Scrivener's internal numbering


Happy Scrivener here. I was posting a little oddity in the Bug hunt, so I thought I’d mention a couple of non-buggy observations.

This one is probably only annoying me, so feel free to note it and move on if you differ.

I’ve been saving Omnigraffle documents in my Binder. (A non-natively supported file type.) I’ve also been exporting a PDF of each into the Binder so I can refer to the diagrams as I write. (The imported docs only display their icon.)

The Omnigraffle document is named the way I imported it in the Binder. For example, ‘Story Flow’. Opening it from Scrivener launches its originating application, Omnigraffle. All fine.

But Scrivener has internally renamed it with a number. e.g. ‘20.graffle’. I can see it’s just the number in my Scrivener project bundle.

So, I edit my diagram and then make use of the (essential) Save PDF to Scrivener item in the print dialogue. It works as expected and the new PDF is in my Research folder in the Binder.

The trouble is, the new PDF is now called just ‘20’ in there. I then re-name it to my name. With multiple docs being renamed to the internal Scrivener number it can get a bit messy. (But only a little.)

My suggestion would be to append or prepend the internal number and keep the original filename. I’d better keep track of a PDF called ‘20 - Story Flow’ than just ‘20’.

Just an idea. Otherwise it’s pretty much good spending hour after hour in Scrivener. I realise it’s probably taken me longer to post this than change the names of hundreds of imported PDFs. Thanks though.


The internal numbering enables Scrivener to work fast and to identify documents without having to worry about the various meta-data. It also means that the user doesn’t have to worry about file naming conventions and limitations when naming their files, which could be painful if you want a colon or slash in a title. The only time this is ever an issue is in the instance you mention, whereby you notice the number when it’s opened in an external file, but the benefits of this system far outweigh this one negative (an early version of Scrivener used internal file names, and users found the limitations this presented very frustrating).

If OmniGraffle has a decent Spotlight preview, then Lion may render the necessity to generate a PDF preview in Scrivener’s research folder unnecessary, though…

Glad you’re liking Scrivener otherwise!

Thanks and all the best,