13-inch macbook?

Does anyone use scriv on a 13-inch screen? Do you feel cramped or comfy?

If 13 inches is too small for scriv, what’s the smallest screen that plays well with scriv?

Thanks for advice/input.

It’s definitely do-able. You’ll probably find that vertical splits are not usually feasible without hiding the Inspector and/or Binder. But that’s the case on my 15" MBP as well. I still have to close the inspector to do any serious work in vertical splits. Otherwise, I never had any gripes about using Scrivener on my 13" MacBook, there are lots of authors here using that configuration, including the developer. :slight_smile:

In fact, originally, Scrivener was designed to work well on an old 12" iBook screen, the closest Apple ever came to making a NetBook.

I have a 13" macbook but I added a 20 inch standalone screen for when I’m at the desktop. It’s a very flexible combination.


Yes, once I get my 24" working again, I’ll have the same sort of setup. 15" on the go, which yes is a little “tight” but not awful and certainly productive—then a large expanse at home. Getting an external monitor is pretty cheap these days, and if you plan on working much at home, it is definitely worth augmenting your laptop with a big screen.

Scrivener is actually developed on a 13" MacBook. :slight_smile: In all fairness, I do a lot of development with it plugged into a 24" monitor, but as much of my time is spent using Scrivener on the 13" screen as on the 24" one. It was initially designed to fit a 12" iBook, in fact. As Ioa says, vertical splits might be a little thin if you have the inspector open, but it’s not really a problem as you just close the inspector when using a vertical split or use a horizontal split instead. I love my 13" MacBook, so you can be sure that Scrivener’s interface will continue to work well on it.
All the best,

I think Scrivener works great on an 13" MacBook. It gets a little crowded sometimes, but mostly it works just fine. Of course, I wouldn’t mind having a secondary screen (or an iMac…).

I use it all the time on my MacBook Air while I’m not at home, and even there I’m often using that rather than the 17" MBP … and I always have a vertical split. On the MBA I turn the inspector off, as it’s easy enough to turn on temporarily if needed, which for what I do is a very rare occurrence. So Binder and two editing splits, one for the translation I’m working on, the other for the source text or the original translation I’m editing.

Works really well and doesn’t cramp me at all.


It would be good to separate the inspector in another window. For example, binder and text in the main external monitor and inspector in the macbook. Is there any chance in 2.0?

That would be horrendous for all of those of us who don’t have external monitors. One of the great things about Scrivener is that everything, bar Keynote HUD and scratchpad, is in the same window.

And if that were granted people would then ask for the binder to be in a separate window, and splits in a separate window … and break up the inspector to have synopses in one window and keywords/notes in another, or why not separate windows for document notes and project notes.

Please Keith, save us from a plethora of windows!


Yeah, it’s a definite no on that one. I really like having everything in one window. Inspectors make sense in other windows when they are for things like changing the formatting, such as in Pages or Nisus, but Scrivener’s inspector is part of the left-to-right flow of the interface and definitely belongs as part of the main window. There will be other ways in 2.0 of taking advantage of multiple screens though.

Chance is not an obligation. I think.

I write fiction and I’ve written nearly two novels worth and a dozen short stories in Scriv on a 13 inch Macbook (and prefer it to the iMac). I find I prefer the smaller screen, to be honest. I tend to write scene/story per session in full screen, so I’m not referring to external notes or re-arranging the corkboard view or whatever.

I also followed someone’s (David Hewson? Ememess? one of the ‘proper’ author fanbois, anyway) tips and installed P22 typewriter font and use that full screen at 115-120%. So, basically a typewriter on roids, until you press escape and re-emerge blinking into the organisational nirvana that is Scriv proper.

I guess if I was doing a lot of reviewing on screen I would prefer to do that on my iMac, but the infrequent times I do proof, I print out to do so.

I use Scrivener on a 13" Macbook and I do find it a little cramped at times. Obviously, there are ways to re-arrange the windows to accomodate for one’s style, so it really isn’t a problem. Still, I do wonder how much more effective Scrivener would feel on a wider screen.


In my experience, after a certain amount of width there isn’t a lot of advantage except in that wider screens are also typically taller, too. Once you can get a nice, wide Binder, two full-width vertical splits, and an Inspector open, really the next thing you end up wanting is more vertical space so you can see more of each document without scrolling. One thing I like about my Dell 24" is that you can rotate it sideways. I don’t use it often, but when editing and writing it’s actually pretty nice because you can see a lot of document at once when the screen is ~1,900 pixels tall. :slight_smile:

Where this definitely is not true is Corkboard. With Corkboard there is no tall vs. wide debate, you just want as much screen as you can get. This will become even more true in the future.