The Black Bag

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.

 

 

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Scrivener Tips Pt. 8: Keyboard Shortcuts

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.

There are many fantastic tools in Scrivener of which a writer can make easy use. But I often find that hate to pause too much while writing to click and change something. Or if I’m making changes there are just too many time-consuming clicks to reach a command on a menu. For this reason, I tend to use keyboard shortcuts in varying tandems with mouse clicks. Here are some favorite keyboard shortcuts for some of the Scrivener commands that I use:

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The following are normally reached by clicking Format and going to the Font fly-out menu:

Scriv Shortcuts Format

1. Strikethrough – Ctrl/Shift/-

2. Underline – Ctrl/U

3. Italic – Ctrl/I

4. Bold – Ctrl/B

5. Bigger/smaller font – Ctrl/> or < (these do require using the Shift key to use the upper case otherwise you’ll get something else opening such as Project Stats).

The following are commands that also appear on the Format menu that I use. The additional ones listed you may use for non-fiction but I largely don’t for fiction:

1. Ruler – Ctrl/Shift/R

2. Add comment – Shift/F4

Scriv Shortcuts ViewYou can change views quickly by clicking on the View menu or using the shortcuts listed there

1. Document – Ctrl/1

2. Corkboard – Ctrl/2

3. Outline – Ctrl/3

4. Full screen – F11

I know many people use their mouse often but for those who like to use these types of shortcuts they can be very helpful. I make use of them often to keep my typing flow going and also because I’m on a laptop regularly without a mouse attached and stopping too much to use the mouse-pad can be a hassle unless necessary. It takes some memory but with practice I’ve gotten faster at using them without thinking too much.

These may be a bit of minute details however I find them easier to use than clicking so much. As an example, if I’m striking through a goal on a list I would highlight it and use the keyboard shortcut rather than waving the cursor around and clicking through menus. I hope these are useful to you, especially those who are new to Scrivener and may be looking for these shortcuts similar to those in Word.

bow of destinyWhat keyboard shortcuts do you like using? What shortcut from Word or another editor have you been unable to find/use with Scrivener?

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

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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Strategic Usage of Snapshots in Scrivener

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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Scrivener LogoI don’t normally write about Scrivener more than once a week so I won’t bore everyone with the same topic. But a situation arose that I thought I should really address.

Yesterday, someone who reads this blog asked for assistance with a Scrivener problem via Twitter. I was very humbled to be asked so I responded with a few suggestions as to what might be the fix (not knowing the precise details). In the end, the issue was resolved on the other end which was great.

Frustration stress and writers blockHowever, the problem brought up a subject I had planned on addressing in the near future regarding snapshots. Basically, the snapshot function works as a point in time backup of a document in which you are working. While Scrivener does make backups when you exit (unless you change this setting) and you can make backups whenever you want, a snapshot serves a more immediate purpose – a quick backup of current work to which you can easily rollback if necessary.

So, if you are going to make big changes to a document it might be worth your while to make a snapshot before doing so in order to get back to where you were without much trouble. Likewise, when adding blocks of content or trying to fix a problem it might be wise to make a snapshot to prevent lose of any current work.

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So how does it work? First turn on the Inspector by clicking on View, sliding to Layout and clicking on Inspector in the flyout menu. You can also turn it on via your keyboard with this command: Ctrl + Shift + I. The Inspector will appear on the right side.

Scirv Turn on Inspector

There are six buttons on the lower border, click on the second one from the right the get to Snapshots.From there you click on the + button to add a snapshot of the document in which you are working. It will show the snapshot with a date/time stamp. This is important should you make more than one snapshot. Before attempting to fix a problem it Scirv Inspect Snapshotsmight be good to take a snapshot. Should the fix work a second snapshot might also be good to have just in case it is needed. In that case you would use the – button to remove the oldest snapshot after highlighting it. Finally, you can use the Rollback button to go back to a previous document version.

So next time you’re about to make major document changes, take a snapshot. Then if something unexpected happens you don’t need to panic, just rollback to the original version.

Trading Knives 1Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

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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