Some Requests From A New User

Thank you for taking the time to collect our requests

I’m a relatively new user, and I find myself struggling to do some basic tasks that might prevent me from fully embracing all the goodness of Scrivener.

  1. I would like to modify the created date. In order to place items like feedback on drafts or journal entries and then sort them by date, this seems essential. Perhaps this is more important now as I add material from other sources - but I think it will always be relevant.

  2. I would like an option to have the quick reference window float over all other applications. That makes it easy to take notes on video and other materials that are in external players.

  3. when I make a clipping from a web page, I would like the website source to be captured somehow, so I can easily keep the two associated.

  4. I would like an option to just import an html link without creating a web archive. This is minor, because it is easy to cut an paste. But it would be nice to drag and drop urls, and depending on whether the option key is pressed, either just a link is created or a web archive.

That’s all I’ve noticed so far. There is so much good thinking about workflows in Scrivener - these were the things that frustrated me as I start a new project.

Thanks again.

Thanks for the feedback!

  1. I would consider using custom meta-data for this, as it is more appropriate than using the creation/modification date fields anyway. Those are meant for tracking your usage within the software, not tying in entries to external systems such as publication or journal entry dates. To get the best usage out of custom meta-data, use a date format that can be logically sorted alphanumerically.
  2. Consider the Scratch Pad instead of QR panels. The former is intended for precisely the purpose you describe: recording data while working in other programs. You can float QuickReference panels over all Scrivener windows, using the menu command [b]Window/Float QuickReference Panels[/b], but that will not work in other programs. Beyond the Scratch Pad, if you do want to keep things project-centric, you’ll note in that same Window menu the ability to float the entire project window. This will keep it above other applications.
  3. This should already be happening. If you use WebArchive import (where the result essentially just looks like a web browser) then the URL will be recorded and printed in the editor footer bar, as clickable blue text. If on the other hand you have Scrivener set up to import web pages as editable text (the result usually looks nothing like the original page, except in very simple cases), then it will be a standard text document at that point, and will lack the special URL footer bar, using the standard word count display. So in this case, Scrivener tucks away the original URL into the References panel. Use [b]View/Inspect/References[/b] to open the Inspector to that panel. Double-click any reference icon to load it.
  4. Just drag and drop the text of the URL, then. If you click into your browser’s URL field and then drag and drop the text, not the favicon, Scrivener will treat the input as just normal ordinary old text, and it’s default way of handling that is to create a new text document with the dragged text.

Alternatively, and this is what I do, you can make your own References too. Dragging the favicon into the References sidebar will record the URL and leave a result that can be double-clicked. When working this way, the idea isn’t to create a new entry for each bookmark, but to create an entry for a group of related bookmarks. Well, you could make a new item in the binder for each one, but it would probably be easier to click on something called “Science Research” and then access the list of all the science related research you’ve pulled in.

Thank you so much for your helpful reply!! :smiley:

  1. Using custom meta-data for an ‘actual date’ is good advice - particularly if I remind myself that only a subset of documents need that information

  2. I had forgotten about the Scratch Pad - it floats perfectly.

  3. I hadn’t realized that importing web pages as text would create the reference link. That is very thoughtful.

Nevertheless, it would still be convenient to be able to select some text in a browser, use the clipping service, and have the selected text added to scrivener with the reference link. The method you describe requires importing the entire webpage.

  1. Thank you for the reminder about the references tab. For text links, a small work-saver would be an option to highlight a text url and turn it into a clickable link.

I have one other question / request … Is it possible to search a scrivener project by modification date (or potentially created date). Sometimes it is really useful to see what I was working on recently - and I usually do that by looking at all the documents I have modified recently.

Thanks again for your advice and insight.

You’re welcome!

Ah, I see what you mean. I think this is possible in theory. I’ve seen other programs that are dedicated toward information collection (like DEVONthink and EagleFiler) record the originating URL from a text snippet service. I’ve added it to the list of things for Keith to review.

I don’t think this would work, if I understand what you mean. We need to allow free clicking in this text field so that people can double-click to edit or select and copy the URL.

Perhaps in the future. We have more search features on the long-term list, potentially including a criteria palette like some database programs feature, and maybe a simple syntax too.

But, there is a pretty easy way to do what you want. Try searching for “*” without the quotes (and RegEx turned off). This will find everything in the project, and from there you can click on the Search Results header bar to load that in an outliner, add the date column of your choice if necessary, and click the header bar to sort by date.

While the sorting itself cannot be saved, you can create a saved search collection out of this, click the collection header bar to load it in the editor as a group, and then use the icon header bar menu to “Lock Collection View Mode”. This way you can go on to use Corkboard or Scrivenings, but whenever you load this collection it will be displayed as an outliner view that you can use to sort by any columnar criteria—meaning you can boil all of this down to three clicks (two if you only ever use the Outliner for this one purpose and just leave sorting on).

How do we do custom meta data? I thought that wasn’t available in the Windows version. Did I miss something in an update?

EDIT: Just realized the Windows wish list is the same as the IOS wish list.

So, nevermind.


Yeah, Scrivener is designed centrally for the most part, so all requests go to one place. :slight_smile:

If the text is in the editor you can usually do this as a feature of the OS X text system. It will depend on the link itself, though; some aren’t recognised because of the characters in them, and if your browser drops it without the leading “http://” Cocoa might not see it as a link.

Oh sorry, I might have misread that. If the URL is in the text you can select a range of text and use Edit/Add Link... if for some reason the automatic detection doesn’t pick it up. That also makes it so you can attach the link to readable text, like in a web page.

Is there a way to mimic this in Win/Scrivener? (My “*” only brought up the documents with an actual little star (asterisk).


You could try searching for a space, if the fields have more than one word.