Progress Question

I just set progress goals for the folders in the project I am using to organize my personal journal by month. When I look at the folder in scrivenings view, I can see the progress bar just fine at the bottom-right corner of the screen. When I look at the project in outline view, it does list the targets, but the progress bars are all blank. Am I missing an option, or is this a bug?

Or is it as simple as Outline mode looking at word count rather than total word count for the folder, which seems slightly broken.

I came to the board searching with exactly the same question. I have spent an hour reading online articles about word count in Scrivener, and I think I grasp broadly how it is supposed to work, but to restate in my own words the OP’s question in case a stray word sheds light (I am using the latest Scrivener for Windows, Version: - 03 Aug 2016):
I have a folder for each book chapter in the binder, all inside a DRAFT master folder, and then a separate text file for each subsection of the chapter - several per chapter. (So: Binder/Book Title > DRAFT > Chapter 1 > Subsection1/subsection 2/etc.) I have a draft target for each subsection and for the chapter. When viewing the editor, if I select the chapter folder I see the total words for the chapter/target words for the chapter at the bottom and a lovely green progress bar, just the same as in each subsection (Hey, it’s just chapter 1 but I am at 2879/3000 :smiley: ).
When I move up to the DRAFT folder and select outline view, I see the chapter, the “Target” column shows 3000, the “Total Word Count” column shows 2879, but the “Word Count” column shows zero and the progress bar shows zero. If I expand the chapter, the word count and progress bar for each text file/subsection within the chapter shows correctly.
I have tried converting the folder to a file, and including it or not including it in the compile - neither of these made any difference.
However, if I enter some text in the folder itself it shows up in the word count and progress bar. So it does seem as OP suggested as if “Word Count” and “Progress” in Outline view are NOT cumulative from subfiles/folders, but Total Word Count IS cumulative.
If that is how it is meant to work I’d love help understanding why (I mean that sincerely - Scrivener is usually excellent and wise and I would like to know if I am being dim here). It seems as if it would mean copying and pasting the various chapter contents onto the folder to be able to get a quick visual view of progress for the book at the chapter level. And it seems odd that the progress bar would work for the chapter in one view but not another.
If there is a better way of organizing this I would love to learn it.
Is this a bug, a feature, a limitation, or is there something I need to do differently?

Congrats on nearing completion of chapter one!

Still having this issue.

You want the Total Word Count column, not Word Count. Also, you have to select the container under which your other folders are indented, so that you can see them in the outline view.

As folders in Scrivener are not actually Folders/Directories at System level, but rather documents with a different icon*—as are ‘document stacks’—and so can themselves contain text, when you are looking at a folder in “Single document” mode as opposed to Scrivenings/Corkboard/Outline modes, the word count in the footer represents the number of words in that particular document, not that document and its children. If you open it in Scrivenings mode, the word count gives you the count for the folder document and its children. Furthermore, as “Folders”, “Document Stacks” and “Documents” are the same thing under-the-hood, switching between folder and document stack will not have any effect on word count, and thereby progress calculations.

Note: I only refer to word count, because that is shown by default. None of my projects requires me to set up progress; I also have never had a need to use outline mode, so going to that mode for me shows nothing in terms of word count or progress and only the default metadata of Status and Label is shown. So I can’t comment on progress, except to say that it is obviously calculated in relation to word count, so if you have no target set for the amount of words in your folder-document itself, and if you are looking at that in single document mode, you will presumably have no progress bar.

Does that help?


  • This fact has resulted in many cries of “Where has my text gone?” from people new to Scrivener who, for whatever reason, have clicked on their chapter folder, which has no text, and haven’t noticed they’re in single document mode.

Neither of these responses help as I AM talking about issues with progress, not with the word count itself, and I AM talking about Outline view. Targets and progress show correctly when viewing scrivenings. Outline view shows the correct Total Word Count and correct Target as assigned, but then 0 for Word Count and the Progress Bar is blank.

I think Manwithears’s response did well to to expand details on what seems to be the same problem as mine.

The key word here is “Total”. I missed that you were talking about the progress bar, but it’s the same duality between “Word Count” and “Total Word Count”.

Choose “Total Progress” instead of just “Progress”, and the bars with show you what you’re after.

Clicking the disclosure triangles to expand the outline will help you see what’s happening. The Target is set at the folder level, but the individual words are written in subdocuments. As rdale said, Total Progress is what you are looking for.


There is no “Total Progress” option available as a column for Outliner.

I’m sorry, my mistake. It appears that Total Target and Total Progress are Mac-only columns at this time. I’m sorry for the confusion.


I wondered if that was the case. Thank you for taking the time though.

This is hardly a major problem, but it would be nice if there was a way that I could see my progress in this way.

My thanks also for the response. Reading between the lines I take it to mean that the way it currenty works is just the way it is. Given that:

  1. Are there any concrete plans to bring the “Total Progress” column to the Windows version? Is that what “at this time” means? As noted above, when viewing the chapter in editor view, the total progress bar shows correctly, drawing on word counts from all the text files in the chapter. So it seems the functionality is already in there.(?) Is it much work to let it show in outline view also?

  2. If it is more distant, is it already on a feature request list? (If not, please consider this a request to add it or a hearty upvote for the request - being able to quickly track a total target on a large, modular project does not seem to me a fringe feature, though I fully understand the need to prioritize).

  3. On the Mac (and in my dreams of the future, on Windows) does/will this column show a progress bar? What I am after is a total progress bar. (It seems this ought to be the case but it is usually worth questioning the obvious)

@Melmoth, I am using this suggestion as a workaround: … scrivener/ - it does not provide automatic progress bar tracking based on word count, but it does allow you to manually create a visual overview of progress in Outline view. (And it does have some benefits, given that there can be other kinds of progress than word count, for example completing a first draft might complete word count but only be half way to having completed a chapter, especially for the kind of writing where chasing down footnotes is going to be 20% of the process).


Yes, the Mac version can show a total progress bar in the outliner. That was the source of my initial confusion: I spend more time with the Mac than the Windows version, and hadn’t realized there was a difference between the two.

Yes, this function will be coming to the Windows version. We plan for the two versions to reach feature parity with the 3.0 release. (The Windows version will skip 2.0.) No, I can’t offer a timeline for when that will be.


Fair enough. Thanks!

Cheers to all. I will gladly wait for feature parity to be achieved, but that manual option is nifty as well.