Don't miss a freebie, deal, or new release.Join Now!
banner with headshot and name

Tech Tuesday: Binder features in Scrivener

While checking out the Scrivener help recently, I came across some handy commands for the Binder–you know, the list of folders and files that appears along the left side of the Scrivener screen. I hope you find these as useful as I did.


  • For contiguous selection, use the shift key
  • For non-contiguous selection, use the cmd key

Duplicate/Simple Duplicate – This useful feature allows you to make a replica of a document, or a folder that will retain the settings and contents of the original. In a recent post, I recommended creating a copy of a scene before you revise it. The Duplicate feature is a quick, easy way to do it. It's also great when making a structure of chapter folders that have the same properties (like when preparing a new project, or creating a template).

Duplicate – Will make a complete copy of a document/folder and all of its subdocuments, and add “copy – #” to the end of the new file.

  • Select the file/folder you want to duplicate.
  • From the Documents menu, select Duplicate.

Simple Duplicate – Same as Duplicate, but will not copy any subdocuments, or provide a distinguishing title to the new file.

  • Select the file/folder you want to duplicate.
  • From the Documents menu, select Simple Duplicate.

Group Files – If you don't like to group your scenes into chapters until you're done with the MS, this feature is for you. It will take the selected files and group them together into a new folder, all ready for you to name.

  • Select the files/folders you'd like to combine into one folder.
  • From the Documents menu, select Group.
  • Enter the folder name on the highlighted line.

Change the Label/Status of >1 document at a time – I've already talked about how to customize the Label and Status menus, but here's a helpful way to apply a Label or Status to more than one document at a time.

  • Select the files/folders to which you'd like to apply a new Label or Status.
  • Right-click (or ctrl + click for Mac) on the selection.
  • Point to the Label (or Status) menu item, and choose the value you'd like to apply.

Tint the Binder icons – This changes the file/folder icons in the Binder from white, to their Label color. It provides a quick visual reference. I use Labels for POV so I can quickly tell whose point of view a scene is in when this feature is turned on.

  • From the View menu, choose Tint Icons With Label Color

At the bottom of the Binder is a button that looks like a gear. If you press that, you'll get a useful menu that includes several of the items discussed above.

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

[give_form id=”11643″ show_title=”false”]

Tell your friends!


  1. Reply

    Always good information. Thank you. A question. It sounds like Scrivener has a feature, maybe labels, that will allow me to place a “marker” between the introduction and the next scene. Or, between one scene and the next. i.e.

    word word word word
    Next set of words

    • Reply

      Do you mean when you export to Word or to print? Or do you mean just within Scrivener?

      In the first case, you can set this up in File, Compile Manuscript. And in fact, I believe the # mark is the default separator between files.

      If you mean within Scrivener, what I do is separate each scene into its own file within a chapter folder (or just under the Manuscript container). Then, when you compile it and export to Word, if you have it setup in Compile Manuscript, the # marks will show between each scene.

      Did that answer your question?

      • Reply

        Thank you. I appreciate the help. While I am at it I was also wondering if there might be a marker of some kind that could label a transition between one thing and the next within the text that I could just drop in and later go back and use the search feature to find without having to break the flow as I write.

        Usually what happens to me as I write, when the section I am working on ends that end will actually suggest the next section and it propels me into it. This results in a piece where every word from first to last is connected to every other word in the piece.

        This is no issue in a 2000 word article. But, in a 50,000 word book it can pose some real problems finding those breaks without having to read the whole thing.

        I promise to hush for awhile after this.

        Ya’ll are cool people here. While I’m not writing Romance the folks here seem like people I can make myself accountable to in a “check in” manner and get done what I need to do. I’ve already learned from Gwen that writing a couple of books at once ain’t but a thang.

        Thank you.

  2. Reply

    I’ll get back to you on that writing two books at once “thang”. 😉

    Okay, as far as place marking goes, I use something uncommon, like ZZZ to mark a spot for later. I usually do this so I don’t forget about areas that need research, or marking a paragraph that I want to add/edit, but don’t know what to write at that moment.

    When you’re done with the whole MS, you can go back and find your ZZZ spots and use the Split feature to break your long file into separate files for each scene if you want. Check out for more on that.

    I have on my list to do a Tech Tuesday about the search function. Maybe I’ll tackle it next week.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and our little community!

  3. Christine


    Okay, I seriously need a one on one session with a learn by doing instruction! You are so good at explaining all of this in writing, but I still need remedial help.

  4. Jennifer


    I have been trying out how to change the color of the icons for MONTHS. After much, much, much annoyed Googling, I found your ridiculously simple way to tint. I feel like a complete idiot. But a grateful idiot that I finally found your blog. Thank you so much!!

  5. Pingback: Make Scrivener work for you « The Edited Life

  6. Pingback: Writing a screenplay in Scrivener « The Edited Life

  7. Pingback: How I Write With Scrivener: Binder Feature, Part 1 | Live With Courage

  8. Denise


    Damned if I can highlight multiple labels in the Binder. So many lost hours days months. Worthless bloody program it is.

    • Reply

      Hi, Denise. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had trouble with the program. Scrivener may not be for everyone.

      As far as selecting multiple items in the Binder, if you’re on a Mac, you can use Shift+click to select contiguous files or Command+click for noncontiguous files. On a PC, it’s Shift+click for contiguous and Ctrl+click for noncontiguous.

  9. Denise


    lot of mint tea and chocolate and you want a donation? You can’t even help. I’ve been at this for MONTHS and add 200.00 bucks an hour lost over 6 months. You should be donating to me. Because you certainly do not give your time or help. I see you answer others with “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” Christ. DONOT BUY SCRIVENER.

    • Reply

      Denise: I’m not affiliated with the developers of Scrivener, so if you have issues with the software, I’d recommend you contact Literature & Latte directly. I hope you find something that works for you.

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.