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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.

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