Scrivening with Multiple Selection

If I select multiple binder documents, they can be all be viewed in scrivening mode.

And if I select a folder or file with sub documents, its contents can also be viewed in scrivening mode.

But if the selection includes one container, along with another binder item (of any type), only the top level of the container is displayed in scrivening mode.

Is there something I’m missing, or is that the way it works?

I discovered this when I made a collection that included a folder, thinking that it in scrivening mode it would include sub docs, which wouldn’t need to be individually explicitly included in the collection (assuming I didn’t mind viewing/editing them in scrivener mode), and that was indeed the case when viewing the folder alone. But the sub docs drop out of the editor when I add another item for a multiple selection. That was unexpected.

The documentation says on page 37: There is one main exception to these rules of thumb: Multiple Selections, which happen when you select more than one binder item at once, but for simple single selections,the above guidelines will help you decide which view mode to use, depending on what
you need to do.

That seems like where I’d expect to find a mention of this as an exception, but it doesn’t quite get to this. And none of the other references to multiple selection in the user manual refer to this particular use.

So I’m a bit confused on this.

This is the way it works, but it’s not fully explained in the manual; there’s meant to be a cross-reference to a section detailing how multiple selections work, but its just a placeholder file at the moment.

In a nutshell, a multiple selection always displays as a flat list, like what you see in a collection. You’ll see this more clearly if you switch from Scrivenings to the outliner: all the items are shown without hierarchy and without the ability to navigate into their subitems. Since selected items can come from anywhere, there’s really no way to denote the hierarchy or original placement of the items in the binder, which is why you can’t move items around in a multiple selection–Scrivener just has no way of knowing where the item is supposed to go, since you’re viewing arbitrary pieces of the binder.

In the case of subdocuments, it wouldn’t make sense to automatically include them as part of the multiple selection just because you had selected their container. Consider the case where you’re selecting items so you can change their label or status all at once. That’s a specific action applied to specific items, and if the selection grew to include items you hadn’t selected, it would get confusing. You’d also then need a way to exclude the items that you hadn’t selected in the first place.

Instead, we will be adding some features to make it easier to include an item’s subdocuments in a selection, so that for instance you could press a modifier key when dragging the container to the collection to automatically add all its subdocuments as well. For now, you can just use Shift-click to quickly select multiple items to add them to the collection.