A couple of UI requests

I’ve just been using Scrivener (v026) for the first time in a while and a couple of things occurred to me…

Collections
The way the tabs are displayed (one on top of another) means they can quickly use up a lot of vertical space so I have two suggestions to minimise this:

1 – Could it be changed (or, at least, have the option) so a (dynamic) collection only appears if it’s not empty? For example, I created a collection to show any occurrences of double spaces so I could weed them out. But the tab is still there even when there aren’t any. This takes up space needlessly and also means I have to check each time as it makes me think there are items I need to act on.

2 – On a similar note, the ‘Search’ tab always appears as a collection. Surely it shouldn’t if nothing is being searched for (i.e. when the ‘Search’ box is empty) or when a search doesn’t yield any results.

Binder
When I’m working on a doc, the highlight for that doc in the binder is almost invisible. I couldn’t find an option to make it more visible (got a feeling I may have just missed it so please do correct me if I’m wrong).

My first thought was to be able to change the colour to something more vibrant but that may get confused for a doc’s label colour so how about the highlight is a line that surrounds the doc name so if the doc also had a label colour the ‘selected’ highlight line would fit neatly around the edge of the label colour meaning both could show at once?

Keywords
I’m just starting to try using keywords. Is it possible to have different categories of keywords? e.g. one set for characters and another for locations? Then be able to display either the character or location keywords.

You should have seen the first design. :slight_smile: That wouldn’t have allowed much at all for scale. At any rate, you’d want to get to these zeroed out collections sometimes, maybe just to load up the search criteria and tweak it to do something slightly different. Perhaps a visual compromise would make that better, where you can just see the tops of the tabs in a “hidden” mode, and if you clicked on any of the small tops they would all go back to “revealed” mode. That way you don’t get confused over where things that have completely disappeared have gone to.

But sometimes even a failed search query will turn up something later on. Not everyone might be using the search feature in the same way you do. Some might be using it as a temporary queuing place. Say you want to edit ten sections today as a goal. You decide it should be a keyword you’ll apply when you are done. So you set up a search to look for that keyword and start working. Periodically you can check the Search Results tab and see how many you’ve done so far. It’s the type of thing you wouldn’t want to bother making a saved collection for, but still a very useful ability. Having a persistent search like that provides a lot of power, even if at the moment there is no search result—that might be significant.

On one point here though I do agree: the tab stack can get pretty tall sometimes. But I think manual hiding would be even better. Rather than something that automatically hides things based on some condition only some people might appreciate, it gives you the control to hide a tab you aren’t using as much. It can be any old tab you want, even normal collections. It could use the same idea as above, with a small tab space in minimised form. Double-click to expand.

Then you don’t get a ton of support queries on where collections keep disappearing to.

But to be clear I’m just thinking out loud. Keith’s the one that makes decisions about this kind of thing.

Yup, that’s one of the remaining (in that 10%) things left in the interface polish list. There also needs to be some indication of when the focus is in the binder—making that selection bar darker than normal is the typical way.

Sure, but it just uses a standard “tree” for this, not a tab switching type interface. You just make a keyword for that category, using the Project Keywords window, and then drag in the ones that should be associated with it, like a folder. Organise away, and if you don’t need a category, just collapse its node. You can have any depth of these you want. I sometimes like to colour all of my categories bright red, that way they stand out more in the list.

Thanks for your response AmberV.

Yes. Thinking about it, I think it would have to be a user selected option to ‘hide empty collections’ so they could be turned on if/when necessary.

I have to admit, I’m not convinced by your idea of just seeing the tops in a ‘half hidden’ mode. I guess it would be slightly better (space wise) but not as good as removing them completely when they’re empty and I suspect it would make the display more jumbled looking and confusing.

It seems to me that my idea of it being hidden until something is found (at which point it would appear) would work even better, wouldn’t it? It would help alert the user that something has now been found when the search tab suddenly appears (especially if the focus in the binder jumped to the collection tab that just appeared).

Perhaps the search tab being hidden should be a separate option but I would definitely still like it to be hidden when empty.

I’ve no objection to this as long as it was in addition to having a ‘Hide empty collections’ option as I described. I can’t personally imagine I would use this ‘manually hidden’ feature myself but who knows…

Yes, I think I’m doing that (unless I’m misunderstanding you) but the important part of my question was the second half i.e. then being able to display one category or the other e.g. Characters or Locations (or plot threads or whatever else I might use keywords for).