Requesting an iOS style "Projects Page"

I’ve been using the iOS version since release and the thing I like the most about it is the initial Projects view. I can quickly see and update all my Scrivener files. I’d really like that feature to migrate to Mac and Windows. It’s really handy to see all the projects I’m working on without having to mess with the files menu, and the quick update to let me know I’m in sync is a great way to start a Scrivener session.

Thanks for reading this.

I would argue that the iOS version only needs a Projects page because iOS doesn’t have Finder. A Finder window open to the Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener folder has all the information the Projects page does.


I guess because it wouldn’t work for you that I don’t need it.
Sorry I asked.

A Project view wouldn’t work on the Mac, because it would require me to keep all my Scriv projects in just one predefined folder. But I have many more projects than the ones I am currently syncing with my iPad. So doing a search in Finder and checking the green Dropbox sync symbol gives me the same info, but covers all folders, irrespective of where I have them.

Depending on how it was implemented, it would require no such thing.

A project page that allowed the user to define “look at these folders/sub-folders” would be quite useful for many of us.

Not exactly what the OP wants, but on macOS…

File > Find All Projects In Spotlight

…presents all projects in a single page.

If there was such a possibility, you would have to define it in Settings. I bet some users would one day suddenly save a project somewhere else, and when they opened Scrivener next time and looked at the Projects view, the project would suddenly have disappeared! So they would mail support and file a post in this Forum, screaming for help because Scrivener had suddenly deleted a whole project.

I can understand the beauty of having a Projects Page when you start Scrivener, which would remember every project you have ever worked on, or every .scriv in a specified folder, or only the projects in the folder you sync with iOS, or some other alternative, but for all these options the user would have to provide the basic input to make it work. And given the complexity that is possible on both OS X and Windows when it comes to handling files, the probability of things getting messed up is quite large.

I did a Spotlight search for .scriv and clicked the Documents tab, which showed all my roughly 120 Scrivener projects in Finder. I could then sort them by date. Very handy.

How nice for you. When are you porting Spotlight to Windows?

You can use the search function in explorer in a similar way, right? search for *.scrivx

Users do that today. You can make that same argument for EVERY proposed feature or existing feature.

“Scan these defined folders for the kinds of programs I handle, starting with these defaults” is a very COMMON mechanism for all sorts of applications these days – video, music, other media – pretty sure iTunes has been doing it for a long time on the Mac side, and there are several applications in modern Windows that take that same approach (heck, the whole modern Windows “libraries” concept is nothing but that – a collection (if you’ll permit me to use a Scrivener term) of user-defined folders that are treated as a single collated target for picking files from.

Having such a project page does not force a user to use it as long as it’s not presented as the default (and given how Scrivener is structured, I don’t see that happening). There are ways to structure such a page so that it persistently reminds the one using it where the files actually are. And it would be very nice to be able to have this view from within Scrivener, focused on just Scrivener projects (and maybe backups) too, without having to switch over to Explorer or Finder or Spotlight. Your workflow may vary – so as long as such a creature could be implemented in a way that it doesn’t interfere with your chosen workflow, what’s the issue?

Of course, you and I discussing this back and forth ignores the fact that unless KB decides it’s a worthwhile feature, it’s not happening.

Yes, you can. You can even save that search as a “favorite” so that the Windows file browser (confusingly called Windows Explorer, not to be confused with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer). I’ve done that with the target being my entire hard drive, and set the view of that search to include modification time, so that I can quickly sort by either name or date modified.

And by searching for *.scrivx files(and not *.scriv folders), you can double-click on any one to immediately open up the project. Just be sure to use the built-in Scrivener backup functionality (Tools->Preferences->Backup) instead of Save As to make backups. Also, use the backup setting to ZIP compress all your backups so you don’t accidentally edit them.

Both Mac and Windows provide this functionality built-in, and mastering how to search certain folders, or your whole computer, is a valuable skill for anyone using those types of computers that will serve you well for a lot of other needs aside from finding Scrivener projects.

I’d say the moderator’s response to the OP is a good indication it’s not happening, which is too bad. The projects page in iOS Scrivener was a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

That would be an inaccurate assumption. I don’t speak for Keith and can’t say one way or the other what his views are on this.


The biggest reason I personally would want to avoid using Windows search folders for less-skilled Scrivener users is that unlike the Mac, the Windows filesystem doesn’t have the concept of package files. We already see lots of cases of people moving the .scrivx file without the corresponding folders, etc. A simple project page could help avoid a lot of that.

Ahh… So we’re both referring to “less-skilled Scrivener users” but end up with different conclusions. Luckily we don’t have to make the decision. :slight_smile:


No. That is who you may be referring to. I am referring to users who are skilled in Scrivener, but may not be (and may not wish to be) skilled in general computer skills. That is a distinction I have learned to make in my 25+ years as an IT professional, that there are people who just want to use a few key applications and do NOT care about more general computer principles.

When you start to think about it, it makes sense in terms of the current model of computing. I have my app, and I have an overview of the data my app touches. Yes, I can always (unless I am on an iOS device or other such restricted OS) use the general OS file management to handle my files, but having the ability to look at specific locations for associated data files gives the app ways to enhance the user’s experience in ways that are more streamlined and efficient.

For example, if the hypothetical Scrivener project page (asked at initial install if you want it, toggle-able) came with an empty “library” of search folders but allowed you to easily add a folder to its “library” as you are finding and opening Scrivener documents, it could build a list of those approved locations (and ignore Scrivener files that weren’t in one of those user-approved locations). Any Scrivener project or backup file that ended up in one of those locations would show up on the project page. From that project page, I could easily move projects in and out of my Dropbox folder (for easy management of which projects get synced) and other locations that were in the “library”. I could compare a project and its backup and see how out of date the backup is, or compare two backups. I could inspect a project to see which presets were in it and copy them to another project. I could create a template out of a project, or create a new project from a template. Or, I could never use the project page. But I could do all of this from a single spot that allowed me a view of a Scrivener project that Finder doesn’t have.

What you are describing is a complete file handler but within Scrivener instead of outside of Scrivener.

I too have worked with IT-related issues since the early 1980s and I know that most older people don’t want to learn more than absolutely necessary, basically because they are a bit scared about what might happen if you do something “wrong”. But I also know that there is a new generation of humans now, who grew up with computers and aren’t nearly as emotionally scared of computers as their parents.

Then again, if people want a simple system, which doesn’t force them to understand about syncing or file handling or anything like that, they could use Storyist. :slight_smile:

I think some basic understanding of file handling is necessary, and thus a built in file handler is surplus as there is already were good file handlers included in the operating systems.

And yet they’re included in iTunes and Windows Media Player and…and…and…

Sometimes generic isn’t the right fit. For your workflow, it works. A project page in desktop Scrivener COULD be just a glorified file handler, but it could also be extended, should KB choose to include such a beast, to make it simpler to work with multiple Scrivener projects and backup files in a way a file handler can’t.