Created a template but it's empty

I created a template from an existing fiction (sci-fi) document that consisted mainly of items in the Narrative (narrative folders) but when I open a new document based on the template, none of the narrative folders I put there (and need) are in the new document. I thought maybe I forgot to check a box, so I did it again, this time checking all of the boxes. Still nothing. The template generates a new document that is empty. Am I doing something wrong? And where are these templates stored anyway? So when I figure it out I can get rid of the bad ones. Thanks.

I’m new to Aeon so don’t have your answer (I’m sure someone more experienced will chime in with an answer), but would a workaround be to “save as” the existing project to another file and then modify it from there?

Sure, but what’s the point of having a template then? One of the nice things about saving it as a template is that it can be stacked right under Fiction selection button and I don’t have to hunt around for it. That’s what I did this morning so I could keep working, but I would like to know what I did wrong.

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I know it only from Aeon 2, there the purpose of templates is to transfer project settings. This concerns the structure of the calendar, so for example months and weekdays in my own language, custom entities with their properties, custom roles, custom relationships, renamings, coloring and so on. A lot of things can come together if you set up your project carefully.

What cannot be part of templates (there is even no place for that in the file structure) are events and instances of entities, such as persons, or locations.
So it is quite normal to get an empty document first when applying a template. The template saves you from the whole new setup “under the hood”.

If you want to use a prepared structure of elements, it is better to use a ready-made minimal project instead of the template.

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Ah, ok. Thank you for the answer.

But I didn’t have any events, or entities such as persons or locations. Or are you including narrative folders under that? The issue with saving it to a new document is what shows up in the popups. See screenshot. These artifacts from the previous documents are clutter. I don’t want them in the new document. I just want the narrative folders I set up. Does that make sense?

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Yes, I was talking about Aeon 2, which has no “narrative”. But in principle, it is the same with the elements of the narrative of Aeon 3. There are types, such as parts, chapters, or scenes. You can completely change these types in the project settings (for example, translate their names into another language, or completely redefine them, for example, into “sections”, “steps”, “tomes” and so on. You can then transfer all this with a template.

You create instances of these element types as you work, and they appear on the screen. They are not part of the template. But they are part of a document that you save under a different name. You can see that on the screenshot.

For example, if I wanted to reuse a particular chapter structure, I would first create a project that contains only this structure, nothing else. Then I would copy new projects based on it with the file explorer and open them afterwards with Aeon.


This has been a helpful discussion. I had not been aware of the limitations of creating a template, but knowing them, a template can still be useful in some situations, I see.

I’m not sure I understand all of this, but thanks for the info. Is there any way to get rid of the items in that pop-up list without recreating the narrative folders from scratch? Thank you.

As already mentioned, I only use Aeon 2. I know Aeon 3 from the beta test phase, but the software is no longer working on my system. Therefore I can’t give you proven instructions. Anyway:

It looks like you have built up a dramatic structure in the “narrative” that you want to reuse as a plot model for new projects. However, you seem to have already filled that structure with content that now appears in the screenshot shown.

I think you can achieve your goal by doing the following:

  1. Create a copy of your project file, and name it “plot model.aeon” for example.
  2. Open this “plot model.aeon” file and delete all content that you don’t want to appear in your prefabricated project.
  3. You can then derive new projects from “plot model.aeon”, either by copying, or from within Aeon 3, with “save as”.
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That is what I did. To be clear, I deleted all the stuff that is in the pop-up. But it still shows up. Which is why I was asking the question. It appears that those items exist somewhere in the database and remain related somehow. I am not able to find them elsewhere in the document however, at least not from the front end. If this were a relational dB I would think that the items in the pop-up are related records in another table and that the pop-up is a “portal” to that data. I need to know where that data is actually stored so I can delete it. I do appreciate you tackling this.

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All data of an Aeon 3 project are stored in a single file; as far as I know, there are no dependencies to other files in its data content. I also strongly advise against editing the file outside the application (there is a not so old thread here in the forum about the .aeon file format).
It is better to look for the elements in question in other views; maybe they exist in the spreadsheet or timeline, and you just removed them from your “narrative” view?


For anyone else wondering where the templates are stored: Aeon Timeline–>PreferencesScreen Shot 2022-12-24 at 4.21.01 AM