Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.
On the left side there’s that lovely organizational wonder: the Binder. It provides all the flexibility to arrange your ideas and change the writing structure with ease. It’s one of the features that makes for the wonder that is Scrivener.
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But on the right side there’s nothing – unless you turn on the Inspector Bar. Just click View and glide down to reveal the Layout menu and there it is. Upon turning this tool-bar on you find a number of features that may at first beguile you as mundane functions. However, the Inspector was designed with a purpose: managing your content. You’ll notice that there are several buttons at the bottom of the Inspector as well as several arrows. Let’s take a look at the features available, some of which you may find useful based on your type of writing projects.
1. Notes: this first button includes several features that can be collapsed or left open. Synopsis shows the notecard that also appears in the corkboard and it can be closed by clicking the arrow beside the feature title. Next, there’s Meta-Data which allows you to manage the status of the particular document in which you are working and it can also be closed. These two features stay available on the first three buttons. Last is the Documents Notes where you can add all kinds of pertinent information to your work as if they were sticky notes.
2. Click on the next button over to reveal Document References. This is where you can add Scrivener and external links either of which you may frequently use for reference. This can be especially handy for non-fiction writing where lots of research at the click of your mouse can save you a lot of time.
3. Moving over again you will find Keywords. This is where you can add all kinds of frequently used terms from your project. It’s a helpful location for keeping character and location names organized for quick reference. Writing fantasy, this is a big help for me since you can forget some details and need references in an accessible location.
4. The next button over is Custom Meta-Data which allows you to tweak meta-data settings for your project to suite your tastes. This is a great place for c0-authors to designate their tasks by color for differentiation.
5. The next to last button is for Snapshots. If you haven’t used this feature previously, it takes a snapshot of your current work which is useful when you want to make changes but might want to revert back to the original. Click the +/- buttons to add and remove snapshots. There’s also the Rollback button available to switch back to the previous version.
6. Last, there the Footnotes and Comments button which is where you can add these to your non-fiction. The comments feature is similar to the same one in Word and can be useful whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction.
These are all extremely helpful tools for fiction and/or non-fiction writing. They are easily found from the Inspector to allow users to quickly manage content. Some of these functions may bear further discussion in later posts. A number of these features may or may not seem useful at first glance, however you may want to give them a try to see if they help you develop your project more efficiently. If you are c0-authoring a book this is a great way to keep things straight between the two of you.
Have you use the Inspector bar much or at all? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Interested in more of my writing? Just click one of the retailer banners on the sidebar to see more.
P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
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