Scrivenings issue

I’m finalising a draft. Under the Draft folder, at the top level, I have five folders followed by a text “file”. When I select the five folders in scrivenings mode, I see all the contained text, and the word count and stats in the footer. This is good.

When I append the “file” to the selection, I see five blank rows separated by full-width rows of dashes then the “file” text, and the footer contains stats only for the final “file”.

When I add further folders, only the “file” contents and stats are shown.

My expectation is for all selected items to be within scrivenings, and stats to be for all selected items, whether folder or file.

3.1.1 + 10.14.1

What happens if you just select the Draft folder?


I see the text for the whole project.

Any difference if this setting is toggled on / off?

Slàinte mhòr.

Nothing unexpected.

(I expect the cause is some setting or combination thereof, though.)

Here’s an example project.

Click draft: all text is shown and word count is 1,449.

Click New Folder: all text is shown and word count is 967 (+ text @ 482 = 1,449).

Select New Folder and text: only the folder’s text and text’s text are shown and counted. My expectation is for the sub-docs in the folder to show and be counted.

(Aside: I don’t actually use folder text. I’ve just included it here to demonstrate behaviour.) (22.9 KB)

… and you have clicked on the Scrivenings mode icon to set it to show sub-documents and not only the current?


Are folk not seeing the behaviour I describe in the project I provided?


Thanks for the example file.

With New Folder unexpanded in the binder (i.e. its two child documents cannot be seen) and with it and the text file selected, the count is 495 words because Scrivener is assuming the user only wants those two items: expand New Folder in the binder and you will see that its two child documents are not selected for scrivenings view. However, if you expand New Folder in the binder first of all and then select it, hold shift, and select the text file, all of the documents will be included to give 1449 words. I assume this is all by design. (If the binder was fully expanded, New folder + CMD + text file would select only those two items.)

Slàinte mhòr.

Like JoRo says, it’s logical. The folders are just text documents with another icon. They are not “folders” in the OS file system sense. They are just text files at different hierarchial level.

If you wanna keep an eye on word counts, use the outline view and add the columns Words and Total Words.

Sure. I’ve been using Scrivener for quite a while. I know this.

Ah, I’m holding it wrong! :wink:

Like I say, I’m doing structural things, so the binder is the place to be.

However, what I’m doing should work, imo. The current behaviour is, at best, unexpected. i.e. My expectation is that when scrivening, the content of all selected folders and files should display (and match associated stats).

Morning, auxbuss.

I understand the logic you are applying to this issue.

And I understand the logic that seems to have been applied by L&L to what would be noncontiguous selections if binder items are not expanded.

Hopefully, someone from L&L will either confirm that things are working as expected (and confirm the logic employed), or they will confirm that things should be working as you expect, in which case a bug will have been identified.

If you don’t get an official response on the forum, perhaps an email to tech support would move things along. If you do get a definite reply away from the forum, please do share.

Slàinte mhòr.

This is absolutely the expected behaviour, and it works the same way in the corkboard and outliner views, too:

  • If you select multiple folders, then their contents will be shown in scrivenings and on the corkboard, and they will be displayed as expandable folders in the outliner.

  • If you select multiple files or a combination of files and folders, then only the individual documents are shown.

As Lunk and JoRo said above, folders are just special types of text file. So if they are in a selection with text files, they will be treated as such.

All the best,

Thanks, Keith. In that case, I will change my behaviour. That is, put everything in folders, even single documents (at the appropriate level).

Aside: Clearly, I find this odd behaviour. It surprised me, after all. What eludes me is the circumstance in which this behaviour would be useful. Perhaps someone could enlighten me, since it would be useful to adjust my mental model to suit all circumstances. (I’m specifically referring to scrivenings here and not the corkboard or outliner.)

If it didn’t work like this, there would never be any way of only viewing the text of the folders without their subdocuments. There’s also an element of consistency between the view modes here, though. When you select multiple folders, the editor is in “multiple folder” mode, and each view mode (corkboard, scrivenings etc) is just a different view upon that.

The way I do this is to select the folder in non-scrivening mode.

Ah well, it’s not the end of the world. It makes no sense to me, and it’s not a deal-breaker. The workaround – to my liking – is simple enough, and I might end up preferring it!


You’re missing the S in KB’s statement: “… the text of the folders…”
In non-scrivening mode you can only look at one folder. With the current technicque you can select and view the text in several folders without having to see the content in the sub-documents beneath the “folder-document”…

Use case: Author assembles complex chapter by chapter notes in consultation with their collaborators or client. They break that document down into extended synopses, putting each in the body text of the appropriate chapter-folder. Over the course of the project, those notes turn into a running log of ongoing discussions about the contents of each chapter.

Viewing the whole thing in Scrivenings mode is useful to see what has been done so far and what remains, and the actual text of the chapters would simply be a distraction in that case.


No, I really didn’t.

Well, the fundamental design decision is that the user should be able to include (or exclude) whatever they want in a Scrivenings session. That seems pretty defensible to me.

As for “shaking your confidence,” I guess that depends on what you were using Scrivenings for in the first place. As noted elsewhere in the thread, the Outline mode has always been a better tool for monitoring session-by-session word counts. But Scrivenings is just a display view, it has no impact on the actual content of your project.


It’s “shaken your confidence” in scrivenings? That seems very bizarre, given that it doesn’t break scrivenings or make them unstable in any way.