Templates, categories, and sub-categories?

First let me say thank you for Scrivener, I’m rather new to it but I like the ability to do the majority of my writing in one tool.

I see from this post [url]https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/can-i-create-a-new-template-category/16793/3] that changing the template categories wasn’t possible as of this past Feb. Is this still true?

Call me names but I wear a lot of writing hats and having the ability to make categories/sub-categories would be really convenient: Search? Tags? “Folders”?. The only “Scrivener Way” I can see to categorize my templates at the moment is to get cute with the template name; which makes for long, involved names. I can conceive of having hundreds of templates, plus variants, and all of them would fit under Non-Fiction. Not fun to look through hundreds of templates in an area that can only display 6 at the time when a fairly simple folder structure could narrow the search dramatically.

If there’s a better way to do make this work, other than lumping everything in one giant category, I’d love to know how to do it.

Hundreds? Blimey, that’s quite an unusual use-case. :slight_smile: No, there’s no way to do this, nor any plans to add support for subcategories and suchlike. This would make the templates panel more complicated for the vast majority of users. You can change the category of a template by re-saving it and deleting the original, though. I haven’t really got any good suggestions for you other than that, though, I’m afraid. If you really have got hundreds, then it might be better just to organise them in the Finder and to open them from there and use Save As rather than using the templates panel.
All the best,

Perhaps if you provided some examples of why you have so very many templates, the more experienced users on the forums can provide you with tips on how to collapse that number down to something more manageable.

@KB – I could, and probably should if I had time, pare that number down to several dozen, but even that’s annoying to work with without some sort of taxonomy. Dumping everything into one big folder/category doesn’t work unless you have some good method of finding stuff later. In my experience good methods of finding stuff are the exception rather than the rule. It sounds like I should just continue with my present file manager method like you said.

@robertdguthrie – I suppose that part of it comes from the fact that I hate doing the same work more than once, part from my experience as a network engineer and consultant but I have the habit of making a template out of anything that I do more than once. Network device configurations (dozens by themselves), shell scripts, reports and such. Documentation projects, design documents, and proposals for clients get the template treatment and sometimes variations produced if there’s a style preference from the customer (repeat business :slight_smile: you know). Add into that school papers and the odd fiction piece when I have time to write them and it makes for quite a bundle of work. I’ve saved hours, if not weeks of work by pulling out one of those templates.

General Observation – My irritation with the New Project window is that the categories are very broad, 6 IFF you happen to write in all of them. If I could resize the window, flip to a list view and/or use some sort of filtering, tags, or even just a text search, being so category limited would be more bearable. Probably a nitnoid irritation :smiley:, but with more than a handful of templates it would be easier to use with those capabilities.

I’ve been using LaTeX because I found myself converting from one filetype to another and got tired of trying to manage that in a word processor. Scrivener got me really excited because of the compile feature. I like Scrivener very much, I’ll just continue using the File Manager method rather than the template system.

You could even use a Scrivener project to organise these. :slight_smile: To make a “template”, use File/Back Up/ Back Up To... with the Zip option turned on, give it a name, and then drop the subsequent .zip file into the binder of your “Template Project”. Now you can organise it using all of the stuff you can do with a thing in Scrivener. When you’re ready to use it, select it and hit Shift-Cmd-E to export the .zip. If you don’t mind changing how the system unzip tool works, you can set Archival Utility to always extract .zip files to one folder rather than whatever folder the .zip file is in. I like this approach anyway because I use an “outbox” that gets routinely cleaned up during the day by a script, anyway. So that’s my output target. If you do that, you can then just hit Ctrl-Cmd-O, which opens the selected resource in the default external editor—archival utility in this case. The .scriv appears in the extraction folder, and then you can drag it where it needs to go.

The direction I was going with this is that, for the same type of document, if all you want to do is tweak the output, then you can save your compile settings to their own preset. Then no matter what client you are writing for, if you use the same structure in the binder for the document components, then it’s a simple matter of selecting the compile preset for the appropriate client.

This is how it works for fiction writers: you organize your writing however you like to, and then create custom compile settings that follow the submission guidelines of each recipient. You don’t typically have to have a template for each potential publisher or agent, just a template for the kind of format you want to produce, and a compile setting to alter how your chapters are numbered, what fonts you want to use, and so-forth.

I was just brainstorming with myself a moment ago, and came up with another organizational technique.

Assuming that a typical workflow is Proposal->Design->Documentation, for instance, you can easily combine those into one template. The Draft folder would have sub-folders for each of the above categories. When you were ready to output the Proposal for a new project, you would select the Proposal folder as the compile target, rather than the whole draft folder. From that point, compile treats “Proposal” as the top level folder, ignoring the Design and Documentation folders that are at the same level. As the project moves into Design, you can use an entirely different organizational structure, and just change the compile preset to reflect that structure… And if you sometimes only do the Documentation section, then there would just be vestigial Proposal and Design folders that you would never use (and could delete if you wanted).

Also, if you have boilerplate text for each client that goes into every document for them, you can simply keep a project just for that kind of thing. When you create a new project from a template for that client, just drag out the client-specific documents and drop them into the binder of the new project.

I hope that helps a little, though of course if it doesn’t fit with your organizational style, then feel free to disregard; maybe it will strike someone else as useful in the future. :slight_smile:

@AmberV and robertdguthrie --Those are excellent suggestions I hadn’t thought of. With so little time spent using the software I’m sure it would have taken months for me to get anywhere close, thanks very much.