Selecting Multiple Files

Before we move forward, I want to make sure you understand how to select multiple items. This process works in the Scrivener Binder, Corkboard, and Outliner, as well as in File/Windows Explorer, on the Internet, and in most software programs.

Whenever you want to select more than one item in a list, you can use easy keyboard shortcuts. There are two types of multiple selection: contiguous and non-contiguous.

Contiguous Selection

Contiguous selection means selecting a group of items that all connect to each other. Think “continuous”. If our list were the letters of the alphabet in ascending order, each of the following could be a contiguous selection because they all are next to each other in the list:

— A, B, C, D

— F, G, H, I, J, K, L

— W, X, Y

  1. Click on the first file once to select it.
  2. While holding down the Shift key on your keyboard, click on the last file in the list you want to select.
    The first and last files are selected, along with any files in between, as shown below.
    contiguous selection
  3. Release the Shift key.
    Your editor might change to Corkboard or Outliner mode. Just ignore it for now. At this point, you could move the files as a group, or right-click any one of them to get options you can apply to all of them.
  4. To deselect the files, you can click once on any Binder item.
    Scrivener returns to Editor mode, displaying the text of the selected document.

Non-contiguous Selection

Non-contiguous selection applies when you want to select items regardless of their proximity to each other. You can click on as many items as you want and they’ll be individually added to the selection. Using our alphabet again, some non-contiguous selection options would be:

— A, D

— C, G, Q

— A, B, C, M, N, Z

  1. Select the first file in the Binder.
  2. While holding down the Ctrl key, click on the second file you want to select. Repeat as necessary.
    Only the clicked files are selected, as shown below.
    Noncontiguous selection
  3. Release the Ctrl key.
  4. To deselect the files, click on any document.

4 thoughts on “Selecting Multiple Files”

  1. Jan Mitchell says:

    Why would I select files and where are they going. Are they moving permanently or making a copy?

    1. I’m not sure where the response to this went (or if I missed it two years ago, yikes!), but in case anyone else has the same question… Times when you might select multiple files in Scrivener include:
      – to move them to a new location
      – to assign a value to more than one file at one time (e.g., color coding with labels)
      – to delete them

      This skill also works in File Explorer on your computer and is handy for many of the same reasons there.

    1. Thanks for all the comments, Md! I’ll generally only respond if you have a question or something that prompts a response from me, but I wanted to let you know I am seeing your comments. 🙂

Leave a Reply