A few thoughts...

Keith,

Let me first add to the chorus of voices proclaiming that you got this program exactly right - not just the elegant user interface, but more importantly the vision of a tool for writers who must juggle the chaos of focused research and random ideas, jottings and ramblings, and multiple revisions from draft through final prose.

I’m a writer and documentary filmmaker, and soon to be a new Scrivener user. After giving the program a trial run, I have a few thoughts on features you might consider for future upgrades. Each would extend the program’s focus on functional writing, while not tipping it towards bloatware. (I have no idea how hard any of these would be to impliment.)

USER-DEFINED KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS – For years I’ve been using customized keyboard commands and macros in MS Word that allow me to do almost everything I need to write and edit without removing my hands from the keyboard, and thus avoiding the mouse. This includes:
Jump to the beginning and end of documents
Page up and down
Document scrolling by line
Move to line beginning and end
Move forward and back by word
Deleting word forward and back
Indent, unindent
Common formatting commands
I’ve centered these commands around the Apple key (sometimes in combination with the Option and Shift keys) and the arrow keys. It’s a system that works for me, and has become like breathing in my writing process. It would be really cool - perhaps essential - if I could bring this customized system to Scrivener through some kind of keyboard mapping or macros option.

FAVORITES PANE – A readily available favorites pane would allow me to collect, via aliases, a handy assortment of commonly used documents needed for any particular writing task. This collection would not be tied to any particular document but span across a working sessions, whether it lasted an hour, a week, or indefinitely. A favorites pane would save hunting for the same things over and over again in the binder.

ANNOTATIONS AS SEPARATE FILES – My first impression of annotations was very positive – comments tied to specific locations in the text - and nicely executed. But then I started to think how nice it would be to have the option of temporarily getting rid of the annotations I’ve used to muck up my text, leaving behind only a small icon that might gently rest in the right margin. I would use a feature like this to dump all kinds of stuff I wanted to attach to a particular point in my text - a few paragraphs of research, incoherent thoughts I once thought were brilliant, and various trial balloons. The beauty of a system like this is that I could save lots of junk, but NOT SEE IT. (A notepad that covers a whole document simply does not have this functionality.)

I realize that something akin to this could be done with the nicely implemented Scrivener Links; but creating a document, naming it, navigating back to the original text document, and then dragging the new note from the binder into the work pane to link it just seems like a whole lot more work than a writer wants to go through in the midst of a burst of creative spontaneity.

If Scrivener Links is the only practical way to do something like this for the foreseeable future, might you create a toolbar button that could create a new document that would automatically be Scrivener linked at the location of the cursor, then named automatically (eg. “Note # __â€

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your positive comments about Scrivener and for taking the time to post your suggestions. I will try my best to deal with all of them:

If I understand you correctly, most of what you want to do here can be done via System Preferences > Keyboard and Mouse. There you can override the keyboard shortcuts for any particular application on your Mac. I’m not so sure about the text-jumping keybindings, though - these are actually built into OS X’s text engine, which Scrivener utilises, so I don’t have much control over that aspect.

Not 100% sure I understand you. Such a list would have to be per-project, as you cannot open one document in more than one project (though I guess that is why you are asking for aliases - which I’m not sure will make it into Scrivener, to be honest). If the list of documents you would want to use is unchanging, you could, of course set up a template project. If it is just a matter of certain files within a project that you find that you need to refer to again and again, what I would do is set up a project notes file and place it right at the top of the binder. You can then either place all of the documents you access frequently into this file either as Scrivener links or as references. That way, you can just go straight to the top of the binder to open your “Favourites” file (or go to View > Go To > Favourites, which will be the first file in the list), and then click on the link/reference you want to open it straight up. Which isn’t to say that a favourites list isn’t a bad idea - it is actually a very good one, and it is something I may consider in the future. But for now, this should hopefully help.

One thing that I looked into was collapsible annotations. That is, whereby you can just choose to hide any given annotation (or all of them), leaving behind just a marker in the text that could be clicked on to reveal the annotation again. This is still something I would like to implement at sometime in the future. Unfortunately, it proved very, very difficult even to prototype given the text system as it stands. Cutting out and then showing chunks of text on the fly throws the undo manager into complete disarray - currently the only way to do it would be to clear the undo stack every time you collapsed or expanded an annotation, which would not be great. So to really get something like this working would take a lot of work and a lot of customising of the OS X text system. It is therefore on my list for consideration around the 2.0 mark, when there is another big development push. Hope that makes sense.

Not sure I understand this correctly, but what you can do is select multiple documents in the binder before launching full screen mode. When you do this, all of the selected documents are loading into the full screen mode’s document history, so you can just use cmd-[ and cmd-] to navigate back and forth between them.

As with all OS X text programs, you use the ruler (cmd-R whilst the text has focus) to control and toggle bullet points.

For this you could set up a couple of different text styles via the ruler and then assign keyboard mappings to them via the System Preferences.

This should not be a problem. Scrivener only loads into memory documents that you open during the session, so an 800 page novel of which you have only viewed two pages during a session would take up less memory than a 20 page article in which you have loaded all pages (supposing each page were a different document in the project). I have tried loading up Scrivener with about a 1,000,000 words before during stress-testing, without any problems. Of course, if you do encounter any problems, do let me know, because Scrivener is designed to be able to handle such things!

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Best,
Keith

There is a way to effectively override the default keyboard short cuts, but this technique will change the way the entire system (those parts using standard OS X widgets at any rate) will function, not just Scrivener. The base system supports quite a few cursor movement and selection options, so you can probably do what you want. Unfortunately, this is not the most intuitive thing to do. There is no Apple interface for it, and indeed you have to create an XML file from scratch to even get it working.

Or, there is this application, which helps a little bit, but you still have figure out Apple’s naming convention, which is fortunately pretty straight forward. For example, if I wanted to bind Ctrl-Shift-Right to select from the cursor position to the end of the document, I would choose “moveToEndOfDocumentAndModifySelection.” This even supports mult-key binding. So if you come from an ancient word processor or text editor that had you doing things like “Ctrl-e Ctrl-f”, you can set it up to work that way.

So, it is possible – just, very geeky.

Here is a suggestion made earlier that could accomplish what Timotheus is after, AND (I believe) be implimented in a very Scrivener-friendly way:

[quote=“michpen”]

ANNOTATIONS AS SEPARATE FILES – My first impression of annotations was very positive – comments tied to specific locations in the text - and nicely executed. But then I started to think how nice it would be to have the option of temporarily getting rid of the annotations I’ve used to muck up my text, leaving behind only a small icon that might gently rest in the right margin. I would use a feature like this to dump all kinds of stuff I wanted to attach to a particular point in my text - a few paragraphs of research, incoherent thoughts I once thought were brilliant, and various trial balloons. The beauty of a system like this is that I could save lots of junk, but NOT SEE IT. (A notepad that covers a whole document simply does not have this functionality.)

I realize that something akin to this could be done with the nicely implemented Scrivener Links; but creating a document, naming it, navigating back to the original text document, and then dragging the new note from the binder into the work pane to link it just seems like a whole lot more work than a writer wants to go through in the midst of a burst of creative spontaneity.

If Scrivener Links is the only practical way to do something like this for the foreseeable future, might you create a toolbar button that could create a new document that would automatically be Scrivener linked at the location of the cursor, then named automatically (eg. “Note # __â€

Please see the extensive discussions on this that have gone on in the forum already. It is well known that I would love to have collapsible annotations, and the only thing holding this back is technical limitations. :slight_smile:
Best,
Keith

I posted this in the wrong place by mistake, and it also seems that I have not made my point clearly (because I was proposing an alternate solution to collapsing annotations). I will repost in the proper thread.

I don’t think about a feature in that special way above, but it would be great if I could click on a document in the binder and see what is in, without loosing focus on my working document.

Yes, splitting the view seems great for that, but I won’t split the view, because it disturbes me at work.
A little window at the bottom of the binder, that will show the text of the clicked document, without opening it in the editor.

And that would be great in full screen view too… :wink:

Marcus

Have not been using Scrivener long but almost immediately added a new template to a project and needed to add several dozen items using the same template. I noted that adding a new Character Sketch had a key binding but saw no way to add one for my new template item.

So, one idea to think about might be the inclusion of a preference panel for Keys, similar to what the Eclipse IDE uses in its Keys panel. It would include (at a minimum) all the default key bindings for Scrivener and the ability to:

  • add new key bindings to commands that do not already have them
  • modify current key bindings to better suit the users personal use case
  • add new key bindings when new commands are added to menus (like templates)

In addition, it could support:

  • provide alternate key bindings that match popular word processors (where common commands are available)
  • import the current key bindings for sharing
  • import saved key bindings from friends or that match other popular word processors

Been awhile since I looked at Mac OS X programming but I seem to remember these types of actions as being possible within the API. Forgive me if I’ve misremembered.

Loving the program so far. It is such a better match for how I think and write that anything I’ve used before.

// frank

Assuming you’re talking about the basic keyboard shortcuts for menu items, you can do most of that just through the OS System Preferences. This page shows you how.

As for the templates, the top template in the folder receives a keyboard shortcut for convenience, and it’s possible to switch which template this refers to by changing the order in the folder. You can however add your own shortcuts to additional templates by giving them unique titles and following the linked directions.

Hope that helps!