I’ve been peeking at this software for years, waiting for a Windows version to appear. I was happy to see that there’s a beta, with a full version around the corner. I currently use OneNote, since most writing software seems designed around writing “a novel,” not my novel.
I tried out the Scrivener beta today, but noticed a few issues, like I ungrouped some clumped notecards and all my notecards disappeared, permanently. I cannot recover them. I also noticed that changing the notecard type doesn’t change the color of the notecard (as I see is possible in the screenshots).
I’m concerned that maybe this software isn’t really around the corner, but quite a ways away from being done. I also saw that there are features that the Windows version won’t have that the Mac version does. What are those features, exactly?
Thank you for you time.
Thanks for your interest in Scrivener! I’m sorry you’ve run into some issues, but hopefully we can sort them out. First of all, could you explain in a little more detail what you were doing when you “ungrouped” your index cards? That is, how did you have the screen set up, where were you clicking, etc. The “Ungroup” command just moves items from inside a folder to the same level as that folder, so this is just a change in the hierarchy that you see in the binder; the cards don’t get deleted from the project at all. (Even when items are deleted, they’re just moved to the Trash folder in the binder, so you have a chance to restore them before they’re completely deleted when you choose Empty Trash.) Is it possible you ungrouped and they just disappeared from the editor view since they were no longer in the folder whose subdocuments you were viewing? I just want to make sure I follow the exact steps you were using–if there’s a bug here deleting cards, I definitely want to track it down and get it fixed.
As for index card color, this is determined by the “Label” setting applied to each item, and you will need to have View>Label Color In>Index Cards enabled in order to see the colors on the corkboard.
There are a handful of features that the Mac 2.x version has that aren’t yet available in Windows, although Lee has already sneaked a bunch in; most of these are refinements and additional options for features that do exist in Windows already, and all of them will be coming to Windows as this version continues to develop. It’s just that the Mac version’s been going on for seven years now, and is of course in the 2.0 stages of life, whereas Windows has only about two years under its belt. Both programs have only one developer apiece, too, so although Windows has the Mac version as a guideline and a goal for much of its design, it’s just not possible to cram everything into the initial release version. The Windows 1.0 version will match the feature set of the Mac’s 1.54 version (the last 1.x update prior to 2.0) and is even further along in already implementing some Mac 2.0 features and design. I know that’s not an exact answer to your question, but I don’t really have a list of “features not included”–and as I said, the major stuff is there: Windows has an outliner, a corkboard, Scrivenings view, compile settings, etc. It’s just that they’re all going to to get still more powerful with tweaking as time goes on.
Thanks for the fast reply.
I don’t know how to replicate the bug. All the cards I made (it was only a handful) are just gone. I had grouped like 3-4, and when I went to ungroup them, my entire board was empty.
I changed the settings as you said that show the colors on the cards. Thanks. Is there another option that lets me move them about freely as I see in this screenshot:
I also had another question: does Scrivener support multiple monitors? I have 3 monitors on my desk, but when I expand the program to fill all 3 monitors, I’m unable to move the various elements around in the workspace. It’d be great to have separate panels always displaying. I’ve only found one writing program that can do that so far. It’s just how I got used to writing now, with my detailed outline on the left monitor, my draft in the center, and my on-the-fly notes on the right monitor. I thought it would be cool to be able to have say a character list up on one of the monitors while I’m working, or the research up on another. Maybe this is already possible, and I just can’t figure out how to do it?
Anyway, I just wanted to say that ever since a classmate of mine showed me how she was working with Scrivener to write, I’ve been jealous. I even once considered setting up some MacOS emulator just to work with Scrivener, but I just don’t have that kind of time anymore for stuff like that. Ah to be 25 again–when I could spend 2 weeks and just make my own submission tracking database–back before the full-time job and the baby.
If you put the focus in the binder (the sidebar on the left) and then select View>Outline>Expand All, do you see the documents listed anywhere under there? I’m wondering if they somehow got nested and just aren’t visible.
Freeform corkboard isn’t available yet, no, but it’s a planned future feature.
Support for multiple monitors likewise is coming, sooner than later–this should be in an early 1.x update. You’ll be able to open a document in full screen mode on one monitor while having the main window open on the other. More abilities for multiple monitors will be coming down the line, but that’s the main one and will be along shortly. That will allow you to have a document and its inspector open in full screen, for instance, and also have a whole corkboard viewable on the other screen or an outline and a text document in a split editor, etc.
Cool! A freeform corkboard would be awesome!
If there’s any way to sneak in a virtual string so that you can “string” cards together, well then, dang, that would make Scrivener the most powerful creative writing tool on the planet. That would work great for mind-mapping, story-boarding (multiple character plotlines with recordable snapshots, etc.) and a bunch of other stuff that…, the mind boggles at the possibilities. Just dreaming.
Actually I think we tossed around the idea of some “string” a while ago; just in passing, nothing serious. It’s definitely something that would need some thought. There is already a way to link items together via the References pane in the Inspector. It’s not very glamorous, but it works quite well for non-spatial thinkers, and you can have 40 outgoing links and 80 incoming without a chaotic tangle of “strings”. And you can name those links too, which is something most software won’t give you. So how to integrate a visual link with a freeform linking table like that is just one of the things that make this a problem. I do agree though, for spatial thinkers it would be nice to have visual links, but it would require some redesign of the current system and probably a system for hiding some “types” of links (by their name) so as to not clutter the board with routine. Anyway, stuff to think about for later.
Showing keyword chips on the index cards is good for this too, if you set up different colors for various points. It helps give a visual path for your eye when going over cards–plus of course you can use search collections to pull together just the cards with that keyword, if you want to follow a specific thread without distraction of the surrounding cards.