Planning

Scrivener Tip: Making Document Templates

All writers face the blank screen and think about what they’re going to write. Too often we start and realize we didn’t format properly and stop, then get distracted by something else and we’ve lost our train of thought be the time we get back. Getting started can be daunting enough without spending time getting everything just right in your word processor.

Well, in Scrivener there’s a good way to beat back all that pre-writing distraction so you can sit down with your ideas and write. Who wants to lose their ideas to setting everything up? The answer is to make a template within your project.

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What did you just read? That’s right a template within the project. You’ve heard of making a project template but how do you make a template within a project? Just follow these instructions.

  1. Create a folder within the project and designate it as the Template folder by clicking on Project and Set Selection as Template Folder. Some project templates come with a template folder already designated so check you binder for one. Here’s what the template folder looks like: Scrivener Template Folder

Here’s how to set a folder as the project template folder:

Scrivener Set As Template Folder

  1. Once you’ve set the Template folder then create a document container under the folder. Configure all the settings you want with formatting in this container but leave it blank.

Scrivener Blog Template

  1. After you’ve completed configuring your document template it’s ready to use. Go to one of you folders in your project and when creating a new document container (text). Choose Project from the upper menu bar and then go to New from Template to get a fly-out menu. On this menu you will see all the document templates created for the project in which you are working.

Scrivener New From Template

  1. You can also create such a document template from the cork-board view of a folder. Right click for a context menu, go to Add for a fly-out menu. Slide your cursor to New from Template to reveal the fly-out menu or your document templates. You can also do the same from the Binder by right clicking on a folder for a context menu and using the same directions.

Scrivener New From Template Cork

  1. At this point, you can name the new container and start writing without a need to change settings. Create as many of these document templates as necessary for your project.

One again, here’s a simple way to use Scrivener to make writing easier than ever.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - Copy

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

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IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

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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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor. However, I am working on becoming an affiliate for Scrivener ads since I like the product so much. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. For more about my FTC statement see my sidebar.

Managing Scrivener Projects & Templates Pt. 1

Scrivener has been a key component to improving my productivity this year. I’ve recently written about various uses for Scrivener such as blog posts, newsletters and even template email messages. Additionally, I’ve shared about using Scrivener templates including some resources for these. In this post I want to delve deeper into template creation and usage. By next week, I intend to create a basic template that I can post for download on my website that I hope may be useful.

Why Use Scrivener Templates

Templates are used for quickly creating projects by type so that you don’t have to configure your new projects from scratch each time you create one. Using templates can be a time saver that allows writers of all kinds to tap their creativity almost immediately. This is important since spending time on minute details can undermine your writing with distractions.

There are several ways you can approach creating a template. If you want something for your most common type of writing then you might want to create a template. For instance, if you write short stories, there is already one in Scrivener. However, I’ve downloaded one specific for speculative fiction that’s geared towards magazine markets that are accepted by SFWA. In this case, the template has common traits expected for submission to these short fiction markets which is a great help. I don’t need to think about the specifics of manuscript format so I can get down to business. In this kind of template usage each short story is created as an individual project.

However, if you are working on a larger project of repetitive actions – such as blogging or a regular newsletter – you may want to have a template that covers the whole year. In such a template you can create individual blog posts or newsletter volumes by adding folders and sub-folders in the binder as you go. The point here is saving time by avoiding creation of whole new, blank projects and then trying to keep up with them. Instead, all your blogs, newsletters, etc, are organized in one macro-project.

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Compiling Individual Projects in a Macro-Project

How are these individual projects compiled instead of compiling the whole project? Here are the basic instructions:

1. Click File to expand the menu.

2. Click Compile to open the Compile window:

Scrivener Compile Screenshot

3. From here I can choose an individual blog to compile by de-selecting everything but the blog I’m currently publishing.

4. Next choose the formatting by clicking the “Compile For:” menu. For a blog post you might choose an html format:

Scrivener Format Screenshot

5. Now you click compile to proceed with completion of the function (and yes, I’m compiling this post when completed).

This is particularly helpful if you want to organize your projects differently. Let’s go back to the short story template. You could organize one large project for all your short stories so that all of them are together. Compiling one folder or text container allows you to prepare one story at a time for submission or posting somewhere.

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Creating a Template in Scrivener

Creating a template is a rather simple matter for those who haven’t done so yet. Here are the basic instructions:

1. Open a new project and name it.

2. Since you are making a project you will configure it how you want.

3. Once you have the template setup to the basic configuration you want it is ready to save.

4. Click File and then on “Save As Template…” and proceed to create the template.

Scrivener Template Save Screenshot

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Importing Templates into Scrivener

Once you’ve created your template you then need to import the template. Here are those instructions:

1. Click on File and then New Project to get the appropriate window.

2.Click on the Options menu in the lower left of the pane and choose “Import Templates…”

Scrivener Import Template Screenshot

3. As part of the import process you have the options to choose what category the template should be place in as well as an associated image for the template.

So these are the instructions for compiling individual projects, creating templates and importing templates in Scrivener. For more information consult the Help menu.

Next week, I hope to have completed a template or two to begin sharing for download for those interested. Check back for the post.

Are you using Scrivener and templates? What templates have you created and why? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.


To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomon

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

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.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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Screenshots from my blog project

Just as a note: I am not affliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.

 

 

Scrivener’s Multi-Function Feature & How You Can Start Using It

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.

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Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Introduction

If you do any work around the house with tools you may have used a multi-function one before. These often have small versions of larger tools built into one handy gadget. These often include a few knife blades was well standard and Phillips screwdrivers among the many variations. It’s much like a Swiss Army knife but adapted more toward small fix-it tasks. Scrivener has one such feature that teams with the Binder to help you in any number of ways to organize all of the project content.

Scrivener’s Binder is a fantastic visual tool to organize your project. But suppose you wanted to play around with that organization without changing everything. Or maybe you have other ways you need to group the project content. Let’s say you wanted to change the order of several scenes. You could take snapshots and make the changes so you could revert back. But there’s a more efficient way to handle structural changes within Scrivener.

Collections are a way of re-organizing the binder without actually making changes to the current order in the binder. There are several ways to use collections so I’ll this topic in a series to cover the details well and let this post suffice as an introduction.

Collections

Think of the Binder as the main collection by which your project is organized. But if you need to consider different options for your structure then creating collections can be very useful. Items within a collection are like shortcuts to that in the Binder. What changes you make to the item are made in the Binder too. So be aware of what you are changing and make snapshots if you believe you may need to revert back to an earlier version.

However, a collection is really used for addressing structural issues, searches, saved searches, compiling, scheduling, sorting scenes that need work or even organizing for use with another author. So mainly think in broad terms when working with collections.

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Usage

Scriv Collections ManagementSo let’s take a look at applying the flexibility of collections to a real-life fiction project. I’ll soon begin editing my second novel, An Arrow Against the Wind. The first task that I’ll have is a structural edit. I’ve already identified what scenes and chapters I’ll need to edit. These can be added to a collection so that I can write each one and then remove it from the collection when completed.

Next, I’ll do an edit for deep POV style. For this kind of edit I could use two collections – one for all the chapters that need this stylistic attention, plus one that assigns a schedule for the work (I could also use this for the previous edit as well as subsequent ones).

After these more general edits, I’ll get into a deeper editing where I may need to search the content. For this I can create a collection for searches that cover overused words, searches for names that are misspelled, etc (it’s a fantasy so unique names can be a problem). Likewise, when doing line editing, I can also collect the chapters and scenes involved and use another one for scheduling the work.

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Scriv Add CollectionThe Basic Interface

As already shown in the screen-shots, you can access the collections manager from the Project menu. You can add or remove tabs for sections of your project and click on the Binder tab to return to the Binder. You can then re-order the tabs for structural purposes or use them in the different ways already described. You’ll notice that you can name the collection and use searches.

Conclusion

080916_1940_AWildNightR1.jpgIf you find that you are using collections regularly with your projects, then you might consider adding your own set of them to your project template. Again, I’ll discuss the many variations over the next several weeks in depth, especially as I’m using them with the book I’m completing. Regardless, collections can be the all-purpose tool that improves your editing process.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

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.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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