Randomly Selecting Documents?

I’m using my Scrivener software to keep and maintain a database of sorts of independent authors and their books. The set up is: each author has a folder, and under their folder a text sheet document for each book containing title, author name, genre(s), buy link and photo if I have them. Each text document is also in one or more collections of genre. I intend to use this not only for several book clubs I’m in (as in, need something to read in romance books? Here’s a list…) but to post a monthly indie author showcase on my website.

Is there any way to have Scrivener randomly select X number of text documents for me? It would save me a lot of time from doing it manually. Or maybe an app that I can add to Scrivener to do this?

Hmm, the best I can think of, if you do not mind the actual order of the items changing, is to use the Documents/Sort/Shuffle command on a folder and then move the top five picks or whatever to a “done” folder, then rinse and repeat (or just keep taking the top five off the stack since it is already shuffled). If you do not want to impact the organisation of these in the Binder, then what you can do is assign them to a Collection, first, and then shuffle the Collection. This is really easy to do, just select all of the items you wish to take a random number of documents of, right-click, and use the “Add to Collection” menu to create a new one. It will be selected in the left sidebar, replacing the Binder temporarily until you click the ‘X’ button at the bottom. Like I say, you can shuffle a Collection (so long as it is not a search result) in the same fashion as sorting a folder.

Here’s a layout of what I have going on. Author names in Folders, books in text sheets. I have two main left hand folders for book club names, then Author folders inside each one (authors who are members of that club) Here’s hopefully a screen shot:

If I shuffle/sort the closed folders, will the text documents within the folders stay in place? The books need to stay in their author’s folders. And will the Author folders stay within the main left hand folder, i.e. the IBBS or the RRBC main folder?

Yes, the sort (or shuffle) only affects one layer at a time, the immediate children of the selected container you are sorting. So in this example, if you selected the parent folder containing Mark, Kristin, Rebekah folders and so on, these folders themselves would be shuffled amongst themselves, but the interior contents of those folders would not be touched.

Only the immediately contents of the selected folder will be shuffled. A good way to get an idea of what that will be is to use the Corkboard. If you see them in the Corkboard, they will be shuffled, and they will only be shuffled within that Corkboard (really, just a way of looking at a folder), they won’t end up outside of it or in other folders. That would be mayhem. :slight_smile:

I should add, since this cannot be undone, you can be safe about it by quickly making a backup copy somewhere. Use the File/Back Up/Back Up To… menu command to create a copy of the project on your Desktop or somewhere else convenient. If the result of the command makes a mess of your structure, just close it and replace the original with this backup.

It’s a nice trick to know for whenever you embark on a large scale change that might be hard to undo.