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janra
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Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:04 pm Post

Unless you're using word's outline view differently than I have in the past, wouldn't the headers shown in the outline correspond nicely to Scrivener's binder structure?

I'll freely admit both that I've only ever used word's outline view in this manner, and that I haven't voluntarily used word in years, so if you're doing something different then ignore me :-)

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howarth
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Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:20 pm Post

Well, you've given me a thought. The headers won't automatically show as segments in the binder, but I could select each sub-head and use the Documents: Split at Selection command. Or is there a way to do that more auto-magically? Thanks.

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AmberV
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Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:42 pm Post

Not all at once, no, but to make the process of splitting a bit easier, there is this method:
  1. Select the header text in the document you are splitting.
  2. Press Cmd-Opt-K (instead of Cmd-K), or choose Split with Selection as Title, from the Documents menu.
For those sections you've already split off, there is the handy keyboard short-cut, Cmd-Opt-Shift-T, which sets the current selection as the title.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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brett
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Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:18 pm Post

I may not be understanding what you're trying to do here (this happens a lot when I read about other peoples' working methods), so apologies in advance if this isn't relevant. But the way I use Scrivener to outline is just to make every outline point (including its content) a separate Scrivener document. Sometimes that means I have only a paragraph or two in a document. But what I'm gradually learning is that I seldom work on anything more than a single block of text at a time.

When I'm ready to work on longer stretches of text, I "Edit Scrivenings." Sometimes I go back and forth between there and invidual document views. Then export and polish etc. This is, of course, one of Keith's conceptual foundations for Scrivener, but it did take me awhile to get used to it.

At first this seemed kind of, well, wasteful, having so many little text fragments. But in fact, for me, seeing those points arranged hierarchically in the binder, with the text of what I'm working on displayed simultaneously in the window, accomplishes the same thing as a Word or OmniOutliner outline.

Admittedly, this feels a bit clunkier than the elegant simplicity of OmniOutliner. In the past, if I were just cranking out a short document, I'd just go with OO. I might still do that occasionally. But now that I've worked with Scrivener enough, I'm even starting to use it for little 800 word columns, not just big stories. It's starting to feel natural.

Related question: maybe I should be using Scrivener's Outliner view more? It's odd, for someone like me who cannot function without outlining, that I rely entirely on the Binder and never use the Outliner at all. Surely I'm missing something here. How are y'all using it, and what does it offer that the Binder view doesn't?

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AmberV
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Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:39 pm Post

Well, for one thing if you are using Outliner, you could type your short paragraph sized entries into the Synopsis field. Using this method, you wouldn't even see the text editor until you've finished outlining. The nice thing about this method is that your working data is all on the same level of visibility. You needn't go back and forth between Edit Scrivenings and editing structure in the Binder, because the summary outline data and the outline are integrated together.

If you do want to use the text entered in the Synopsis, you can just copy and past it into the editor when it gets to that point. If you set up Scrivener so that it is split horizontally, click the auto-synchronise button on the Outliner view, and reduce the number of visible columns down to maybe say: Type, Synopsis, and Title -- you'll have a setup pretty close to OmniOutliner with the notes field open.

-- Keith, this makes me wonder if perhaps a reverse mechanism would be of use? We have some nice ways of getting data into the Synopsis, but nothing really for getting it out. What if Option-clicking the dots prepended the text into the editor?
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Ioa Petra'ka
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alexwein
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Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:44 pm Post

brett wrote:I'm actually contemplating dropping DevonNote, an app that's been extremely useful to me for three years, and just putting all my info in Scriv....I know this community teems with Devon-tees, so if anyone wants to warn me away from my apostasy, please do so soon. I'll report back here if I change my mind; maybe I'm overlooking something.


Warn you away, no. Actually I'm envious. If I didn't house a gazillion (at least) files et al in DT, I too would port everything into its relevant Scr. file. I actually started to move in this direction but my Scr. project files got huge and unweildy, and it really didn't work because a lot of the info I was storing wasn't always that relevant to the project(s) I was working on.

So, all of it went back to DT Pro and I have tried to really keep only what is essential to the project in Scr. and the rest nicely organized in DT. It's been working pretty well. DTP is still the best at what it does. It handles large volumes of information better than any other program I've seen thusfar.

But if I could, I'd do what you are suggesting here Brett. It would simiplify things and that's always a good thing for me!
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brett
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:15 am Post

Thanks to my fellow Portlandians. I can see now how using the outliner would help organize scenes in long stories. Not sure it will help much in shorter pieces.

I guess at some point I really need to give the Corkboard a try, too, since that's everyone's favorite feature, and I even used to recommend to my students that they try storyboarding in narrative nonfiction pieces. But so far, for me, the Binder has been fine for organizing my material, even when I'm writing action scenes in a long narrative. Maybe it's just the way my mind works? Very cool that Scrivener can suit so many different ways of story structuring.
I wonder: are nonfiction writers using Corkboard and Outliner as much fiction writers among us?
As for abandoning Devon, so far so good. We'll see what happens when I return to my book, which has several hundred virtual notecards already. Will report back when I finally decide.

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AmberV
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:59 pm Post

I am currently working on a nonfiction, and have found the cards to be useful for cases when I have a lot of little research notes. Rather than dumping them into a one file, I dump them into a bunch of Synopsis fields so I can load them all up at once in a split -- actually using them like actual index cards, in other words. They do not have any content or meta-data or anything, they are just Synopsis cards.
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Lord Lightning
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:01 pm Post

These are all really excellent ideas. I have struggled through most of them. As Keith pointed out elsewhere you can now upload attachments (of 1MB or less) to the forum.

So what I am suggesting are screengrabs of these solutions. It would make it all so much easier to understand.

I need it in 'duckies and horsies' to grasp it.

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ExecutiveEditor
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:14 am Post

brett wrote:I wonder: are nonfiction writers using Corkboard and Outliner as much fiction writers among us?


Nope--not at all. Then again, I was never much for real index cards, either.

Scott

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janra
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:46 am Post

brett wrote:Thanks to my fellow Portlandians. I can see now how using the outliner would help organize scenes in long stories. Not sure it will help much in shorter pieces.

[...]

I wonder: are nonfiction writers using Corkboard and Outliner as much fiction writers among us?


I do, and even for short pieces.

My usual method for writing nonfiction is 1) brainstorm everything I want to talk about; 2) group by topic; 3) sort into a logical flow; 4) write.

I put the items I thought of in #1 onto index cards when I group them in #2, then shuffle the cards around on the corkboard during #3, and finally write the text in the file associated with the card. A quick ES session to make sure the document flows as a whole, and I just have to edit. I'll even do this for articles as short as 500 words - if I'm talking about more than one topic, it helps keep me focussed.

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brett
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:50 am Post

Thanks, janra. This is exactly how I use the Binder. Maybe that's easier for me because I'm used to the vertical, hierarchical structure of an outline. I'll have to give it a try in the corkboard and see how it works.

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James
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:10 am Post

brett wrote:I wonder: are nonfiction writers using Corkboard and Outliner as much fiction writers among us?

I’m a nonfiction writer (well, I use Scrivener for my nonfiction writing) and, thus far, I’ve not made much must of the outliner and coarkboard features. Then again, I’m still on my first draft and I tend not to revise contents until I’m finished with the whole book. I expect it may be useful when I go back through for the second draft when I may need, frequently, to find that specific point in the novel when a certain event took place. For this reason alone I’ve managed the text behind these features carefully.
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.â€

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peterdcox
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Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:33 pm Post

brett wrote:I wonder: are nonfiction writers using Corkboard and Outliner as much fiction writers among us?


Yes - it's a major use for me - I am currently writing a workbook/training manual, plus a huge research report. I'm a mind/mapper by nature so the outliner is v important. Now a visual mind map as well (or links to ...) would be great. But it's the link between the corkboard/outliner and synopisis and - often very large data/files - that helps make Scrivener so special.

Still scratching at the potential though ......