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Scrivener Image Cards

Scrivener does a lot of nifty things. I think most people are aware by now that it has a cork board/index card function. Each text file has an accompanying information card, where you can put things like a description of what the file contains. These cards can then be displayed en mass and drag-and-dropped to reorder them.

Screenshot 2015-10-22 15.41.12

This is, as you might suspect, super useful.

But, those index cards don’t have to be all text. When you pull back and look at all those cards a ton of text isn’t terribly helpful.

So use images instead!

Screenshot 2015-10-22 15.24.07

Now that looks meaningful! This is my little character bible for GISELLE. Each image represents a text file with character details (Name, Age, Height, Ethnicity, Occupation) and biography relevant to the book. For the freeform layout, I dragged characters into positions relative to my main characters, who are in the top-left. I may draw lines on it later to map out relationships.

It should be noted that this freeform layout is part of the Mac version only. Windows will force your cards into a grid, which has its benefits. I bounce between a Mac at work and Windows at home, so I make sure to screenshot layouts like this.

So, how do you add these awesome images? Easypeasy.

How to add images to Scrivener cards

Start with note/text file. Open in Inspector (The “i” button in the top bar, usually on the far-right). At the top of the Inspector is the Index Card.

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In the top-right is a mini index card and two arrows, pointing up and down. Click on this to change your selection from index card to image.

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The ruled lines are replaced by a big black nothingness. (It’s a little ominous.) Just like it says, you can drag and drop an image onto this black space.

Now my image shows in the Inspector, and on the index card on the cork board.

Screenshot 2015-10-22 16.02.33

Note that once you use an image it will always replace text on the cork board.

To change back to text in the Inspector, go back to that button in the top-right, that now looks like an image thumbnail and two arrows, pointing up and down. Click on that to select index card again. This changes the cork board as well, so you’re back to an index card with text.

And that is all it takes!

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