Select column in a table

is that possible? I dont see any evidence of this…

It’s more of a Mac trick than Scrivener-specific, but you have to use the rectangular selection tool to select the text of a column. Hold down the Option key before clicking and dragging, and pull out a rectangle tall and wide enough to include everything.

It’s worth noting that’s a text editing tool, not a table editing tool. It will select the text, but you’re not selecting the column as an entity. I don’t think there is a concept of that with Apple’s table tool. Personally I’d take a snapshot first, if you intend to try anything like moving the data over to another column or cutting it out of the table. They can be a bit fragile in ways even Undo cannot fix.

should we say it is better MsWord in this respect? :innocent:
there are any idea/any better practice to deal professionally with tables (starting from Documentary template)?

I don’t know what you mean by “deal professionally”. Please elaborate.

If you are dealing with a lot of tables, then given that the Apple engine for authoring that Scrivener uses has rudimentary table skills, then perhaps consider another tool to create tables, e.g. Numbers, Excel, or even Word. Other tools with better table skills are available.

deal professionally means that I need to manage a long ‘sceneggiatura’ (1-hour) that even divided in separate parts (atto1, atto2, etc… and atto1-scene1, atto1-scene2,…) needs that tables spread over 3/4 pages each, with the possibility to cut and paste column and/or rows…
clear enough?

The suggestion to not use Scrivener to edit the tables in a documentary template is essentially suggesting a workflow where one not use Scrivener’s text editor at all, instead using it more at a higher level for organisation and final assembly, and something like its external folder sync feature to do close to 100% of your editing in other software.

It’s doable, I even do that myself sometimes in the very early phases of a writing project, as I write using Markdown and most any other coding editor or Markdown-editor is better than Scrivener for initial drafting of it, if you use lists and other such things.

That said, most Markdown/coding editors are way better at working with a folder full of text files than any rich text editor or word processor, which is what you would need here as the whole idea is to use a better table editor. In Obsidian or Sublime Text for example, I can search across all documents in the sync folder, split the editor multiple ways, load tabs, quickly jump between files using just the keyboard and so on. It’s not quite as nice as Scrivener’s UI for managing such things, but such tools are not bad at all, they are designed for working with lots of files professionally, after all. But, LibreOffice to edit 200 RTF files on the other hand… yikes! Let’s not even try to imagine that nightmare. :sob:

I mean, maybe now and then, to do a difficult table cut and paste operation where Scrivener is not so good at it. It can cut the text out, but it’s just text at that point, not table cells. You can’t paste them into another table as 15 rows of data, it will paste as 15 lines of text into a single cell.

So if that is what you need to do, then you switch over to your sync folder, open the RTF file in something that knows what a table actually is other than what Apple jammed into the text engine in 2005 and hasn’t touched since then. But for everything else, just typing and tabbing and inserting the occasional row here and there, Scrivener is perfectly fine for that.

It’s a thought anyway.

The only other thing I’m thinking of is general advice: whenever I hear of someone using cut and paste extensively, between binder sections, I’m wondering if they might not be putting too much into each section. Ideally if stuff is only as long as needs to be to describe one chunk of content that cannot be split down any further, then most organisational actions will involve dragging an index card from one corkboard to another, or around within it. Cutting and pasting? That is so 2005. :wink:


It is exactly because I don’t want to leave the unified Scrivener environment that I was looking for solutions from Scrivener addicteds… I will survive!
…anywyay if most of the the problems depends on the Mac lateness in table mangement does the situation changes in Windows Scrivener?

I would say the table handling, for copy and paste, is a bit better on Windows. It’s still not going to do what you want though:

  • It is much easier to select a rectangle of cell data by dragging down, or right, or up and left (whatever). It feels more like selecting cells in a spreadsheet.
  • What gets copied is actually table data. If you paste a column you copied then you’ll get a 1x15 table somewhere. The Mac only does this with linear selections, which can only select left-to-right-top-to-bottom.
  • Cutting doesn’t remove cells even if complete rows/cols are selected, it’s more like the Mac: the cell data is stripped, leaving them behind. But it’s still cut to the clipboard as cell data.

The downside: it still cannot interleave data into an existing table on paste. While on the Mac you get 15 paragraphs/lines pasted in from what you cut, on the PC you’ll get a 1x15 table inserted into the cell you paste into. Same result as the Mac if you copy linear instead of rectangular.

So it’s better at taking a chunk of table out of one spot and making a new one in another spot, but moving data between tables is still a manual labour task, cell by cell.

Like I say though, if cutting and pasting is all you’re struggling with and that only happens now and then, a little copy and paste between a word processor and back to Scrivener isn’t that bad. Folder sync would only become worth the effort of setting it up if this happens more often. Then you would: sync to the folder, edit the two files with the tables you need to splice, save them, re-sync to merge the edits into Scrivener. A bit of a walk around the park, but again, not too bad.

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as of the first part of your kind answer: you cannot get rid of empty cells…only rows or columns?
as of the second part: I will delving deeper…

I’m not sure what that would mean. That sounds like a broken table to me, where there are gaps in it, or some rows/cols of a different size than others? If you mean to merge two empty cells into one, so that the shape remains coherent, then yes you can do that by selecting across both and using the floating table tool, which you can call up with the regular Insert ▸ Table... menu command while the cursor is anywhere within it.

ok thanks
I better come back with a real example :innocent:

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beg your pardon… by ‘Folder sync’ you do mean Scrivener ‘Sync with external folder’ or…?

Correct, what is documented in §14.3, Synchronised Folders of the user manual PDF. Something worth pointing out in its settings here is that if this is something you only do now and then, you could probably get away with disabling the setting to Check external folder on project open and automatically sync on close, and just run it manually when needed, through the File ▸ Sync ▸ submenu. That way you can avoid a potentially lengthy progress bar on open/close.

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