A suggestion and two questions

A suggestion and two questions.

My suggestion:

I’m working on some tv scripts and I’ve used synopses/index cards to write all my ideas. I’m now getting close to writing a script and I’ll be using Scrivener for that too (I’ll eventually polish it in Final Draft).

Right now, I have my Layout as follows:

  • The Layout is Split Vertically
  • I have “Automatically open in selection in other editor” turned on in the left pane.
  • On the left pane is a Collection in Corkboard View containing 80 cards
  • The right pane is in Scrivenings view and is in Script Mode
  • I have the Inspector open

I selected a number of cards in the left pane. The documents themselves are blank so that in Scrivenings mode in the right pane, I don’t see anything but the lines that separate documents.

My main suggestion/wish is that, when in the right pane, it were clearer to see which documents, in the corkboard in the left pane, were currently selected and active. I know that the Synopsis in the Inspector changes as I move through the different documents in Scrivenings mode, but I’d really like to see more indication in the left pane too. For example, something as simple as colored border around the current card. I know that there is a blue border around a card when in the pane containing that card so maybe when I switch to the right pane it’d be great if the current card still had a border around it, but maybe a different color. Anyway, I just think it’d be easier, at least for me, to see the connection between the two panes that way.

As for my questions:

  1. Is there a way to change the Shift-Command-Y key in Script Mode to something else, like a function key? I know it’s possible to assign keystrokes to Menu items in System Preferences but the Shift-Command-Y keystroke doesn’t have a corresponding Menu item.

  2. If I can’t do that, what about changing the key command for Format—>Scripwriting—>Change Element To—>Scene Heading? Is it possible to create a keystroke for submenus such as that in System Preferences?

The reason I ask is because it seems that I need to select Scene Headings manually when in Script mode because it’s not an automatic choice when hitting Return or Tab.


Basically yes to both your questions. Shift-Cmd-Y does have a menu item, “Show Script Elements Menu” (under Format>Scriptwriting). So you can change that in the system preferences. You should also be able to assign a different shortcut to any of the items in the list under Format>Scriptwriting>Change Element To (although as you’ll see, the first nine automatically get assigned a shortcut, so you may just want to use that

And in response to the unasked question, you can adjust the behavior of the tab and return key under Format>Scriptwriting>Script Settings… For each of the elements go to the Tab/Return pane and then set the behavior you’d like. Depending what you’re doing that may not work, if you need basically two different behaviors at different times, but it’s good to know you have that option.

And also, check out the View/Editor/Show Titles in Scrivenings menu command, which will insert binder titles into the Scrivenings session on your right. Do note that when you use this, you are obviously inserting “fake” height into your editor. So if you are using Page View to monitor how many pages long your dialogue is or whatnot, this could interfere with the accuracy of that (though with a small font, you could get away with it for rough estimates on timing).

I still would like to see a visual indication of the index card currently selected when using the right pane in my example, but seeing the titles in Scrivenings is a big help.

As for changing the keyboard shortcut, I realized I had successfully changed it in the System Preferences so I’m happy that it works.