Scrivenings mode and Research Binder Non-text Items

I always prefer to work in Scrivenings Mode. However, one really annoying consequence is that within a research binder that contains lots of non-text documents, when I select non-text items that are hierarchically organised, Scrivener then refuses to show anything:

I understand what Scrivener is telling me (it doesn’t know how to Scrivening PDFs / images), but the practical result is I must toggle Scrivenings off, or use a quick-reference or copyholder which also disrupts my flow. A simpler solution[1] is just that Scrivener falls back to document view when a scrivenings couldn’t be made while keeping Scrivenings mode enabled when navigating back to text items. Thoughts?

[1] a more complex but logically consistent solution would be a way to flow multiple non-text items together in a single view, but I’m sure that is hard to implement, and overkill IMO.

If you put the images inside a text document they will be shown in Scrivenings mode, i.e paste the image in a normal text document.

This isn’t always going to be practical (say there are hundreds of structures like this in your binder), but this kind of stuff is precisely what I use the Lock Group View Mode feature for.

Hmm, in thinking about it, that might push the problem around rather than solve it. What if what you really want here is to view the images in the container as a corkboard or outline? I presume that’s your normal desire anyway, and that you have Treat all documents with subdocuments as folders enabled—because the PDF here isn’t a folder; with that setting off you would get the behaviour you want in this isolated case. So the point of preference is displaced, now we have dissatisfaction with what gets chosen as a fallback rather than there being no fallback and making you take that choice up front yourself.

Thanks for the interesting suggestion lunk, however this doesn’t work in my use case. My scientific figures are created in adobe Illustrator, and I combine variants of figures in a single PDF using art-boards. I then export the artboard as a PNG, and they become children of this editable PDF (thus I keep the editable master and the embeddable child related together in the Binder). I then “Link to image in binder” the PNG child into my main manuscript (i.e. it needs to be its own item) — new versions can then be easily updated using “Replace media file…” without having to touch any figures in my manuscript.

This is a global switch right, I can’t set this per binder item? I switch back and forth between my manuscript and figures often (not all my figures go into the manuscript, I have several variants, some or just instructional while writing etc.) I think quick reference is the closest I can get to keeping a figure view without interuppting my manuscript navigation, given the current behaviour. Or use BetterTouchTool and a mouse gesture for a quick toggle as the easiest workaround

Yes, I always use “Treat all documents with subdocuments as folders”. The logic I propose is to fallback to single document view ONLY for scrivenings mode that cannot “scriven”, but not affect corkboard or outliner. I realise we are deeply embedded in the edge-case territory of a complex UI :laughing: The downside to my suggestion is " UI transparency" — there is a hidden logic that overrides the visible current UI state. In my proposal I turn on scrivenings mode (toolbar button highlights to inform me), then select an item that cannot “scriven”, if the icon turns off it correctly informs me of the local view state, but now is confusing on the global state. The better alternative is to keep the UI consistent with the global state, but now the icon is incongruent with the actual local view…

To the contrary, that is precisely what it is, a per item lock that basically makes that item (or Collection) have its own view mode preference, much like the global project has a preference. In that sense it isn’t a lock that even you cannot change, but rather one that will always use whatever view mode you last used for that group, regardless of the project mode. Thus:

  1. From the Draft area, with Scrivenings mode engaged, click on the media group.
  2. Right-click in the editor header bar and lock the group view mode.
  3. Switch to Corkboard (or single doc, whatever you want here).
  4. Now return to the Draft. You’ll need to switch back to Scrivenings one more time, because the global view mode preference does not stop tracking when changing what a locked group looks like, but now at this point you can freely click between Draft and the media group without manually changing modes.

The downside, like I say, is precisely because it is a single-container setting. If you have a hundred of these groups there is no bulk way to set it (well, short of hacking the .scrivx, which I’ve been known to do!). But do note that this setting is like all other item settings, capable of propagation through duplication and document templates.

Looking at how the software currently handles regular folders with nothing but images, it might be that is the intended consistent approach. If you try putting several graphics into a regular folder and then switch from a Scrivenings view to this folder, the folder text all by itself loads.

There are (at least) two odd cases:

  • Root folders don’t work that way—that’s obviously necessary since they have no content. This condition is what the “Not Enough Text Items” soft warning was designed for in the first place.
  • Media/binary items acting as groups. I can’t think of a good reason to treat these like Research folders. They if anything have a more intuitive result than showing a folder’s empty text editor. So I can’t help but think that’s an oversight.

Indeed it is, that solves my issue completely, thanks!!! 8)

I just checked the .scrivx and can see it is quite easy to do this programmatically (add top level Corkboard to binder items of specific Type=“…”) if necessary, but I only have 10s not 100s of items so the UI was efficient.

Yes, I think this is the core issue…