Problem with adding index cards

I’d just like to try again with this problem.

I have imported into Scrivener a novel containing chapters (as folders), each of which contains several scenes, each of which contains text.

I would like to add a synopsis or index card for each of these scenes to give me a better overview of how the story unfolds.

This is what happens. When I click on a scene in the binder, the text comes up in the editor. When I then click on the Corkboard in View Mode, all I get is the corkboard background. I hope to see an index card I can write on, but don’t.

I can right-click on Add > New Text and then I do get an index card. But this then appears as a subdocument of the scene in question.

I have already found that I cannot simply open all the scenes connected with my chapters at once, even when I select View > Expand all. All I get when I do this is the chapters. I can see other cards beneath the chapter cards, i.e. all my scenes, but I cannot find a way to expand again so that I can actually see ALL the scene cards at once.

(Ooops, I think that’s two questions.)

I don’t want to create another set of subdocuments. Is it not possible for the index card to be ‘paperclipped’ to the document?

PS I promise I am not rushing to ask a question without first trying to find the answer elsewhere. Which of course doesn’t mean the answer isn’t staring me in the face, just that I have so far not managed to find it in the tutorial or user guide or TCO Scrivener!

The corkboard and the outliner give you views of the synopses (or other data) of the documents within a folder, which is logical when you think about it. So to see the cards of scenes, click on a chapter in the Binder, and to see the cards of chapters, click on the Draft (or Manuscript) folder. In other words, you select one step up the “tree”. A synopsis is “paper-clipped” to a scene (and, as you’ve probably discovered, is also available to you at the top of the Inspector pane when the scene text is open in the editor), but the reason that you see only the corkboard background when you select a scene and the corkboard is that that scene “contains” no sub-scenes.

I hope this helps.

Hugh has already pointed you in the right direction here, but just to add that each document automatically has an index card associated (“paper-clipped”) to it. You don’t need to add one. If you click on a text document in the binder, as you say, it opens the text in the editor. if you open the inspector, you will see the index card associated with that document.

Now, the most important thing to appreciate - as Hugh points out - is that the corkboard and outliner show you the subdocuments of the current document. So, if you switch to corkboard or outliner mode with a single text document selected, all you will see is a blank corkboard or outline, seeing as that text document has no subdocuments. (Any document in Scrivener can have subdocuments, though, so you are free to add subdocuments to the blank corkboard or outliner, as you found.)

Thus, if you want to see the index card of that document on the corkboard among other index cards, you should click on the folder that contains that document. (Alternatively, go to View > Go To > Enclosing Group, or hit ctrl-cmd-R, which will automatically take you to the enclosing group.)

Hopefully, once you get this, that should help things fall into place a little.

All the best,

And at last the low-wattage lightbulb begins to glimmer…

Thank you so much, guys. You’ve been so patient, and I’m finally beginning to grasp this. Modified rapture.

Glad it’s helped! One of the things we really want to do soon is find an animator who can put us together a video showing these core concepts without any interface involved. For instance, I think things make sense if you think of each folder as a paper folder containing lots of text documents, each with an index card clipped to them. When you look at an individual text file, you can only see its own index card - to see all of the cards for a folder, you have to take the whole folder and tip out all of the index cards. I think a really good animation showing a ring-binder, paper documents, index cards and suchlike could convey this in a really useful way for new users…

All the best,