Active Window Focus

Don’t know if focus is the right term, but I’d like the active window to be a little more obvious. Somehow.

Otherwise, this is a terrific program, something I’ve been looking for for a long long time. The screenplay features sounds so interesting I almost wish I wrote screenplays – almost.

??? Sorry, I’m a bit baffled by this one, as whether a window is active or not is the same across the OS, and Scrivener works like every single other Mac OS X program with a unified toolbar in this regard. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the suggestion?

Thanks for the kind words, glad you are finding Scriv useful.

All the best,

Sorry, I guess I meant pane, not window. For example, when you switch to the Synopsis or Notes pane, I’d like some kind of indication that it’s “active” other than just a blinking cursor. The only pane that gives any visual feedback is the Binder – the highlight of the selected item is dark when active, grey when not. Make sense?

Check the header bar next time. The active editing split will have an underscored title. Yes, it is subtle, but that is the point. Once you know where to look, there is no mystery as to which pane is active, but it doesn’t distract or stick out when you don’t need to know.

Yep! And if you click on the little icon to the left of the underscored title then go down to GO TO it will point you to the binder - from within the focused pane.


Yeah, that works for the main editing pane when it’s split, but not when you move to the binder, synopsis or notes panes. Anyway, Mail isn’t any better at indicating the active pane: the only indication you are in the mailbox list or the mail list is the highlight. A Cocoa thing, I guess.

Who was it that said, “I hate meeces to pieces”? Sylvester the Cat? Anyway, whenever I can avoid reaching for the mouse, I don’t, convenient little pop-down menus nothwithstanding.

The standard way to indicate focus in an OS X app is by having a “focus ring” - you know, the blue glowing lines that appear around text fields when you click into them. These can appear around tables or outliners (like the binder), text views, buttons, anything, if you so wish it. The trouble is, they’re butt-ugly, so most developers turn them off for most controls - including Apple. You’ll very rarely see a control like the binder with a focus ring around it, even though it’s possible. Yuck, basically, is the trouble here.


I see what you are getting at. Have you familiarised yourself with the four keyboard shortcuts for transporting focus to the four primary window areas? Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-B always hits the Binder, E and R the primary and alternate split (left/right or bottom/top), and U and I the Synopsis and Note/Keywords/References area, respectively.

But I hear what you are saying. OS 9 used to have a standard method for highlighting the window area you were currently focussed in, and this has seeming gone out of style with the advent of Cocoa. Getting used to these shortcuts does help. If ever I am unsure, I just tap the one I want. When there is no split Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-E is the one to use.

Edit: And yes, that wretched glowing blue toothpaste focus ring is the very reason why it has fallen so far out of favour! It was a nice crisp 2 pixel black border back in the day.