Advanced Image formatting


I was wondering if there are any plans to add slightly more advanced handling of images in Scrivener?

I am using Scrivener as a complete project folder and keeping many docs and image references in the one program is outstanding for me. Of course I can’t really expect the program to do absolutely everything that every other program does, or else I would want a combo of word and InDesign… ugh… I’m sure that word be a right old mess.

All I’m looking for is a way to add slightly more visually attractive placement of images within a document. I have 3 requirements (It could be that I just haven’t found out how to do these yet!)

  1. To be able to have text wrap around an image, currently I can sort of do this by making a table and placing an image in one field and text an another
  2. To be able to extend the image to the edges of the paper area, and not conform to the standard tab and border settings. Maybe by having the option to have a unique tab/border setting on one particular page, but the rest of the doc revert to the default? This is mostly for cover images.
  3. More a nice to have, than terrible nessasary, that is to have an image as a background image, that text can run over the top of. This functionality would effectively give me the functionality I need in point 1. (above)

Thanks for a great program! You’ve changed the way I work… for the better!


Hi Mark,

Thanks for the kind words! I’m afraid there are no plans for any of this in the immediate future (nor for version 3.0), although I rule nothing out in the long-term. Image layout and text wrap is actually a very complex layout feature, and Scrivener leaves all such complex layout to dedicated programs. To give you some idea of the technical complexity involved: when you view your text in non-page layout mode, you are looking at a single “box” of text. In page layout mode, each “page” is an individual box of text, sized to the current page size, through which the text flows. For text layout around images, the text needs to be broken up into multiple boxes. So, say you have an image at the centre of the page with text flowing around it. In that case, the page would need five boxes - the image box, one above it, one either side of it, and one below it. And every time you edit the text those box positions and sizes need recalculating. This is a huge undertaking, and not something I’m sure I could achieve as a single programmer at the moment without it coming at the expense of other parts of the program - the parts that make Scrivener unique and that can’t be done elsewhere - slipping.

In an ideal world, what I would love to do at some point in the future is be able to hire someone to rejig Scrivener’s whole text system, but that is still a little way down the line. So, while I have no philosophical objections to better image handling (i.e. this isn’t a case of, “No, no, that’s not what Scrivener is for!”), to some extent resources determine what is possible in the short term, and so things like this, which can be handled in an external word processor after compile, get pushed to the longer term.

I hope that makes sense!

Thanks and all the best,

Well ok… I understand, and I had no idea that you were just one guy… Thats just ridiculous! Why arent you a huge tower block in Silicon Valley, when idiot college grads become millionaires for making programs for posting unflattering pictures of their ex-girlfriend? The worlds gone mad!

Good luck Keith!


Heh, I’m more of a “room above the kitchen” in my house in Cornwall sort of guy. :slight_smile: There are a few of us now at L&L (it did used to just be me), but I’m still the sole Mac developer (we have a Windows developer, an iOS developer, and support people too these days though, all scattered around and working from their own homes). One of the big challenges we face when it comes to improving the text system is that there aren’t many experts in the OS X text system working outside of Apple, and those there are already work on popular applications of their own (such as the Nisus guys). So, we’re getting to the stage where we probably could start thinking about finding a second developer soon, but finding the right person - especially when I’m a bit of control freak and used to having complete dominion over the code! - is another hurdle altogether…

All the best,