Synopsis and the magic dots

When the index card is displayed in the inspector the default synopsis is:

– No Synopsis –

When I click on the three little dots in the right corner of the index cards title the first few words of the document are used as synopsis.

If I first typed in a synopsis and then click on the dots my synopsis is exchanged by the first words of the document. This is not reversible later.

Is this the intended behavior?

It would make more sense to me, if I can either see the first words or my own synopsis, to be able to toggle between synopsis and first-word-display.

Sorry, but to me this makes no sense at all. You can already see the first words of the document quite plainly in the text itself.

The tooltip of the three dots makes it quite clear what it does - “Auto-generate synopsis from text”.

It is 100% not a way to toggle between two different synopses and nor is it ever intended to be. Each document can only have one synopsis associated with it.

As for it being irreversible, this is not true. If you click on the three dots to auto-generate a synopsis, you can just hit undo to reverse it. However, as the main text has a different undo manager from everything else, you must make sure that the synopsis itself has the focus when undoing.


I didn’t even know this feature existed. With a lot of notes to import – many of which already have a synopsis in the first paragraph – this will make my life easier. Great!

Note that when you import files, the synopsis is generated automatically for you anyway. This feature is really there for files you create inside Scrivener when you can’t be bothered to enter a synopsis manually.

Oops. That’s right. Still, nice feature.
While we’re at it. My first whinge re. Beta 5. Any chance you could raise the default number of words/characters for the auto-title of a dragged text? My note titles are often quite a bit longer. Seems to me that taking whatever comes before the first line break would be best; but a somewhat higher character count would do fine.

Loving the new Beta,


I ran into that problem, too, with the FAQ. I wanted to have the question be the title of the answer, but often the question is too long to fit into the title field. I had to use manual MMD to create the titles. This might be a limit of the operating system though?

I have to set some arbitrary limit for title length when grabbing text from a file - this applies to importing dragged text, split with selection as title, and set selection as title. If I just looked for the first newline with no other limit, you could end up with a 500 word paragraph being set as your title - which would not be ideal.

Currently, Scrivener sets the limit to 50 characters. This is perhaps a little on the low side. What would be fairer? 100?


Picking up a few academic books, which tend to have the longest titles (Victorian fiction aside), it looks like an average of around 40-80 characters. So I would imagine 100 would be good for 99%.

I looked at my note titles and 100 should cover about 90 percent of them. Good enough for me.



I see your point but I’m not sure the same logic should apply to the synopsis, which also strikes me as unncessarily short at - by my count - 100 characters. On my 24" Imac the synopsis field at full size can hold 1300 characters without scrolling. On a 17" monitor that drops down to about 600. Since some people (like me) might have the Title as the first paragraph of their dragged document, I could see that clipping at the first linebreak might be a problem; but surely 100 characters is way too short for a synopsis? Obviously this is yet another fairly personal usage issue and a little more flexibilty may be called for.

Other opinions?


Certainly very open to suggestions on default synopsis limit. A 24 inch screen is rather a luxury, I think, but maybe I could extend this. Of course, the auto-generate is really just an added bonus - you are not limited on what you type into the synopsis. Synopses are kept short for auto-generating by default because your index cards may be small in some situations. Dunno, what do you thinks is a fair limit? 200? 500? Up to the first newline? (Dunno about the last one because that could just find a very short title.) Changes to this just requires a single number alteration, so it’s not a big deal to alter this… Opinions?

(Of course, any arbitrary decision is just that - arbitrary - and has no impact on what you can manually enter into the synopsis or title.)


It should be rather short; no point in having 600 characters if those 600 characters are totally automatically generated.

On the other hand, if you wanted to be really clever you could pass the text through OS X’s Summarize (1 paragraph, maybe) service and populate it with that! But that might be a bit much.

I strongly disagree: there is a point. I for one will be dragging in notes from DT, many of which begin with a summary or highlights already. On the other hand, is there any particular reason to generate a very short synopsis? Even for people who don’t have summaries at the beginning of notes, a decent size chunk of text might provide a useful window into the document’s contents.
My ideal solution would be either an OSX summary (now that I agree with) or 2 paragraphs (to get around the Title as first line issue) up to a limit of around 1000 characters.
But I’d settle for a straightforward 500 or 600 characters if that’s too complicated.
Again, what purpose would cutting it down to much less serve?
If the number is arbitrary, isn’t “Why have less?” as valid a question as “Why have more?”



My powerbook is a 12 incher too and I still use it a lot despite the recent aquisition of the Monster. So this isn’t really a screen size issue for me.