Tour Scrivener’s Inspector

Hello to all the Story Empire readers. January is almost at an end and 2019 is well underway.  I’m editing several books at the moment but I have a topic for Scrivener that may well assist you with writing and editing.

On the left side of Scrivener there’s that 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. The Binder is ever-present and feels like a security blanket of sorts. You work from it regularly, but you could be missing some interesting tools created just for the writing process.

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.

Formatting_Page Break Before

Scriv Inspector Notes1. 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.

Sciv Inspect DocRefs2. 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.

Scriv Inspect Keywords3. 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.

Scriv Inspect CMD4. 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 co-authors to designate their tasks by color for differentiation.

  1. The next to last button is for Snapshots. If you haven’t used this feature previously, it Scirv Inspect Snapshotstakes 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.

Scriv Inspect CF6. 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 co-authoring a book this is a great way to keep things straight between the two of you.

Have you dug into the features on the Inspector Bar and incorporated them into your writing? How does the Inspector fit into your writing process? What tips can you share from your experience?  Thanks for reading today. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

P. H. Solomon

29 thoughts on “Tour Scrivener’s Inspector

  1. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links – Staci Troilo

  2. I like to put my full outline in the inspector so I can see what happened right before my current scene and what’s supposed to happen right after. It helps keep me on track as I draft the current scene. But the inspector is so versatile, I think every writer uses it in a different way. I’m always interested in seeing other authors’ processes. You never know when you’ll see an interesting method that you can adapt or tweak for your own use.


  3. Thanks for another great Scrivener post, P.H. I love these. I always have my binder on, but I’ve not used many of these features, lol. I use the note are to the right to keep a running synopsis for each chapter, and that works well. Thanks for sharing I keep saying this, but one of these days, I’m going to have to make the time to sit down and learn all the great aspects of this wonderful program 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s