A praise and two little issues...

Dear Keith,
I moved my PhD thesis, which is nearing its completion, to Scrivener about a month ago and never regretted this decision. It has become so much easier to rethink arguments, move things around, jump form one section to another, compare passages in the two editors, etc. I really love the fact that I can do almost everything with keyboard shortcuts.
There are just a two little things that even after a month I keep doing wrong because I find them slightly counterintuitive.
First, no matter if I press enter or return in the binder, a new document is created. It would be much easier for me if Scrivener could follow the convention that enter makes the title editable, while return creates a new item. Would this be possible?
Second, I still struggle with the fact that in scriptwriting mode (which I always use to apply paragraph styles for blockquotes, etc.) I don’t have a word count. So I keep switching off scriptwriting mode and forgetting about which mode I am in. Futhermore, I don’t really get why scriptwriting mode is called scriptwriting mode. I see it more as a substitute for paragraph formats, usable but compared to the elegance of the rest of Scrivener still a bit clumsy.

all the best,

Hi Martin,

Great to hear you’re finding Scrivener useful for your PhD (good luck with it!). The return/enter thing has come up before, and certainly seems reasonable - it should be fairly straightforward to fix, so I’ll add it to the list. As for the scriptwriting mode, it doesn’t have the word count available because people writing scripts (screenplays and stageplays) don’t usually worry about word count but page count. So it sounds as though you are using the mode for something it wasn’t really intended. Whilst it certainly can be repurposed to be used as a crude styles system, it wasn’t designed for that and so would seem a bit clumsy if you use it like that. It’s called “scriptwriting mode” because that signifies its intended purpose. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Hi Keith,
I see your point and take it. But still, if you moved the description of behaviour (tab: xx, return:yy) into a tooltip of the currently used style, there would be room for word count in both modes :wink:

all the best,

That wouldn’t be what scriptwriters are used to, though - and believe me, scriptwriters are very vocal about what they expect. :slight_smile:


Then I should maybe go back to writing scripts and plays instead of this monstrous PhD? Probably I should, but that is another story. It would, however, raise some interesting questions about Scriveners philosophy of not interfering with a writer’s way.
Anyway, enjoy your day.

Oh no, Coffee’s on the rampage today… Run for the hills!

With Coffee, it`ll be more like a foot stamping tantrum :frowning: than a rampage.


You can define your own paragraph styles using the ruler in the Editor view. Just set up a paragraph in the way you want to see extended quotations using the ruler, and then define that as a paragraph style. You can then us Apple system preferences to assign a keyboard shortcut to that style in Scrivener. (While you are at it, you should assign a kbd shortcut to your Default style, too.

Voila! Blockquote and default paragraph styles at your fingertips. The only caveat is that the Ruler needs to be showing for the kbd shortcuts to work.

Good luck with the dissertation.


Thanks for the tip, Greg,
I am trying this out at the moment but encounter one problem:
I tick both the “include font” and “include ruler” box when saving a style. But when I apply it only the ruler attributes (indents, spacing) automatically format my entire paragraph while the font attributes (font, size, etc) only apply to the currently selected text.
Is there a way to apply the font attributes to an entire paragraph without having to select it?


No, that’s a limitation in the way Apple designed this tool. Character styles apply to selection ranges and paragraph styles apply to the paragraphs that fall inclusively within the selection range. Here is a trick that will make this process easier: triple-click will select the entire line (which is usually a paragraph). This makes it easy to apply font and ruler settings at once.

Thanks, Ioa, that is what I thought. In this case, I’ll go back to mischievously exploit the script-writing mode for my purposes. I am absolutely fine with this.
In fact, it brings up another question: is there anything in the scrip-writing mode that cannot be done with a standard system of paragraph styles? Maybe I am too blind to see the beauty of it. The ability to used return and tab as two choices to move to the next style, and the style-dependent auto-complete list, yes. What else?

Parentheticals (adding brackets automatically), inserting particular characters on tab, and in 2.0 the ability to add items to the auto-complete list based on the current element. There might be a good argument for merging it into a general paragraph styles feature off in the future, but for scriptwriters writing treatments it is useful to be able to switch between the two modes, and I wouldn’t want to fool anyone into thinking that Scrivener has a proper styles system.