Corks: possible to add text directly to underlying document?

Ma
Maimonides_Mozart
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:39 pm Post

Okay, this may seem a little convoluted and perhaps I'm trying to bend Scrivener too far to fit my idiosyncratic workflow, but is it possible to add text to a cork's document? I know that you can edit the synopses of a cork when it is selected, but can text be added to the underlying document itself?

I know that you can click on the double arrow icon to "automatically open selection in other editor", but this does not allow you to add text to the cork's document directly from the cork itself. Selecting the cork only lets you add text to the synopses.

The reason for asking this question: I work on my writing projects by opening a word processing document and writing anything that comes to mind that is related to the project (stream of consciousness). This usually results in 30-60 pages of notes with absolutely no organization. In the pre-Scrivener days :D I would go through this document and write each individual thought/idea on a notecard and then organized the notecards into separate sections.

When I tried to do this in Scrivener, I split the view in two (vertical) and opened the unedited 60 page document on the top split (locked it). I then created 3 folders in the Binder (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) and put separate subdocument into each folder (Chapter 1, 2, 3, etc). I tried to go through the unedited document on the top split and drag each idea directly into the individual corks that I created, but the text could only be added to the cork's synopses, and not to the underlying document itself. The ability to add text to the cork's underlying document would have made this process extremely easy to do, but I could not do it this way.

I ended up selecting each section in the unedited document and dragging it into the binder to create its own document, but then I couldn't see the entire structure that I originally created (the folders and sub-documents). Is there a way to do this?

I also could not reorganize folders from the Binder. Whenever I dragged a folder I could not place it below another folder, it would only go inside the other folder. I know that you can do this from the outline view, but I could not do it from the Binder itself (works with subdocuments).

Thanks.

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KB
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:57 pm Post

Unless I misunderstand you, to add to text to the corkboard document, just switch to text mode using the View mode in the toolbar. A folder is no different to a text document except for its icon and default view mode.

All the best,
Keith
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Ma
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:15 pm Post

KB wrote:Unless I misunderstand you, to add to text to the corkboard document, just switch to text mode using the View mode in the toolbar.


This is not what I'm talking about (and I mentioned the ability to add text to the notecards in the editor in my original post). My question is whether you can add text to the document directly from the cork board notecards for the reasons given in my original post.

I guess my wish is that the cork board could be used directly to add text to the synopsis and to the document itself from the individual notecards without having to switch to text editor. This would allow me to organize and add text to the notecards directly from a large text document in the Binder to the individual notecards (in split view).

I don't know if this is a good idea or not but it seems to make sense (to me at least) that users should be able to add text not only to the synopsis of the cards but also to the linked text file itself directly from the individual notecards. Maybe clicking on the top line of the notecard can allow you to input the title and synopsis for the notecard and clicking on the section below that line (the body of the notecard) would add text directly to the text file.

Let me know if this is still unclear.

Thanks.

al
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:48 pm Post

Have you tried the Scrivener Scratch Pad for this?

Like so:

1 Open your ideas doc in your favorite word processor (not Scrivener).
2 Copy a section to the clip board.
3 Paste the section to the Scrivener Scratch Pad.
4 Use the Scrivener Scratch Pad button "Send file to Scrivener" and its "Append Text To" feature to append the section to one of your text files in Scrivener.
Repeat 2, 3, 4 as needed.
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KB
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:57 pm Post

No, this is not possible and never will be because the index cards are for showing the synopses of the associated documents. Please refer to the tutorial, help manual or tutorial videos for more information on the relationship between index cards and text documents if this isn't clear, or feel free to ask for further clarification, of course.
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Ma
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:19 pm Post

KB wrote:No, this is not possible and never will be because the index cards are for showing the synopses of the associated documents. Please refer to the tutorial, help manual or tutorial videos for more information on the relationship between index cards and text documents if this isn't clear, or feel free to ask for further clarification, of course.


I've read the manual and viewed all of the tutorials and this is why I posted the question. I know this cannot be currently done and I know what the current relationship between notecards and text documents currently is. I'm asking that relationship to be enhanced and expanded. But this will never will be changed? You're a developer, so I guess never means never, but the feature that I described makes sense in the context that I described it. I really see no reason why users should not be able input text into the underlying text file from the notecards themselves. This would be an added feature that would supplement the ability to add text to the synopsis and would make outlining and editing a lot simpler.

almansur does exactly what I'm trying to do so he obviously understood the nature of the problem I described. However, it would require me to open the scratch pad, switch between Scrivener and Word, copy, paste into scratch pad, send to the specific section, and repeat this for everything contained in a 60 page document. All of this could be done within Scrivener itself if the ability to directly add text to the notecard's text document was available.

Feature request: the ability to add text to the text file directly from the notecards. If this does not any any sense then I guess it should never be implemented as you stated. Fair enough.

Thanks for the reply and thanks for the tip almansur.

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KB
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:56 pm Post

It makes no sense in the context of Scrivener - this is just not what index cards are intended for. They are divorced from the text, and having them essentially be just other portals onto the main text would undermine one of my main motivations for creating Scrivener in the first place. If typing into index cards was the same as typing into the text, there would be no place to enter synopses (or it would become much more complicated), and this was one of the things I wanted from a writing program when I set out to create my own. This is why I say that it is something that is not going to happen.

Instead, I recommend double-clicking on the icon in the corner of an index card to open the underlying text and type there, then hit the back button to return to the cork board. And if you really want the text on the cards to match the start of what you have written, you can always use Auto-Generate Synopsis, although this is probably not as useful as manually entering a meaningful synopsis.

You could also use less underlining, because no matter what my wife says, I'm not a total idiot, honest guv. :)

Hope that makes sense.

All the best,
Keith
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Ma
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:53 am Post

KB wrote:It makes no sense in the context of Scrivener - this is just not what index cards are intended for.


As the developer, I am 99% certain that you know Scrivener better than I do. But you've provided no practical reason why what I suggested could not be done other than "that's not the reasoning behind the way things are currently done". You also either did not read my original post carefully enough or you did not understand the problem that I described there (as evinced by your first response) But as I said, I trust that you're more knowledgeable about Scrivener than I am, so your opinion is definitely more authoritative than mine.

KB wrote: They are divorced from the text, and having them essentially be just other portals onto the main text would undermine one of my main motivations for creating Scrivener in the first place. (1) If typing into index cards was the same as typing into the text, there would be no place to enter synopses (or it would become much more complicated)...

1. This is why I suggested that notecards could be divided into two sections: the top for the title and synopsis and the bottom for the text. You're the developer, I'm sure you could come up with a far better implementation if this was feasible or if it made any sense, which you think it doesn't. Cool.

KB wrote:You could also use less underlining, because no matter what my wife says, I'm not a total idiot, honest guv. :)


I underlined a sentence. You underlined a sentence. Both were done for emphasis, not to suggest anyone is stupid.

So, for the sake of finding a work-around, I'll accept your opinion that this makes no sense and will never be implemented and leave it at that. That said, since Scrivener can't change to solve my specific problem (as you've stated) I guess I have to adapt to Scrivener and work with its current features. I would appreciate any suggestions on how I can do this (almansur's response shows a clear understanding of my original post since his suggestion was a valid solution to the problem).

So now I look forward to any other suggestions on how I can solve my particular problem. For those willing to make suggestions on how to do this please read my original post for a description of what I need to do.

Thanks.

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Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:23 am Post

Have you considered splitting the original document so that each idea/thought/section is it's own document? Then you can just press a button to copy (the first bit of) that to each index card.
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al
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:55 am Post

Maimonides_Mozart wrote:However, it would require me to open the scratch pad, switch between Scrivener and Word, copy, paste into scratch pad, send to the specific section, and repeat this for everything contained in a 60 page document. All of this could be done within Scrivener itself if the ability to directly add text to the notecard's text document was available.

Just another $.02.
In the above suggestion using the Scrivener Scratch Pad, Scrivener can stay minimized during all that; no need to switch to it with each paste. That's true as long as the destination document already exists.

Yet another $.02.
I don't see a significant difference operationally, efficiency-wise, click-wise or whatever in the way Scrivener works now, the way my Scrivener Scratch Pad suggestion works and in the way your wish suggestion would work.

And 2 points.

Your wish is only for 'append', but I suspect you'll be wanting 'insert' and 'edit' real soon, and since it's only for 'append' that makes it special purpose and I don't see much usefulness other than this. While Scrivener has some special purpose features they're mostly in the getting started/importing support. Otherwise, Scrivener's features are general and/or multiple purpose.

Also, I suspect that navigation from scene to scene is the big time consumer here. I also suspect that you may be using the corkboard for navigation. There's nothing wrong with that but as your project gets bigger and more complex the binder becomes the most efficient means of navigation with the corkboard being useful only at the chapter level to keep the scenes straight. My project is organized as Parts/Chapters/Scenes and for me the Parts level corkboards are useless. So you might try putting your ideas doc in the top editor and then locking the binder to the bottom editor (menu View/Binder Affects) and using the binder for navigation to bring up your destination scene in the bottom editor. At that point you can append, insert, edit, whatever.


Al
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:24 am Post

I don't think you need the scratchpad, if I've understood your requirements.

1. Highlight text in source document in Scrivener.
2. Right click > Append Selection to Document > [choose from list]

The list is not expanded in the context menu, but you've can keep the full outline in the Binder (and/or the corkboard or outline open in the split) anyway to give you a reminder.

As almansur says, once your structure becomes more complicated, your problem is going to be navigation whatever you do. If your corkboard is not much more than a flat list, then the process above is just as simple. If it's several layers deep then the corkboard will be just as unwieldy.

Regards

David

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KB
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:52 am Post

I had read your original post, but found it a little confusing, to be honest. You asked:

"is it possible to add text to a cork's document... can text be added to the underlying text itself? ...Selecting the cork only lets you add text to the synopses... I tried to go through the unedited document... and drag each idea directly into the individual corks that I created, but the text could only be added to the cork's synopses, and not to the document itself. The ability to add text to the cork's underlying document would have made this process extremely easy to do, but I could not do it this way."

I suggest you read your first post again rather than continually accusing me of not understanding it. To me, your first post seemed to be asking for the ability to add text to the underlying document associated with a corkboard. At no point do you make it at all clear in that post that what you are in fact asking for is specifically the ability to add main text to a document by typing into an index card; you continually talk of adding text to the "cork's underlying document". This is something different entirely, and I gave you a good answer based on what you seemed to be asking for.

I underlined a sentence. You underlined a sentence. Both were done for emphasis, not to suggest anyone is stupid.


You clearly missed the tongue I had in my cheek. :)

But you've provided no practical reason why what I suggested could not be done other than "that's not the reasoning behind the way things are currently done".


What do you mean by practical? Do you mean no technical reason? There are some technical reasons (such as cards being plain text and the main text being rich text, which would cause formatting problems), but they are irrelevant here. There's no practical reason I couldn't get rid of Scrivener's main editor altogether and replace it with a photo of Bob Monkhouse. But doing so wouldn't really fit in with what Scrivener is supposed to do. On this occasion, it seems that you haven't properly read my reply - I explained exactly why it makes no sense for index cards to act as portals onto the main text in my previous reply. Index cards are for synopses of the main text. They do not show the main text. You might just as well ask why typing into the index card titles or the document notes does not add the text to the underlying document - they are all different things. A document in Scrivener comprises the main text, a title, the synopsis, notes and various meta-data. These are all separate, and I have already explained quite clearly that having a separate synopsis was one of the main things I wanted fro writing software. This synopsis is represented by an index card. That's the way it works, and it's the way it has always been intended to work.

1. This is why I suggested that notecards could be divided into two sections: the top for the title and synopsis and the bottom for the text.


That would be impractical. You'd be able to fit about two words of the text on the card, and it would really mix metaphors. Index cards in the real world have a title and a text area (the synopsis in Scrivener).
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:33 pm Post

Going by what you were originally after, you could add a QuickReference pane to the mix, so that you have your main long text in that and then the two regular editors linked with clicks on the corkboard in one loading the selected card's document text in the other. You can then drag the relevant text from the QuickReference pane to the text editor (rather than to the corkboard.

Or you can stick with your original method of dropping onto the index cards, which will create a synopsis, rather than adding the text to the document, but afterward you can just select all the cards and then use Documents > Append Synopses to Main Text, which will copy the synopsis of each card and dump it into that card's document text, which sounds like what you want in the end.

While not trying to make you feel constricted to Scrivener's way of doing things, I do think your approach to this feels a lot like a Word mindset in a way, which makes sense since you're transitioning. If I understand correctly, you've got essentially one big documents of various notes which you want to cut into little manageable bits and put in the proper parts of your outline. So you created the outline in the binder, with lots of folders and blank documents waiting for you to cut and paste text from your main document. That's fine, but it's a lot of extra work as you're seeing, since now you've got separate documents for the source and destination.

Instead, what I'd suggest trying next time is to build the outline as you go by using Documents > Split at Selection (Cmd-K) in the main document to break it down into all the little pieces, then move those around in your outline as you like. (Outline here meaning the story outline; you can use whatever view makes sense to you, be it corkboard or outliner or just working in the binder.) That way you don't have to deal with the cutting and pasting at all; you just create the cards directly and then shuffle them around into the structure. You can certainly create some containers at the get go if you want, for chapters and parts or whatever you need, but don't create the individual scene documents that you actually want this note text on--just make those by splitting them off from the original notes document, then file them into the right location.

This way, you get your text in the document, the way you want; you can also later add that same text to the synopses (so it appears on the index cards in the corkboard) by using Documents > Auto-Generate Synopsis (you can select multiple cards for this--just makes sure the synopsis is blank to start or that you're sure you want to overwrite it with the beginning of the document's main text). You might not want that, of course, but depending what kind of notes you've got, it might be helpful initially if you're working in the corkboard view. The real benefit of the synopsis is that it is separate from the main text, so you can type whatever you want there, but if you're working with just notes in the document text at this stage they might be relevant for the synopsis as well.
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:00 pm Post

it seems to me that the ,wrinkle, in the op,s workflow comes from the fact they like to write their stream of conscious text in word.

my suggested tweak to their workflow to make things simpler would be to do that stream of consciousness in the nice distraction free environment of scrivener,s full screen mode instead.

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Ma
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Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:22 am Post

almansur wrote:Just another $.02.
In the above suggestion using the Scrivener Scratch Pad, Scrivener can stay minimized during all that; no need to switch to it with each paste. That's true as long as the destination document already exists.


Thanks for all of the suggestions Al. It's going to take me awhile to try them/tweak them. I'll let you know how it goes.