Using Labels in Scrivener

3749662498_7c29433b82_z by C.K. MacLeod


A book in progress can be an unwieldy beast, and sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of all the parts and the status of each part.

Scrivener’s labels can help you to get your head around your writing project.

You can colour code each chapter of your book to determine where you are with that chapter. For example, here are the colours I used for a book I’m writing:

  • Yellow—Notes
  • Blue—First draft
  • Turquoise—Revised draft
  • Pink—Final draft

After I work on a chapter, I assign it a label so that the next time I open Scrivener, I can tell, at a glance, which chapters need attention and what kind of attention they need.

Assign coloured labels to files in Scrivener
Assign coloured labels to files in Scrivener

Here’s how you can apply labels to your writing project in Scrivener:

Labels in Scrivener Quick Steps

  1. Adjust your settings in Scrivener. Go to View, Use Label Color In, and select Binder. This will ensure that colour is applied not just to your cue cards, but in your Binder as well.
  2. Click on a file in Scrivener’s Binder. That’s the file the label will be added to.
  3. Open the Inspector Pane by clicking on the i button in the top right.
  4. Click on the triangle in the General Meta-Data area.
  5. Click on the down arrow in the Label area.
  6. Add an existing label to your Scrivener file, or create a new label by clicking on Edit, Label tab+button. To change a label’s colour, click on the coloured box next to the label and choose a new colour.

Add colour to your book’s chapters, so you can quickly tell what kind of attention those chapters need.

Image by albastrica mititica

5 thoughts on “Using Labels in Scrivener”

  1. Hi Corina, when I add colour labels in the Inspector they only show up in the index cards and not the binder.

    How does one get them to show in the binder?

    Thank you.

    1. Zita,
      You’ll need to adjust a setting in Scrivener. Go to View, Use Color Label in, Binder. Now your label will show up in the Binder, as well as the cue cards. I’ll add that instruction to this post. Thanks for pointing it out!

  2. I have been using labels for awhile now. Mine just disappeared from a draft I wrote in last night. They are even gone from the meta data. Please help! Thank you in advance.

    1. Nina,
      I’m sorry to hear that. There’s been a recent Scrivener update, and I wonder if that has something to do with your missing labels. This might be a question for the Scrivener forums or groups. There are three that I refer to often:
      Scrivener Users
      Scrivener Ninjas, a closed group for Subscribers to the Learn Scrivener Fast course
      Literature & Latte forum

      Best of luck!

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