd that synopses aren’t displayed in binder at draft level. why not always?

i just had to group everything under a useless folder to see synopses.

also, curiously, the container appears to have to be a folder. the value of distinction in behavior eludes me. what am i missing?
Oops, maybe not. it seemed that the show synopses switch didn’t show up, but now it does … i remain a bit confused.

I’m not quite sure I understand the question. Scrivener’s Compile function will only incorporate documents contained in the Draft folder, so grouping documents into this folder isn’t “useless” at all. It’s a fundamental part of Scrivener’s view of your project.



In trying to create an example, I find that I was confused yet again.

What I want is to see synopses, in the Extended binder, for all documents. There are two views which are almost identical: You can click into Draft, and see everything inside. Or you can be open at the top, and see everything inside (and Draft). In the former view, you can see synopses but in the latter, you cannot.

The Shows Synopses toggle appears and disappears at what seem to me to be random times, although in fact it’s really a function of what particular thing you have displayed in the Binder.

I imagine that in the code there is some simple test somewhere about showing that toggle and it probably makes sense in some coding way. I can tell you that as a user, what I wanted to do was see all the synopses, all the time, in the Binder, whenever it’s Extended, and it has taken me two or three days to get it to happen.

Along the way, I moved everything into a top-level folder and set it to Show Synopses. That was not necessary. This morning, trying to create an example of what I was actually doing, I finally found the simple sequence of clicks that gets it to happen. To my perception, that sequence is:

  1. Open the Project.
  2. See that synopses are not displayed in the Binder.
  3. Press the gear.
  4. Select Binder.
  5. Observe that the Show Synopses toggle is not present.
  6. Be confused a while.
  7. Fumble around.
  8. Finally … click on the circled > in Binder
  9. See a display that looks much like what was there already.
  10. Press the gear.
  11. Press binder.
  12. Find the Show Synopses toggle.
  13. Toggle it.
  14. See synopses.

Even shortened to doing it right, the sequence isn’t obvious to me. Possibly “I am not a clever man”, but I had thought until now that I was.

It’s hard to know where some of these toggles should be. I believe this one is not in the ideal place but at last, and at least, I have the display the way I want it.

Thanks …

The Show Synopses toggle is available at all Binder outline levels except the very top one. The setting applies project-wide, though, so you really only need to turn it on once.

A working assumption of Scrivener is that the very top Binder level will contain the basic project folders – Draft, Research, and Trash – and not much else. Since these folders won’t usually have synopses, trying to display them is quite likely to cause unnecessary confusion.

If you have a large number of documents-with-synopses at the top level, you might want to think about whether this is the most effective way to organize your project. For example, documents at the top level are not available to the Compile function.


Please consider the following screenshot:

Note that the Draft folder (“Archibald and Fraser”) is expanded one level, displaying my chapter folders. I cannot display the chapter synopses from this view. For future reference, it would be VERY NICE if the interior folders/documents could display synopses (i.e., my chapters’ synopses) while expanded and visible in this view. I believe this may be what the OP was trying to achieve. In order to have all the chapter synopses display at once, I would need to insert a “super chapter” folder, move all my chapters to within that folder, and then open the “super chapter” in the Binder. Annoying, especially since I go back and forth to the Mac where such a folder would be superfluous.

Again, please consider a feature request so that interior folders/documents within top level folders (while expanded) could display their synopses in the top level binder display.

I was equally confused with the seemingly random appearance and disappearance of the Show Synopses button. Since it is a project-wide setting, could you please consider having the toggle in the settings all the time, instead of hiding/showing it based on binder context? The current behavior is just too confusing. I cross-checked between my iPhone and iPad while working through the Tutorial and still could not figure it out.

I also support the feature request of displaying the synopsis for expanded items when at the top level at the binder.

You’re going to see different behavior on the iPhone because of the smaller screen size.


I had this issue again today, composing on the iPad. I have these nice little synopses in my index cards, reminding me what to write about. I wanted to see all my cards (which are all at top level below the Draft folder), with synopses.

As far as I can find, if you have a draft folder with only documents below it, there is no way to turn on the synopsis display. If there is a way, please try it and then tell us what it is.

What I finally had to do was create a dummy folder, put a document in it, click the circle on the fake folder, then click around until I found the enable synopses switch. At least I think that’s what I did. Then I deleted the folder. I had the index card of the fake document on the screen, by the way, and when I deleted the folder, that document card didn’t’ disappear. For all I know it is still in there somewhere, wondering where its daddy is.

For the love of god (Montresor) please just put the switch in the Binder options all the time, since it is allegedly global anyway.

For extra credit, it’d be nice to have synopses in the top binder view instead of needing to click into via circle >