Way to Have Notes Stay Open in Inspector, Regardless of File or Folder Chosen?


Given that Project Notes no longer exist in Scrivener Windows 3 (and have become Bookmarks, sort of), is there a way to have a Note stay open in the Inspector while choosing different files and/or folders in the Binder?

I cannot see a way of doing this using Bookmarks because Bookmarks have to be linked to something, and I do not want to link to anything.

I would appreciate any help anyone can give me with this.


Not sure what you mean by “Project Notes no longer exist” (I did not use version 1.9, so I have nothing to compare v3 to). But Notes stay where they are if you click the Notes icon in the Inspector and start navigating the binder.

You might want to go through the review of where project notes “went”, in Appendix E.4, of the user manual. In fact none of the capabilities that were in the previous Project Notes feature are gone, they are just provided through different mechanisms.

In short though, you do want to be in the Bookmarks inspector tab, you just need to switch the toggle at the top from “Document Bookmarks” to “Project Bookmarks”. Now they are available everywhere, and will stay fixed in view as you switch between items. They aren’t linked to anything, save for the project itself.

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Hi BClarke.
Thanks for your reply.

Section E.4 of the User Manual (Windows) says, “Project notes are dead, long live project notes! That’s right, the feature formerly known as Project Notes, a core part of Scrivener since its early Mac-only beta days, is no more”.

It goes on to say, “The good news is that if you’ve benefitted from using them
in the past, then you should (italics mine) find it possible to continue working in a familiar fashion going forward…”

The problem I am experiencing is that I cannot get Notes to stay where they are (to stay open) - hence my question.

Hi AmberV
Many thanks for your reply.

I had been through several different video tutorials and section E.4 in the User Manual before I posted my question, and I have made sure that I have chosen ‘Project Bookmark’, but I cannot find any way to get a Note to stay open when I switch documents in the Binder.

To clarify, I am trying to get a Note in the actual ‘Notes’ section to stay open (icon to the left of the Bookmarks icon), rather than a Bookmark. From my reading of E.4, I suspect that this is no longer possible because the kind of Note function I am talking about has now been assigned to the Bookmarks section, and has changed in terms of steps needed to execute it.

I understand how to create a Bookmark and to get it to say open, but I do not want to do this because because creating a Bookmark to use as a Note (as opposed to typing directly in the Notes section) involves extra steps, such as linking a Bookmark to a file, or searching for (or creating) a file which I then have to add to the Bookmarks in the Inspector.

“Notes” are now exclusively Document Notes, and so they change when the current document does.

Could you explain what you’re trying to do in more detail, please? While it is true that a Project Bookmark takes more work to create initially, the whole point of bookmarking something at the Project level, rather than making a note on an individual document, is that it will be used frequently and in multiple locations. That is, you only need to expend the effort to create it once, and then it is readily available whenever you need it. So, for instance, you might create a “Notes for Next Revision” document, bookmark it, and then use the Project Bookmarks function to add to it as you read through your draft.

For this kind of application, it can be especially helpful to open the note in a Quick Reference pane and enable the Bookmarks sidebar. The sidebar functions as a miniature Binder, allowing you to switch between and create new Bookmarked documents as needed.

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Thanks for your reply, kewms.

Not sure I can explain any clearer than I have already, but I will have a go.

I would like to be able to create a note (without having to go through the steps of creating a Bookmark) so that it is ‘universally viewable’, i.e., that it is always open/viewable (if I choose to make it so), regardless of what docs/folders etc. I have open in the Binder.

From what you and others have said here, I think that my initial understanding of reading (in section E.4 in the User Manual) about the changes/updates to how Notes and Bookmarks now work has been correct - i.e., the previous functionality of a universally displayable note, (which one could just type into directly, without having to ‘set it up’ as one now has to do with a Project Bookmark) no longer exists as it did.

While I realize the Project Bookmark may suit some, for me, those 4, 5, or 6 clicks (plus typing the actual text I want to type) in order to make the Bookmark viewable in multiple locations involves actions and thoughts which actually distract me from my purpose (of creating the note) when I am particularly focused.

There are three ways to have permanently viewable notes:

  • Use the Scratchpad.

  • Have a separate “Notes” document, either in the other half of the Editor or in a Quick Reference pane.

  • Use the Bookmarks list as a miniature Binder to a Quick Reference pane, as described in my last note. Once you’ve done that, you can create new bookmarked documents with a single click.

Thanks very much, kewms :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, as I have said a few times here, the ways you have suggested of going about this do not actually do what I would like to do.

They all involve setting something up first, which is not what I want to do.

I would like to be able to

  1. type directly into the Notes panel (or any other area) and have that Note displayed, regardless of which other documents/folders I click on in the Binder,
  2. without having to set something up, open another panel, click a link, create a file/document/folder, or enable a setting

My understanding is that the Mac version of Scrivener 3 was/is able to do this - hence me asking about whether the new Windows 3 version can do this.

I appreciate your attempts to help, but suggesting other ways of going about something which involve ignoring or contradicting a part of what I have said I would like to do, are really not helpful.

I have noticed that this happens quite a lot here on the forums; someone asks whether something is possible to do a particular way, and rather than just saying ‘No’, and/or acknowledging that certain things cannot be done in certain ways in Scrivener at the moment, suggestions are made to do things in different ways, other than the ones in which the poster has said they are interested .

To be honest, even though I am sure that people answer questions/requests with the best of intentions, at best it is frustrating (and I have seen others express frustration about this, too, not just me), and at times it comes across as condescending.

I am not trying to be rude here, but offer these comments as something that you might want to take into account.

I actually saw one thread in which one of the respondents told the poster that they were wrong to want to do something a particular way. That kind of response is not helpful at all.

Thanks again.

If I needed a permanently viewable note, I would personally use the second option described by kewms. A document that you opened in a quick ref panel can also be made to float on top of the main scrivener window.

You are mistaken. The options in Mac Scrivener 3 are as I described.

Hi @gvdv,

Going through this, I think there may be some confusion on both sides, so I’ll do my best to explain what is possible in Scrivener 3 to achieve what you’re looking for. It may not be exactly what you’re imagining, but I think you can get something very close, and it is the same as what is possible in the Mac version for this. It’s also very similar to what was previously possible with the Project Notes, although they are housed in their own section of the binder now rather than together with the synopsis as previously. You haven’t mentioned needing both simultaneously so I don’t know if that’s a problem for you, but if so then there are some other options we could look at for viewing one or the other.

Basically, the way that project bookmarks work now, they are housed in the binder as regular documents (thus allowing you to do a lot of stuff with them not previously possible–compile them, search their text, link directly to them from other documents, etc.). “Project Bookmarks” is essentially a way of pulling these documents together for viewing, the way you used to be able to have multiple project notes that could be viewed via the dropdown in the inspector or as tabs in the Project Notes window. Now with them as bookmarks, when you go to the bookmarks pane in the inspector and choose “Project Bookmarks” from the toggle at the top, you’ll see the list of items you’ve designated as project bookmarks, either by dragging them into this list or by right-clicking on the item and choosing “Add to Project Bookmarks” (also in the Documents menu).

so then you can see your list of project “notes”:
Any of the notes you select in the list will be displayed in the area below, so this is very like what you got with project notes in the inspector in version 1. You can drag the divider between the list and the text area to adjust the height, and you can load different notes from the list by selecting them, the way you previously could switch between project notes. The selected note will stay visible in that pane in the inspector even as you switch documents in the binder, so you have access to it no matter what you’re working on.

As with the Project Notes in version 1, you can also open the project bookmarks in a separate window. There are multiple ways to do this, but one easy way is to select Project ▸ Project Bookmarks..., which will bring up a little floating panel just listing all the bookmarks, which you can drag into or perform other actions to load the documents different places, and then click the icon in the bottom right of the arrow pointing out of a box. This will open the selected note in a Quick Reference window with the sidebar open to display the list of project bookmarks, similar to the old project notes window with the tabs list of notes. This window can stay open as you work, you can switch between bookmarks, you can hide the bookmarks sidebar to make space by clicking the bookmark icon in the footer, you can adjust the size of the window, etc. Quick Reference panels can be made to float over other windows via Window ▸ Float Quick Reference panels.

From this panel, with the bookmarks sidebar open, you can also create new documents that will be created as regular binder documents but also automatically added to the project bookmarks list. The first time you do this, e.g. by clicking the “+” icon in the lower left, a dialogue will pop up to let you choose where in the binder you want the document to be created, and you can choose then a particular folder to always house them in the future, so you don’t see the prompt every time. The new document will be created and show up in that bookmarks list, and you can title it and start editing just as with the project notes.

So it seems like the only missing piece of what you’re after (as I’m understanding it) is that it is not currently possible to add a new text “notes” document directly from the project bookmarks list in the inspector. To create a new note from there you will need to create the document in the binder or editor, however you’d normally go about it, and then drag it into the bookmark list. (From the editor you can drag the icon in the header into the list.) You can even do this from the inspector list by selecting a current note and using Ctrl+N to create the new document as a sibling in the binder (useful if you keep them all together in a Project Noes folder, for instance), but you will still need to take the additional step of adding it to the bookmarks. The exception is as mentioned above, if you create the new note from the sidebar in the Quick Reference window (and this can be in any Quick Reference window–you’ll note they always have that bookmark icon in the footer, no matter what document you have loaded.) However, these are actually more options than previously possible anyway, because in version 1 you also could not create a new project note document from the inspector: you instead had to open the Project Notes window and create the new document there, after which you could switch among them from the inspector the same as you can now.

That was quite lengthy, I know, but maybe it helped clarify a bit? The items in the project bookmarks list are not linked to any particular document, the way that document bookmarks are; they’re rather just like the version 1 project notes and project references combined into a single list. So while you do have to add your notes documents to the list when you want to create a new one, you can do so from anywhere, regardless of the document loaded in the editor. It’s worth trying this out a bit in your own project to experiment and see how it works.


Often, people ask questions when they are unfamiliar with Scrivener, and therefore may not know what options are available. Often, people with experience in other programs may be familiar with a way of doing things that is relatively clumsy in Scrivener, but Scrivener may offer an alternative solution that actually works better than what they had in mind.

No, Project Notes as you have described them do not exist in Scrivener 3. However, there are numerous ways to “have a note displayed regardless of which other documents I click in the Binder.” While you may consider the necessary setup excessive, other readers of the thread may not. Hence my response.

I know that it doesn’t feel like it, sometimes, but lots of people read the posts in these forums, other than just the original OP and thread participants. Even if the suggestions don’t work for the OP (and many times, they do in fact present a “good enough” alternative), they may work for one of these future readers.

Or, the explanation may help the OP understand how Scrivener works a little bit better, and adjust their expectations/workflow/process in some other way so that they can find another way to meet their needs.

Or, the ensuing discussion can identify a use case that the developers may be interested in actually developing/modifying functionality in order to meet.

We are a community here, not a vacuum.


I found the discussion on this thread useful because it deals with a lot of new features of Scrivener 3 for Windows. Thank you to those who have taken part in it!

With regard to what gvdv is concerned with, it seems to me that the major difference between Scrivener 1 and 3 is that there is a default project note in Scrivener 1, but no default project bookmark in Scrivener 3. Therefore with Scrivener 3 one has to set up some project bookmark before one can write in it (while in Scrivener 1, if one is satisfied with having just one project note per project, one never worries about creating a new project note and giving it a name). However, this could be done, if one wishes, when one creates a project, prior to starting the writing that goes into the project.

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To take that one step further, if one sets up that project bookmark in one’s templates, then when one creates a new project from template – it’s already set up.,

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Thanks: I had actually seen someone say that the Mac version could do this, so I took that at face value because I do not have a currently running Mac to test this on.

Hi comvox,
Thank you.

This is an accurate and succinct summary of what I have been saying/asking, up to the point that you say, “However, this could be done, if one wishes, when one creates a project, prior to starting the writing that goes into the project.”.

Half the point I was making, and I cannot stress this more clearly, is that I DO NOT WISH TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN WRITE STRAIGHT INTO A NOTE!!!

I do not want to have to set up anything when I create a project, or do anything other than type into a Note and have it permanently displayed (until I turn it off, if I choose to do so). So, you have lost half the point I was making.

Thanks, but not what I wanted to do.

I understand, devinganger, I really do.

I have been on forums on the net since the early 90s - when everything was just text, before web pages as we know them now were invented - and I have been a neophyte seeking basic information, so I appreciate that kind of position, and I value it.

However, I my point about this particular part of what I was saying (and here I go saying it yet again) is that people do not need to explain the same thing again and again, particularly when the OP (me in this case) has said (repeatedly) that this information and way of replying is not useful.

It actually creates confusion because a lack of a clear reply to the original question being asked, because people are suggesting something else or different versions of it, stops neophytes who might be interested in the same question (for which they might have specifically searched the forums) from easily seeing an answer; they have to plough through posts which are less relevant or irrelevant.

It is fine for people make the suggestion once, but not endlessly repeating the same thing.