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  1. Reply

    This is so over my head, but I appreciate the information anyway. I’ve never fussed with Scrivner that much. I made it look pretty and organize appropriately and I’m good.

    • Reply

      I’ll have some less “scary” topics coming soon. Gotta get something in for everyone, and I covered a lot of the basics in the 1.x posts. I’ll go back and revisit those topics that need an update too. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to cover.

      • Reply

        Nope. I think I’m good. I loved your post about keywords, though. I started using that feature a few weeks ago after reading it. 🙂


  2. Reply

    Hi Gwen – found you via the Scrivener FaceBook page. Thanks for the tutorial.

    As for coverage ideas, would love to see a post on setting up a project, i.e., creating templates, structure, etc. Yes, it’s a fairly straightforward feature, but it can be a powerful one taken to the extremes. The recent NaNoWriMo template the Scrivener people made is a good example.


  3. Tony Carson


    Interesting that Scrivener can do this, but equally helpful would be to explain WHY to use this customized field.

    Here’s one reason:

    Say you’re writing a long piece with multiple text files in the binder. In outline view you can track the plot developments, but if you add a ‘when’ or ‘where’ or watever meta-data column, you can also track those in the outline view, as well, thus you have a much more functioning planning outliner right in Schivener.

  4. Pingback: Using Meta-Data, Labels, Colors, Keywords, etc. | The Narrative Breakdown

  5. Reply

    Wah, I had no idea you could do that! Brilliant stuff.
    I only started seriously using Scrivener for my current WIP, prior to that I just kinda messed around with it and used it like Word. Ha! Now I know the cool things it can do I’ll probably use it forever.

    I don’t know if it matters, but is this guide for the Mac version or the PC one?

    • Reply

      Ileandra: This particular topic is currently applicable only to the Mac, though Windows is supposed to catch up by the end of the year. In my newer posts, I’ve tried to include instructions for both. Have fun! 🙂

  6. Reply

    Using Scrivener for Windows. Not seeing the Custom-Meta-Data in either the Tool Bar/Project or Inspector lower footer/tool/setting. Is this something that is only available to Mac?

    • Reply

      SSpjut: Sorry, this post was written before the Windows version was released. For right now, Custom Meta-Data is still Mac only, but should be coming soon to PC. Have you tried keywords?

  7. Reply

    I have. Playing around with ways to utilize it for identifying POV and search. Also, trying to set Formatting ‘preset’, but can’t locate that in either the Format Bar or Tool/Options. Is that also a ‘Mac’ only?

  8. Pingback: Scrivener for Windows gets an awesome update (1.7.1) | Gwen Hernandez

  9. Reply

    What I can’t figure out is when should I use keywords and when custom metadata? I started in keywords because I was on Windows, but as I look through custom metadata, I can’t figure out the pros/cons of one over the other.

    • Reply

      Liana: Keywords are best for repeating values. So let’s say you were tracking the scene purpose, and each scene might have more than one (e.g. present a story question, raise the stakes, move a character arc forward). Keywords beat out Label or Status because those can only hold one value. They also beat out custom meta-data because with custom meta-data you have to type in the value from scratch every time and you might make a data-entry error.

      So, that leads me to custom meta-data. I think it’s best when you want to attach something to your document as meta-data, but the value will–or could be–different for every document. One of the best examples I’ve seen is to use custom meta-data for a To Do list. You type into the text box whatever needs to be done for that document (e.g. research tree frogs, come up with better opening hook, contact XYZ Co for permission to use their brand). Then the values are visible in the Outliner view, where you can see all of your documents and their values in one place. Hope that helps!

    • Reply

      Hi, Craig. To add keywords to more than one file at a time, open the Project Keywords window (Project–>Show Project Keywords). Select the desired files in the Binder (or search results list), then drag the keyword onto any of the selected files.

      While you can’t do something similar for custom meta-data fields, what I recommend is viewing the Draft folder (or the multiple selection of files in the search results list) in Outline view (choose View–>Outline). Click the small down arrow button at the far right of the Outline header to select your custom meta-data field so it shows as a column in the Outliner. Then you can go down the line editing the field value. Hope that helps!

      • Reply

        Many thanks, Gwen (though in my Windows version it doesn’t work to drag a key word to the Binder, only to the search results in the main window.

        Also, is there a way to number the items in the binder? I’d love to have dynamically numbered chapters without having to compile to see them.

  10. Reply

    Craig: Sorry, I didn’t have my PC in front of me to test and didn’t realize dragging keywords to a search results list wouldn’t work. It does work for PC to drag onto selected items in the Binder when not viewing search results.

    Unfortunately, the only way to number the Binder items is to give them a number manually in the title.

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