Setting up a Structured Story-Development Environment

Hmm, I don’t think the forum is doing anything there. The zips download and expand fine for me via Camino.

Hmm, yes it is working for me now too (I was using Firefox both times). Before it was not working. LL, did you compress them with StuffIt or using the contextual menu in Finder?


Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. I was having troubles with the ones I uploaded earlier. I was using the version of StuffIt that comes bundled with Path Finder – who knows, that might have been the problem. The files work fine before I upload them, but not after I upload and then download – which is what led me to believe the forum software was “cleaning” them somehow.

I had no trouble opening this. I just double clicked the zip. WOW! The template is great, and since I’m new to scrivener, this really helped me learn even more about the software.

Also, this template is PACKED with superb info!

Thanks sooooo much for sharing it!

LL (this is where I get my own back :slight_smile: ):

Some problems/suggestions:

  1. The Master Templates template does not seem to be working. When I use import it and then go to create a new project from it, Scrivener tells me that the template is not valid.

  2. Neither the Master Templates or Myth & Mystery templates have a description associated with them. All templates should be given a description so that the user can see what the template does when browsing through them in the New Project panel. (I have made a note to myself to tell Scrivener to ensure the user has to enter a description for templates created in the next update.)

  3. Remember that window size settings are saved inside the project file as of 1.02. You clearly use a large screen - the Myths & Mysteries template project opened in a window that was bigger than my MBPro’s screen. When creating templates for the use of others, I suggest you resize the window to something quite small - possibly Scrivener’s minimum window size. (Obviously, when creating templates for your own use only, you will want to use your preferred window size and position.) Because settings are saved within the project, you can set the template up to present the user with whatever document you want him or her to see first, too.

Thanks for sharing!

Note to users: as of 1.02, you don’t need to drop templates into the Application Support folder directly. Instead, after unzipping them in your download folder, you can launch Scrivener, select “New Project…” from the File menu, and then select “Import Template(s)…” from the “Templates…” pop-up button at the bottom. This will copy the template to the place on disk it is needed and update the New Project panel so that you can see the templates you have imported.

All the best,

Keith quipped:


I didn’t have any trouble with LL’s Master Template. To test it I started a new
project, selected it from the template dialog and opened a project. Seemed
flawless. I didn’t do anything with it, just glanced through it. But I didn’t
encounter nay problems.


Thanks, LL!

In the Myth template, I’m assuming that the “chapters” heading in the binder is for completed chapters while the chapters under the “draft” heading are the ones still in progress. Is that right?

Nice work. :smiley:

Hi Keith,

So did you get it to work by actually dropping it into the Templates folder as I suggested - rather than importing it?

I deliberately suggested dropping it into the Application support folder because I had the same problem using Import.

The info was really helpful, as always. The size stuff is something I did think about but reconciled myself that any users would know to hit the green button and have it automatically resize. Did that work for you?

I have added descriptions - actually called File Comments in the upload section. It would be helpful, perhaps to have a panel actually called Description so that the panel name and the upload section name are the same.

Hi Studio717

That is an interesting observation. I transfer fully completed chapters that only require a bit of final editing to the Chapters folder (further down in the Binder) and use the ones on Draft to do the actual writing. I change the name Draft to the name of the work in progress.

Just my way of working. Scrivener is very flexible. These templates should be quite adaptable to your own way of setting up a work space. Delete the Chapters folder etc if they don’t feel right. I left them in to help those just getting to grips with Scrivener so they could say to themselves - Ahh! You can get this application to do anything you want it to, including setting up your own idiosyncratic folder structure.

:smiley: :smiley:


Sorry, perhaps I wasn’t very clear. :slight_smile:

Whether it is dropped into the Templates folder or imported uisng the pop-up button on the New Project panel makes no difference. As well it shouldn’t - all the Import button does is copy the file using UNIX’s underlying copy file ability to save the user the effort. In fact, it turns out there is junk data at the beginning of the .scrtpl file which exists upon unzipping it.

It turns out that this seems to be an problem with the .zip file - possibly because you used DropStuff, which, as I understand it, is designed for zipping up files for Windows users. Upon unzipping the .zip using OS X’s built-in unzipping tool, there was junk data at the top of the template which meant it was invalid. When unzipping using a different zip tool, everything worked fine and I was able to import the template (using the pop-up button). Fantastic tempate, by the way!. The probably reason for it being only me to experience this issue is that I am running the developer seed of Leopard, so it may be that their updated unzipping tool doesn’t deal with DropStuff files very well. It might be an idea just to use Stuffit Expander to compress the file instead.

Well, I don’t think that users should have to “reconcile” themselves to anything. My -very strong- recommendation for any template shared with others is that the window should be set to something at 1024 x 768 or below, so that the majority of users will not experience this inconvenience upon opening the template. Honestly, what if I set the built-in “Empty project” to, say, 5000 x 3000? Do you think users would complain? Methinks they would… (And you would probably agree wtih them. :slight_smile: )

I have no control over the upload template, but this is not what I am talking about anyway. When you select “Save as Template…” in Scrivener, there are two fields to fill in - Template Name and Description. You have left Description blank for the Myths template (I would also suggest a more meaningful description in the Masters template than just “All key Template forms” - descriptions should be a sentence or two explicitly stating what the template does). All templates must be given a description. Like I say, I will force this for the next version of Scrivener, but for now it would be great if you could re-save the template with a description and a smaller window size and re-upload.

Again, thanks for sharing these fantastic templates with the community. They are brilliant now, and they will be perfect with just a couple of minor tweaks so that there are no minor irritations for users.

All the best,


Maybe templates for sharing here should just have their ui.xml purged. [Might even be something sensible to add to the Export Template function–either automatically stripping it out during export or as a “share format” option in the dialog.]

I am not sure how well this idea will play with the future, but so long as ui.xml primarily contains monitor-sensitive settings, it might be sensible.


ui.xml contains a lot of other info that the template creator might want to maintain. For instance, he or she may want the template to open with a split editor, with instructions in one editor and a place to write in the other, or with the inspector open containing notes. ui.xml allows you to do this, so purging it would not be such a good idea. It certainly wouldn’t be a good idea given that one of the main things adding this file added to Scrivener was the ability for users to create templates for their own projects that open up using their preferred window/monitor settings.

All I’m asking - very reasonably, it seems to me - is that those generous enough to share their templates just spend an extra couple of seconds resizing the window before saving the template to ensure that users of the template are not confronted with an oversize window.

I have it on my list to look at having Scrivener resize a window if it is opened on a monitor too small for it, but I’m not too sure about this. It is difficult to judge, given that it is not just a matter of size but also of placement - there may be cases where a user has deliberately moved the window partially off-screen and would be annoyed to find it adjusted to be wholly onscreen on reopening, for instance.

Thus, for now, it is up to template creators to adjust the window size. It’s not a big deal, but it’s one of those small things that can make a difference. Ha! I’m enjoying being the one being picky, for a change! :slight_smile:

All the best,



I see what you mean. And in fact, some of LL’s templates are cases in point–where the initial layout with a split was part of what he wanted to share–showing us something about a suggested workflow with that template. Quite right.


I think an exemplar of what Keith is talking about is what you get when you start a new project from the provided Empty Project template. Such a project opens with the sort of modest window size that I think is being suggested. So, you could adjust the window of the thing you want to share to that size (and then adjust any special layout you have in mind to that). Done.


Thinking about this raises a question in my mind though. Why are we sharing /templates/ at all, instead of project files which downloaders could save as templates if they wish.

[If we were sharing project instead of template files, the resizing becomes a bit less of an issue. If someone gives me a template sized for a 20" monitor, then I am stuck with the huge window every time I start something from their template–at least until I save a new template with resized stuff for my needs. Whereas, if that person had just shared a project file (based on their template), I would have opened it once, sized it to my needs and, if I liked it enough, saved it as a template.]

Prepping the things we share with multiple set-ups in mind is still the good idea, but I am thinking that there are at least a couple of advantages to making projects the object to share rather than templates per se. One simple one is that you get to look at the project first and then decide to add it to your templates–which seems, you know, like the natural order of things.


P.S. LL, looking at your big monitor scriv layout actually showed me in a flash how great it would be to work with Scrivener with more screen real estate than I have. Small was beautiful, but suddenly I am pining for a second monitor–something more capacious to keep pace with my growing scriv addiction!

Yes Greg - seems like the ideal way to do it. If Keith is too busy maybe you could upload the stuff as projects and I will kill my posts.

Excellent suggestion.

re the monitor - its a 24" Dell Wide screen - Brilliant monitor excellent service. My first one died and with a three year warranty (included in the price) they shipped a brand new replacement in two days. It took one phone call.

Now I want a 30" monitor. Dead serious. It would be perfect for Scrivener.


Can do, but it won’t be today.

Is it best to keep going in this same thread, or do we maybe need a clean one so as to bring a little order to the enterprise? Something more targetted to the general purpose like ‘Template Projects Exchange’ and setting off with i) general instructions in the line of Keith’s prepping recommendations, followed by ii) the (thus far) accumulated contributions?

That’s what I’m thinking.


Oh, I still think templates are the best way of sharing things like this.

This is a prize winning PhD template for the Social Sciences (Including text based disciplines such as Philosophy, Psychology, Management, History, Literature, etc etc).

No longer available. This was only for beta testers. It is not a part of the commercial application.

Hi Lord Lightning,

Well, I doubt this dissertation will be receiving any university awards, so they are better off using yours! :slight_smile: Besides, I wrote my dissertation in Mellel using a pretty standard format.

BUT, I will try to come up with some useful templates. I think it a very neat idea to share our discoveries on how to best set things up for certain kinds of projects!

(soon-to-be) Dr. Alexandria (still have the defense to get through!!)

Hi Dr. Alexandria

To quote the Classics - no Worries!

It’s a slam dunk. Just remember when you are standing in front of the assessment panel that they are wearing really wierd underwear. Spotted, striped, duckies and horsies, and some that matches their socks.

See, no sweat. They will wonder why you are so light hearted and find it hard to stop giggling.

All the best.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: