Rules for updating project targets

I set up a workflow for editing a draft where I make two folders, Old and Current. I then move everything that was in Manuscript (aka the Draft folder) into Old. Then for each scene in Old, I copy it into Current and work on it (there could be more than one file at a time there, but never very many of them). When I’ve made my pass on a scene, I think move it into the Manuscript folder.

I was hoping to be able to use project targets to keep track of my progress. However, the goals are not updated consistently. The project goal appears to update when I move a file into Manuscript, but not the session goal.

What I want to happen is for both the session and the project goals to be updated (incremented, decremented) by the number of words in each file that is moved into or out of Manuscript. How can I make that happen?

Some rules in this excerpt from Sec. 20.1.1 of the Scrivener manual:

It’d be worthwhile to read the entirety of Sec. 20.1, Goals and Statistics Tracking Tools.

I reread the section, including the bit you pasted, but none of it addresses my issue.

I was too wordy before, sorry.

In essence, my issue is that when I move a file into (or out of) Manuscript, Manuscript Target updates, but not Session Target.

The fact that Manuscript Target is updated indicates that Scrivener has interpreted the moved file’s words as being newly added to (or subtracted from) the manuscript, but this is contradicted by the fact that Session Target doesn’t update.

Manuscript Targets and Session Targets are different.

The Manuscript Target is based on the total number of words in the Manuscript folder, no matter where they came from or how they were created.

The Session Target counts new words created during the session. If you create words, and then move them, they still count as having been created.


Ah, well that explains it.

So, what’s the best way to trick Scrivener into thinking that all the words in a file are new? I tried the obvious cutting and repasting, but that didn’t work.

I’d really like to know the answer to that last question, which I will restate:

Assume that there are valid reasons for desiring that a block of existing text copied into the Manuscript folder (either by copy/pasting or by copying a file) be considered as “new” for the purposes of updating the Session Target. In this case, how would one do it?

What’s your ultimate goal?

If you’re automatically calculating your session target based on the days before the deadline, Scrivener will do that based on the total words regardless of where they came from.

If you cut the text, close Scrivener, then reopen Scrivener and paste the text, it will be counted as “new” for Session Target purposes. Obviously I’d recommend using the Scratchpad or a clipboard manager to “hold” the text while Scrivener is closed. Note that this creates a new session, which may not be desirable.


I am editing, not writing, so my goals are “so many words processed” rather than “so many words written”. Since I am participating in NaNoWriMo, it is convenient to use number of words edited as an organizational method, just as number of words written helps organize my writing of new material. So my plan of attack is to work from a copy of the old manuscript folder and then move each edited piece into the current manuscript folder as I go. That’s a handy organization procedure and it also accords perfectly with Nano.

It is true that I can do the session math myself, and it is equally true that the manuscript word count does increment correctly, and that the session goal is computed correctly. I have been doing that and will continue, but it would be nice if there were some way to, for example, select a block of text or of files and set all words in the selection to “newly written” for the purposes of session target updates.