The Inspector? A Detailed Explanation Please.

I’ve been using Scrivener for the Mac since version 2, and now I am working in 3, and for a very long time, the only part of the Inspector I really utilized was the Synopsis and the Notes tab. Now that I am really using it, I’d like to learn what the other options could do to help me keep organized and work better. So I guess what I am asking is, could someone please give me a detailed explanation of the following:

How do Bookmarks work?
What is Metadata for, and how does it work?
Is the “snapshots” section for all photos in the project or just for one for the folder/page as a reference?
Comments and Footnotes, how does this section differ from the Notes section?

Have you tried the built-in manual, or working those sections of the tutorial?

Lit & Lat also have some teaching videos on their site — some of which may be relevant to your questions.

Devinganger is right. You need to spend some time with the available materials tutorial, manual, video guides.


P.S. And I would add that it is not right to ask people to spend their valuable time explaining things for you “in detail”, if you have not put in the effort to learn these things yourself from the readily available materials.

I would say you don’t necessarily have to use any of these features for what they are “supposed” to be used for. You can invent your own uses for many, if not all, of them. I would think it would be worth creating a small test project and playing with the features to see how you might be able to use them in your own work. The kind of work one does, and how one does it, can make a big difference in how useful a feature is, and it is sometimes the case that a user can find a way of utilising a feature that others have never imagined.

I’ll have to take a look at the manual and see how accessible it is, although the “tutorial”, is not very good at explaining things to a blind user.

You’re one of those special kinds of assholes, aren’t you? I ask for “detailed explanations”, because I’m blind and I don’t have the same ability to “just go and look at things”, like you do and get instant understanding from visual stimuli, like you do. So yeah, asking for detail, is not only RIGHT, it’s “NECESSARY”. It’s not that I don’t put forth effort, it’s that your World is not as “accessible” as you like to believe it is. So, here’s a suggestion for you; how about you do a full stop and ask yourself from now on as to why this person is asking for something the way that they’re asking, instead of full on shoving both feet directly down your own throat? Bless your heart.

A test project sounds like a great idea, if I knew the first thing about these options, but sadly I don’t. For as accessible as KB and Astrid strive to make Scrivener for those of us who are blind/visually impaired, some things will always remain a mystery unless someone can fully explain them to us in a completely non-visual fashion. My screen reader/braille display easily tells me where things are located inside Scrivener, and they easily tell me what things are inside Scrivener, but they don’t easily tell me at all how to interact correctly with some of those things. Hence, I asked for a detailed explanation.

In the manual, Section 4.1.5 The Inspector explains what each pane of the Inspector does, with links to more detailed explanations.

In the Tutorial, the information can be found under Draft/The Basics/Get Oriented/Main Interface/The Inspector in the Binder.

I don’t know how screenreaders work, so I don’t know if that’s enough information to orient you. If it’s not, let me know and I’ll try to explain further.


Thank you, Katherine. I will try to take a look at both of the things you’ve suggested here, and If I am still having issues afterwards, I will simply DM you directly as some people here are doing nothing more than serving to piss me off, whether due to sheer ignorance or not, and I don’t need that kind of negativity.

Ah. Trying to access the content through accessibility add-ons is probably very complicated, yes. I apologize, that was not made clear and unfortunately we do regularly see users asking to be spoon-fed material that is available in the various resources.

I’ll venture an explanation of Snapshots.

Snapshots, despite the name, have nothing to do with illustrations or photos. When you take a “snapshot” of a text in your project, Scrivener makes an internal copy of the text, labeled with date, time, and an optional title. When you view the text, a list of all the Snapshots (copies) of that text are listed in the Inspector Snapshots pane. You can click on one to display an older version, revert to an older version of your text, delete snapshots that are no longer needed, or compare your current text to a older snapshot (in what is probably a regrettably visual fashion).

Menu items related to this feature are in the Documents menu, in the Snapshots submenu.

I use this feature as a sort of version control. For example, just before I submit a project to an editor, I will select all the texts in my project, and use the menu item Documents->Snapshots->Take Titled Snapshots with the title “Submission to Fred”. That way, I keep a history of what I’ve sent to whom.

Another use case is to automatically generate a snapshot of any changed text before updating your main project during mobile sync or sync to external folder. I’m sure there are other use cases out there.

I hope this helps you get an understanding of Snapshots!

THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! When you think of the word “snapshot”, you think of an illustration or photo. So to now have this knowledge that the “snapshot” feature is not for reference pictures, but for text comparison, history options and the like, I can proceed accordingly. I probably won’t use it, as when I do any editing of a text, I make a new copy first, for later cross-comparison.

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain it in a non-visual way. I appreciate it.

I try my very best to do things on my own. I am very protective of my manuscript and I don’t share it, therefore when I run into problems, I don’t usually reach out to people unless it is a last resort. I have very limited vision, and as such, there are things that I miss and don’t process in the usual way, so when I really get stumped, I come here, and if no one responds in a way I can understand, as a last resort I email KB or Astrid, but I try not to do that unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Respectfully, your assessment and tone is unfair and impolite. Past history proves that, gr, would’ve pointed you towards any helpful resource he was aware of and/or directly explained a particular thing. Clearly, he didn’t know you were visually impaired. From what I’ve seen, he’s generous with his time.

Best of luck for your future.

Well, lacking one of the five senses doesn’t give you the right to behave like an asshole either, so you’re no better.
I don’t think anyone of us who visit the forum is psychic so we couldn’t possibly know that you weren¨t just a lazy bastard. If you had said why you asked for extra help the response would probably have been positive and helpful from the start.

As for how to use the Inspector, my answer would be that I don¨t know. I hardly use it. My work doesn’t need it, it would seem.

Coming from yet another able-bodied individual, your rise to his defense falls completely flat for me. His ignorant assumption that I was lazy and just looking for someone to do my work for me, is not only frustrating, it’s that, that is “unfair and impolite”. I don’t care what his “past history” shows. He did not point me anywhere, all he succeeded in doing was make himself look like an insensitive ass, and it doesn’t matter that he didn’t know that I am blind, that’s where my whole “think about why someone is asking something the way that they’re asking it” comes into play. Simply put, if you don’t want to contribute positively towards the conclusion of the question asked in a particular thread, don’t respond.

That’s why you take a breath and think about why someone is asking something the way that they’re asking it. It has nothing to do with not having a particular sense that someone else has, it’s about common sense and common decency. I was curt and blunt because I am sick and tired of people thinking that when I post here, that I’m just looking for someone to do my work for me, because that’s not the case. I don’t post here unless I am at my wits end with something, hence I don’t have 1000s of posts racked up. Too, why should I have to announce to God and everyone that I’m blind, which brings me straight back to the first two sentences in this reply to you.

I’m happy to be of service, @NamoNakiMichi.

You are the kind of person that we need more of on this forum. You didn’t make any assumptions, you had the knowledge, and you kindly took five minutes to reply in a clear and concise manner. Thanks again!

I’ll take a stab at bookmarks.

Bookmarks are links to other documents, and those documents fall into 3 categories: Documents within the same Scrivener project, external website URLs, and files on the same computer that are external to the Scrivener project.

A bookmark to a document in the same project will display the contents of that document in the pane below the bookmarks in the Inspector. If the document is a Scrivener text document, you can also edit the text there. If the document can be “displayed” in a Scrivener editor but not edited (ex: PDFs, sound files, web archives), then you can still interact with those files in that part of the Inspector.

External websites just load as a web page. This functionallity is somewhat limited, as Scrivener doesn’t contain a full-fledge web browser, and so may not be able to render a page well, or get past the logon screen. You can double-click on the bookmark to open that website in your default browser, however.

External files on your Mac are the third kind of bookmark you can make. This is the most fragile kind, and the one I’m least familiar with. I think that it can’t track re-names or moves of the bookmarked files, so I tend not to link to external files. External files can also include URLs that other programs provide, including Scrivener links to specific documents in other projects. If you use the Edit/Copy Special/Copy Document as External Link menu in one project, you can paste that string into the link field when creating an external file bookmark; when you then click on that bookmark, it will open that project in another window, and open the specific document in an editor within that window.

I use the first kind of bookmark all the time. It’s quite useful for fiction–if you keep documents on each character, you can bookmark that character’s document in each chapter they appear in, adding notes about that character as they emerge in the telling of the story. In this way, bookmarked documents are often better than document notes, which are only visible when you are editing the document they’re associated with. The same character info may be useful across several chapters.

I’m sure there are similarly handy note-taking applications for use in writing non-fiction.