2 UI Suggestions

1. Block quote:
For academic writing – especially large quotes – it would make life a ton easier if there was a basic block indent option/keyboard command available.

I guess that this can be done with presets (during compile?) on the Mac side. This seems like a case of using an elephant gun on an ant hill – unless I misunderstand what’s going on there.

Basically all I’m looking for is something to tag and visually represent quotes as being different – then when I clean stuff up in Word at a later point, I can mess around with the visual styling. But right now, having to adjust the margins each time I want to insert a block really knocks me out of the writing flow.

2. Consider a formatting submenu on the right click context menu
I love the full screen writing mode. My only complaint is that sometimes I need to jump out of it to format text – especially if I blank on a quick key. It would be great – and keeping with windows metaphors – to consider placing some of the formatting options in the “right click” context menu.

I think these are some differences between the Mac and Windows UIs that will need considering, good point. Presets handle your first point on the Mac easily enough, and they will be coming to the Windows version further down the line, but something like this is currently lacking. With regard to formatting in full screen, on the Mac the whole main menu remains available as it pops down when moving the cursor to the top of the screen - but this isn’t something that’s possible on Windows. Therefore making features available in full screen is an issue - placing some more formatting options in the contextual menu may well be a good solution. Lee’s buried at the moment, so I won’t push these ideas his way just yet, but I think these would make good 1.x refinements if we can’t address them before release.


Italics? Bold? Underline? Then replace with a block quote style in Word.

I appreciate the suggestion. For the type of writing that I do, italics/Bold don’t work. Underline might. But the xml person in me thinks that’s really not the best answer as it’s treating formatting as markup. The ability to tag a block (and also a headline/section heading) would be excedingly useful and far less clugey.

This is a feature I would love to see in Scrivener as well. Google docs (which I use quite a bit) has similar functionality and I find myself using it all the time.

If you are into the notion of “tagging” as opposed to using formatting for semantics, you might want to look into the MultiMarkdown arm of Scrivener (which is somewhat disconnected at the moment, though you can find help on how to use it in the About Scrivener screen). MMD is an extension to the Markdown syntax which provides for some more writerly features like footnotes, glossaries, citations, & etc. Basically you write with a simple plain-text mentality, marking things with easy to read codes and then processing them through the MMD engine in post. The current iteration can produce .fodt files—I’m not sure if Word 2010 can read those; but LibreOffice can, and from there you can get to Word easily enough.

Marking a block quote in MMD is about like marking a quote in an e-mail. You just put a "> " at the front of the paragraph. No menus or buttons.

Like I say, at the moment it’s not a complete package yet, but once 1.0 is out, hopefully soon after, you’ll be able to select something like “MultiMarkdown -> ODT” or “MultiMarkdown -> LaTeX” as a compile option; where you would select PDF/RTF/HTML/etc, and get a really nice output (see the Scrivener user manual for an example of such).

There are also the Ctrl-T and Ctrl-Q shortcuts to increase the first-line indent and hanging indent respectively, if that helps. (Add the Shift key to the shortcut to decrease the indent.) It’s still not full block quote formatting, though that depends on your style guidelines as well (e.g. do you need different spacing, a right indent, etc.) but it may help you set apart block quotes just during the drafting phase and make it easier to style them later.