Simply Scrivener Tutorials for Scrivener Users Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:44:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Accessing Your Research With One Click Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:44:58 +0000 Hey there! Today I’m at Literature and Latte’s blog. Take a peek at Accessing Your Research With One Click. You’ll learn how to organize all your images, videos, and PDFs. Take a peek.

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The Low Down on Backing Up Fri, 15 Jun 2018 18:22:11 +0000 I’m back at Literature and Latte! Today, I share why backing up is so important and where to find your Scrivener backs up in case you encounter a technical glitch as I did. Take a peek at The Low Down on Backing Up.

Developing Your Structure with Scrivener Tue, 29 May 2018 15:04:34 +0000 Hey there! Today I’m at Literature and Latte discussing how I developed my binder’s structure using the Sokoloff Method. Stop by and drop me a comment!

Writing History: A Wakeup Call Mon, 30 Apr 2018 18:34:01 +0000 “I write daily.” This is a statement I often hear from writers. In fact, I’ve uttered it myself. But what do you write? A Facebook post? A Tweet? A grocery list? Are you slaving away at your work in progress? If you need a wakeup call of how much time you’ve put into your WIP, check out Scrivener’s Writing History feature.

The folks at Literature and Latte know how obsessive writers are about their word counts, hours spent actually writing (not researching, or ruminating about a scene while walking the dog or scrubbing the kitchen floor, but actually butt in chair, fingertips on the keypad typing out words). You can find Writing History  Under Projects in the menubar. Once you’ve clicked on it a popover window will slide open that shows an astonishing amount of data that will either make you feel like an accomplished writer or a dismal failure.

When I reviewed my numbers I was dismayed because I’ve been productive, or so I thought. After examining the data, I see that this feature has counted the words I deleted, how many new ones I wrote while I revised and rewrote a chapter as well as the dry spell  (I am muddling through the middle of my WIP).

Having said that let’s take a look and see what these numbers means.

First off, on the top right hand corner you either show your history in words or characters. Below that you’ll see the number of days you’ve written in that particlar project and any changes that were made—words added or word deleted. Below that, you’ll average words written per day in the draft folder or anywhere else in the binder and the total of the two.

In the window below, there’s the option to select Months Only, Days Only and Months and Day. The default when you first open this feature is Months and Day so we’ll stick to that.  You’ll see the Date the project was opened with the columns of Words written in the Draft Folder, Elsewhere, and the total. Note that March 2018 is bolded that’s the total for the entire month. Negative numbers indicate words that were deleted from your text.

Select a month, April in this example, and you’ll see that I only wrote five days during the entire month. I can select the maximum words I wrote in a day or the average, or minimum. For April  I wrote  46 words with the maximum in a day of 53 words; elsewhere I wrote 1,575 with a maximum in a day  of 1,269. The grand total for the month is 1,621 and the maximum in a day of 1,269.

If you want to access this writing history elsewhere, Scrivener provides the option of exporting the data into an .CSV file that you can open in Excel or another spreadsheet program.

Final thoughts? Yikes! Time to stop saying “I write every day” and actually write!

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Emoting with Emojis Sat, 31 Mar 2018 18:44:56 +0000 As you all know by now I love my visuals. I liberally use icons to replace folders that act as a visual representation of the contents of that container. So you might be surprised that I’m not a big fan of emojis. Yes, sometimes I use a smiley face or a heart, but in general I keep my emoting strictly to words.

But I recently started using emojis such as the check mark, which simply tells me the task is complete and it’s been checked off my list or calendar. But what if you want to have some indication that a chapter or scene takes place outside of the United States? For example, let’s say I have a chapter where my main character finds the true story behind a piece of artwork. I can write a pithy headline like TNT Man’s Story, but it doesn’t provide any indication of where this might take place. I don’t want to change the document icon what I want is a visual aid that  not take space in the binder. I have some options that I could use such as creating a label that indicates the scene takes place in France, but I also want to keep my POV label so that doesn’t work. I could create a Collection of “Scenes that take place in Paris” that’s a strong contender, but what I really want is something to give me a distinct visual cue.

Enter the emoji.

All you need to do is write a short descriptive title, add an emoji, et voilà!

To an outsider these might not mean anything, but I know exactly what each one symbolizes. So now I have a quick visual indicator in the binder, but also in the Inspector:

In Outline Mode:

In Corkboard mode:

And even in Scrivenings mode:

You can also use emojis in your editing process with specific symbols. ❌ can indicate a deleted scene; a scene that doesn’t move the story forward and drags on can have the international symbol for sleeper 💤; a scene that has no business to be in your story can be marked as NG (no good or 🆖). These are ways that you can get creative with editing that tells you right up front that document’s status in the editing process.

Check ✔️ Thu, 22 Mar 2018 17:32:27 +0000 I recently started to play around with the new checkbox option found in custom metadata and figure out how I would use it in Outline mode. After some fiddling with it, I came up with a system that I think works very nicely.

To create your custom metadata, show the Inspector and select the tag icon in the Inspector’s header. You can create this from any point in your WIP. It will carry over to all documents. I chose Chapter 1 because that made sense to me.

Once I had the custom metadata pane open, I clicked on the “Set Up Custom Metadata…” button.


A new window aka Project Settings opened:

As you can see, Custom Metadata is already selected. To create a new metadata title, click on the plus sign icon. A field will open; type in the title. Below select the type of metadata you want either Text, CheckBox, List, or Date. In this case, I’ve selected Checkbox. After I’ve created my series of checkboxes this is how it looks in Project Settings and in the Inspector.

Next step is to see how it looks in outline mode. I’ve selected all the chapter/scenes in the first sequence of the WIP and selected the columns I want to include in Outline mode by going to the arrow in the outliner’s header to the right, selecting the columns headers I want to include.

And this is the final outcome:

Now, if you want to print it, you have a few choices:

You can export it as an Excel sheet. Note that you will not have checkboxes or the colored labels denoting POV. To export it, go to File->Export->Outliner Contents as CSV. This is how it will look once it’s cleaned up:

Another way to print it is via Page Set Up and Print Current Document. Go to File->Page Setup. Select Scrivener in the Dropdown menu.

That will open a tabbed section. Select Outlines:

Check off what you want to include in the printed copy and hit click OK. After that select File->Print Current Document. This is the result:

A couple of things to note: Each Chapter header is colorized with character POV. The synopsis is directly below. The checkboxes disappear, but we can see the status for each heading.

The final way to print out the outline is via Compile. Go to File->Compile->Full Indented Outline or Outline Document. I used Outline Document. You will not get the checkboxes just the synopsis of the chapter or scene.

Compiling in Scrivener 3 is easier than Scrivener 2. I strongly recommend you watch the video tutorials offered by Literature and Latte found on YouTube, and play around with Section Layouts.



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Tab, You’re it! Sat, 17 Mar 2018 19:50:37 +0000 If you’re like me and use Scrivener for multiple writing projects, you might have several  projects open at any given moment. I tend to have the WIP always open, as well as the writing and editing project, and the blog project  so I can go back and forth during the day and not have to close them out. I can minimize the window and then stumble around in the dock to find the one I want to work on.

I didn’t notice this until a few weeks ago when I was desperately searching for a project in the dock but when you have multiple projects open, instead of having to minimize the project, you can switch by clicking on the tab that indicates the project you want to to work on (think of tabs in your browser).

I learned from the Literature and Latte forums this isn’t a new Scrivener feature, but one from MacOS that has been integrated into Scrivener and other applications (it also shows up in my Mail app since I keep several emails open to respond). If you prefer to have each project as its own separate window you can turn it off. Simply go to System Preferences ->Dock -> Prefer tabs when opening documents and choose Manually or In Full Screen Only.

Personally, I like using the tabs because when I’m working on Scrivener Tutorials and need to take screenshots of projects to illustrate the tutorial it’s easier and quicker, but it’s up to you to decide whether this is a convenient feature or not.

Creating a Template for Your Best-Selling Novel Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:44:23 +0000 Do you like templates? I like templates. I like templates because it allows me to get creative with all the pretty icons. But it also helps me figure out the structure of my next opus. Some people might consider logging this into “writing time” but let’s be honest and call it creative procrastination.

I thought today’s lesson will be all about creating a template that you might want to use for your own writing project(s). Now, there are many templates floating around the internet that you can download and “borrow” certain elements from them, but let’s avoid that today and really create one from scratch. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and see what beauty of a template we can create.

The first step is to open a new Scrivener project. Go to File->New Project. Select the blank template and title it. I named it:  Rebeca’s Bestselling Opus Template.

Why use “Bestselling”? For inspiration. You name it whatever you please, but be creative and set the mood. Now I saved mine on the desktop and once I have it to my satisfaction, I’ll transfer it over to Dropbox so I can access it for the iPad. Currently, we have the standard blank template where you see Draft. Beneath it is a blank and untitled document and below that is the Research Folder and the Trash bin.

The default icons don’t do much for me so I will change them. Draft will become a scarlet book and the Research folder will be a blue file cabinet.

If you don’t remember how to change an icon take a peek at Pretty Little Icons Sittin’ in a Row post.

In that same post, you’ll see that I had structured my WIP using Alexandra Sokoloff’s method found in Screenwriting Tricks for Novelists.  I love this structure. Of all the templates I’ve tried this has worked for me. That part of the template will remain the same. HOWEVER, it’s the prep work and research section that needs help. Having said that I renamed the Research folder to Prep Work and Research.

Now comes the hard part. I’ve created a folder called the Core Structure of Opus. Beneath it I’ve added seven elements: Character, Constriction, Desire, Focal Relationship, Resistance, Adventure/Chaos. Change, and Premise*. I started adding a several icons that would represent each image, but decided that I wanted it to look less cartoonish and be more representative of what I would have in the real world, which would be a series of Moleskines in different colors.  The only icons I used that are more symbolic is a calendar for the Timeline and the Pinterest icon for the Image Gallery.  This is what it all looks like:

Now that I have it all set up, it’s time to turn it into a template. I go to File->Save As Template. A New Project Template window will slide open. Type in the title of the template, select the category, and choose an icon from the dropdown menu. Or, you can do as I did and select a custom icon. Click OK.

The final step is to check if it actually saved. Go back to File->New Project. When the New Project Screen appears and check to see where you saved it. Here’s mine:


And that’s how you create a new template that you can use over and over again that will inspire you to write a bestselling novel.

*You can read more about this in The Writer.

]]> Bookmarks’ Viewing Options Sat, 03 Feb 2018 20:30:03 +0000 I’m in the process of writing the 31 Days of Scrivener Workbook.This is the same course I teach to various groups and individuals. I plan to sell it on this site sometime in the near future (I’m constantly tweaking the images and format). As a preview, I thought I’d show you some neat tricks of this new feature. Specifically, how to view each of the documents. I was so impressed at what it’s capable of doing that I wanted to use it immediately. And so, here I am to show you (and to play around with it some more while I procrastinate to take the dogs out).

If you’re not in the know, Bookmarks replaced References. The concept is similar to the bookmarks you create on your browser, but in this case—like References—you can create bookmarks from websites, internally from your Scrivener project, from other programs that support internal links (DevonThink Pro, for example), and from your hard drive.

For this tutorial, I won’t get into the step-by-step process of creating each of these bookmarks because if you used References in the past you can figure it out pretty quickly. But, I will go into detail with lots of pictures of all the viewing options. And let me quote Christopher Walken’s character in The Continental “Wowee, wow, wow.”

I created my bookmarks under Project Bookmarks. To get to Project Bookmarks, just toggle the up and down arrows in the header. In this section, I have notes I created, an image I saved in my gallery of visuals I created for inspiration, and three PDFs, links fron DevonThink Pro or saved in a file on my hard drive, and a website.  Here’s what I’m working with:

A few things to note: each of the icons represents its format. The lined text is a document, the globe a website, the red and white file is a PDF, an image a photo and the Preview icon is the now default for PDFs.

I’ve expanded the Bookmarks area by hovering over the edge with my cursor and dragging it over towards the Corkboard. Now I can pretty much see what the document file shows and can keep reading by using the scroll bar, but I want to see what other options I have for viewing.

Let’s take a looksy at what the screen looks when I select Open in Other Editor:

Now let’s try looking at two documents from Bookmarks side-by-side. Select Open in Other Editor and this is what you get:

Now here comes the part where copyholders come into place. Click on one of the editors and from the gear button select View on Current Editor’s Copyholder.


And finally to blow your mind, select another document or images, go to the gear button and select View on Other Editor’s Copyholder.

You can also open a Bookmark in Quick Reference, which will open a floating window with the document.

Or open with an external editor, which opens in Preview (at least it does on my laptop).

Play around with all the different variations. If you have a large monitor, it makes a lot of sense to use if you’re going back and forth between research and writing.

Paste and Match Style Sat, 06 Jan 2018 16:46:12 +0000 Last Thursday, after I finished writing some copy for a client, I exported my Scrivener document as .docx to Word, resulting, much to my chagrin, with the text running off the page. I figured that to preserve the formatting I need to export it as .rtf.  The text opened in Nisus Writer Pro and it still seemed off. Why?

After several exporting attempts, going to Preferences, figure out my settings, fiddling, and setting everything back to default, I re-exported the document for both rtf and docx, and I still experienced the same snafu.

I went to the Scrivener User’s community and told them what had occurred, and after much back and forth answering questions by a member, I finally figured out the issue: I had copied a marketing letter from an AWeber email and pasted it into my Scrivener project so I could work on a follow-up version. What I hadn’t realized was I copied the text from hidden text blocks.

To avoid pulling your hair out of your head as I did, there’s a simple solution: Paste and Match Style. Simply copy the text you want in Scrivener, go to Edit->Paste and Match Style and voila! To be honest, this was a reminder for me, I’ve used it in the past in Word, but never in Scrivener. When you use Paste and Match Style what happens is that you lose all the formatting from the original source and when you paste it, the application picks up the formatting characteristics (font, spacing, margins, etc) from its destination—in this case, my Scrivener project.

That’s the easy solution, but I had to know why it was happening and if there was another way to fix it. Because it was a text block, Word was translating it as a giant cell.

You’ll see that a small square with an arrowed plus sign indicates it’s a cell (a text block in this case). To fix the run-off, go to the Tables->Tables Layout tab, click on Autofit->Autofit to Contents. But it’s still a giant cell and it will continue to cause formatting issues. To convert that into text, go to the menubar select Table->Convert->Table to Text. And now you’re done.

However, to avoid all of these steps simply use Paste and Match Style and use it liberally whether it’s text from the internet, a word document, an email, or a PDF file. You’ll avoid wasting time on formatting and save yourself from having a bald spot.

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