What Collection(s) is this document in

Collections are very useful. Most of the time mine contain documents that need editing or aligning to mae their narrative contents consistent. A few times that means the document is in several different collections. I can’t find a way to see all those collection listings at the same time. When there are 150+ documents and dozens of collections the painstaking click on Collection name and see if document is listed is error prone. How do I see at the same time all the collections that one document is in?

There is currently no way to do that. Can I ask why you want to do this? (I ask not to imply you shouldn’t need to do it but so that I can weigh up the need for a way of doing it and for how it might be done.)

That would explain why I can’t find it. :wink:

Amongst other things I use Collections heavily during review. On finding a narrative discrepancy (“continuity error”) between two or more documents I create a new collection and add all the inconsistent documents to it. Longer documents mean more likelihood of there being multiple inconsistencies so the documents get added to other collections. As the review goes on more documents need to be added to these collections.

If one is making multiple review passes through the same project then there is no way to check if a specific document is already in the relevant collection without explicitly opening the collection and looking. In a project of 150,000 or more words in hundreds of documents those collection content lists can be very long themselves. During revision more documents can be added to a collection as further inconsistencies are discovered.

I realised this was a problem when I added the same document to several collections because of different problems. Then could not remember which other documents were in there.

Some visual feedback of what collections a specific document or documents are in would be really helpful. A context menu option or Inspector panel listing the names of the relevant collections are two possibilities that come to mind immediately. (Personally I think I’d prefer the Inspector panel as it requires no additional interaction from me.)

Thanks for the explanation (sorry for the late reply). I do see why this could be useful, although I don’t think an extra Inspector pane just for this would be the right approach. Let me think about it.

Here’s an alternative approach, which will give you a quick way to check if a document is in a collection…

Instead of manually dragging a document into one or more collections, use keywords to tag a document with multiple problem keywords. For instance, keywords of “InconsistentVoice(Nancy)” and “ContinuityError(ObjectPlacement)” might be added to one multiple documents, while “ContinutyError(Time)” might be added to another set of documents. You would then do a search-based collection on each of those keywords (or just use the search feature of the floating Keywords window) to see all the documents with a given keyword assigned to it. As you fix the issue, you can delete keywords from documents, which would no longer appear in those searches.

Viewing any given document, the keywords assigned to it will be visible in the inspector. You can also add the keywords column to the outline view, and you can see the color associated with each keyword as “chips” in the corkboard view if you enable that (View->Corkboard Options).

If this solution appeals to you, note that you can easily add a keyword to multiple documents in a collection by selecting all of those documents and then dragging the keyword from the floating keyword panel (you get to this from Project->Project Keywords, btw).

Hope that helps!

That could work—especially as I don’t use keywords at the moment. The only downside compared to Collections is the extra step of doing the search (and saving the results as a … collection. Collections give me instant and visual feedback of everything that needs to be revised/aligned/whatever. When the purpose of the collection has been dealt with I remove the documents(s) until none are left when I delete the collection.

If selecting the “save search as collection…” option from the search toolbar is cumbersome, you can just use the “search” button in the keywords floating panel. Then there aren’t any collections to delete (just the keyword, once there aren’t any documents with it assigned).

But if there are no collections then there is no visual feedback that there are (other) items that need attention. Keywords only indicate that the current visible document(s) has/hasn’t got issues.

I’m not sure I understand; if you use the keyword panel’s search button, the search results will show you all of the documents with that keyword. And if you use the outliner column for keywords, you can easily skim an expanded outline of your entire manuscript for documents which still have issues (i.e. documents that still have keywords assigned). But saved searches are as easy to create as regular collections, so you can have your cake and eat it from every angle too.

Another reason I have for using Collections (rather than keywords) for “revision” is compiling the subset of documents that need resolution. Can’t do that with Keywords — without first creating a Search Collection, which requires another step.

Not so, I believe. If you do a search on a keyword and select the resulting set of documents, the dropdown in the Compile dialog should give you “Current Selection” … no collection required.

I wish I could append Robert’s signature, but I have to refrain.

Mr X

That’s true (in this situation) for a search for a specific keyword. However, having collentions each containing the documents that have to be revised for a single criteria is better in my opinion as the entire list of such collections is both visible directly above the Binder and more easily accessed.

When documents have many different issues needing resolution then the collection approach is visually better. And means that nothing gets overlooked whereas keywords require either an inconsistent document to be open as a remembrance that something is wrong, or the user to remember all the keywords they used and conduct searches for them. Complex documents with complex faults could need many unmemorable keyowrds.

To get around those limitations of one-shot searches of course one can save “Search results” as a … collection.