Setting up my first project

Help! I just signed up for the 30-day Scrivener trial on my new Mac (still on a learning curve there) and so far all I’ve managed to do is gunk things up…I’ve got files and binders all over the place with similar names and so far have not managed to import anything into the Novel manuscript template on Scrivener. Sounds like a neat program, if only I can figure it out. I’m now so confused I tried to move it all to Trash and start over and can’t seem to do that either. I’d be so grateful if anyone can help! My main concern now is cleaning up some of these files lying around with similar sounding names (of my next novel)…makes me very nervous that I a) can’t for the life of me figure out where this stuff lives in my Mac and b) worried about having so many files and binders and folders with similar sounding names. It took me 10 minutes just to figure out how to post on this forum…thanks for any assist before I give up completely and go back to (ugh) Word for Mac. Thank you!

Hey, welcome to the forum, and take a deep breath.
You are not in trouble at all.

Just create a Binder folder called Early Stuff.
Drag all the Binder items into it.
Make a duplicate copy of Early Stuff; park it in the Research folder

Then in the original Early Stuff:
Click on each item, view it, and give it a memorable name.
If an item has separable parts, put the cursor at that location and Cmd-K.
That splits the item; give the new item a memorable name.
If items go together, create new Binder folders and drag there
If you trash something, that item remains in Trash until you Empty Trash.

When you no longer need that duplicate Early Stuff, trash it.
The beauty of Scrivener is that the Binder is a readable outline of your book’s parts.
Much better than the Outliner function in (ugh) MS Word.

Be sure to watch the Video Tutorial and read the FAQ files; they’re very helpful.

Thank you druid. Okay when I choose Open a New Project Binder from Scrivener’s opening menu, the dropdown default choice goes to something called:

~/Documents/COLD SNAP/Early Stuff

COLD SNAP is the working title of my next book…somehow I’ve set the default in my Scrivener program so that every new project binder resides somewhere called COLD SNAP.

Once I set up the Early Stuff Binder, I found myself in a document called Novel Format which tells all about the Novel formatting. I don’t see any place to click and drag on anything.

I’m so confused I don’t even know where to start…thank you for any advice on this.

The best place to start is in the tutorial. You can access it from the help menu. The tutorial is a Scrivener project itself, and you can follow the instructions in it and modify things inside the tutorial to get a feel for how it works.

There is also an introductory video that well help get you pointed in the right direction.

When you create a new project, it uses as default the last place you created a new project.

These are Finder basics. In your Dock, the icons along the screen bottom, click on the blue-face icon to see a Finder window. At the top, click on the third icon above View. That gives you a series of columns, the easiest way to see a file path. Click on Documents, and you will see Cold Snap and Early Stuff, in hierarchical order. Assuming you have no precious files in Early Stuff, trash them and let’s start over.

Launch Scrivener, create a project called Cold Snap, with this path: /Documents/Cold Snap/
Cold Snap will show in the Finder as a single Scrivener file, also known as a project.
Then in the Binder of Scrivener, create a folder called Early Stuff.
If you have Word files of your novel, drag them to that folder.
They will become Binder items. Click on each one to see their contents.
Then organize those files. Rename, split, arrange, as noted in my previous message.

But janra is right; video tutorials are the best place to start.
First, Mac 101:
Then Scrivener:

:slight_smile: Thanks Druid, I’m doing it now. Question: in the opening screen of Scrivener when it asks me if I’d like to Set Up a New Project Binder and I choose Novel Standard Manuscript Format, should I also select Templates (sometimes the dropdown offers a novel format ms template and sometimes just asks what I’d like to Import). This really is a brand new project (currently in iWorks wp doc) so if it’s easier I can just reenter.

Thanks for your help. I feel like I’m making progress here.

P.S. I did watch the videos but they did not address this issue. I appreciate you hanging in there with me.

I recommend starting with a Blank project. (I wrote an entire novel with Blank.)
After the project is open, go to Scrivener: Preferences: Text Editing.
Under Default Main Text Attributes, create the text style you prefer.
(I use justified, double-space, one-inch margins, and Times New Roman, 12pt.)
If the font size looks too small, remember you may view it in Scriv at 125% or more.
Explore other Preferences to adjust the interface to your liking.

When that’s all set, start dragging in your DOC files to work with them.
Those all become items in the Binder of your Cold Snap project.
In the Binder, select an item to see its contents.

You may explore the Template formats later on. They offer advice about structure, etc.

:smiley: Thanks so much druid! That worked pretty well. Not sure why but some of my email docs would not import. I can live with that. Thanks again for your help. Kind regards.

Scrivener can’t read e-mail formats, so use Copy/Paste.
Click inside the document and Select All (Cmd-A)
Drag selected text to Scrivener; change the item title.
If dragging doesn’t work, click inside the document
Then Select All (Cmd-A) and Copy (Cmd-C)
Create a new item in Scrivener with Add button or Return in Binder
Paste the e-mail text (Cmd-V)

For large research collection, many of us use DevonThink Pro.
It reads all sorts of file formats, including e-mails, URLs, PDFs, etc.
I use the Research folder in Scriv only for light reference.