Research files in Scrivener binder

I would have bought Scrivener by now but there is one single thing irking me that might have contributed to a couple of crashes I witnessed.

The thing that I don’t like is that when I want to add material to the research folder, Scrivener copies the file over to the binder. If come of these files are very large PDF documents, Scrivener exhibits some instability when zooming and reading them.

Could you add an option to keep the research files in their original location and create links to them instead without copying them across to the binder? And also, an option to launch research files (PDFs, Word docs, Quicktime, etc) in their default application instead of within Scrivener for those who would prefer it that way?

Those two options would keep Scriveners file sizes down and make the application completely stable in my opinion.

We have discussed this issue a lot in the forum. Scrivener is not a research database; it’s a drafting tool. To store PDFs you ought to look into using Papers, Sente, or Skim; for URLs I recommend DevonNote or any of the other DevonThink products.

Well, have you explored the reference pane? This would seem to answer both of your issues. In the reference pane, you can link all kinds of files, such as a pdf, and the pdf stays in its original location. But as a linked file, it is readily available as a research item in Scrivener. It can be read in Scr. as with one you have actually imported or you can double click on the linked pdf in the reference pane and it will open in whatever program you have designated for opening PDFs (in OS X). This is true for media files and other kinds of files.

This would seem to answer both of your issues, yes? If not, I’m sorry if I have misread your questions.

The tutorial should be able to guide you through this process of using the reference pane, but if you have further questions, just post them and someone (including myself) will be happy to help.


Also, if you experience any crashes, please make sure you send me the crash report and contact me straight away - I thought I had fixed all PDF bugs in 1.02 (there is a problem with the Apple PDFView, it seems). You say that you experienced “instability” - but I cannot fix bugs if I do not know about them.

Other than that, the references pane and “Open in External Editor” should do what you want. As of 1.04 - which should be available in a couple of weeks - there will be a “Project References” pane in the inspector, so you will be able to store references that are available from any document rather than per-document.

All the best,

Thanks Keith. I would have prefered that files under the Research folder could be linked to instead of the References pane because it has more immediate accessability and is already project wide unlike the References pane which appear to be only for individual chapters or documents.

The Project References idea sounds good as long as it doesn’t clutter the interface.