Arrrrrggh... Keyboard Shortcuts

OK. I’d gotten reasonably, if arkwardly, comfortable with opt-del to delete word forward (recognizing it’s clumsiness was due to Apple not Scrivener). Now I’ve moved to my 12’ PowerBook and there is no “del” key, only the larger “delete” key. Is there an alternate key combination on my laptop to delete-word-forward?

For precisely this reason, I would argue that a list of keyboard shortcuts for commands like this, NOT listed in the menus, would be very helpful. The list could change over time, if need be. But what is the point of keyboard commands that are not documented anywhere - merely for the Scrivener priesthood?

Which brings me to my pet peeve: the clumsy keyboard options in Apple’s text engine, and Scrivener’s suffering because of it. Then I had a thought.

Apple’s Preferences-Keyboard Shortcuts would appear to be the perfect solution to someone like me who wants to do as little as possible with the mouse, because it’s slow and RSS inducing. However, Apple’s keyboard shortcuts ONLY work on menu commands, and something like Delete-Word-Foward would never appear in a menu.

Couldn’t Scrivener have a dummy menu of some kind - perhaps seen only by Apple’s Keyboard Shortcuts panel - that would list a whole slew of really useful functions not commonly on menus, and then each Scrivener user could customize these for themselves, or not?

My suggestion for this “invisible” menu would include:

delete word forward/back
move word forward/back
scroll up/down one line + move cursor up/down one line (for keyboard scrolling)
scroll up/down one page

I realize that some of these already have keyboard commands, but I would like to customize them in a more coherent way for myself.



these are shortcuts that are used in almost any program. You will get used to them. Only that there is no page in Scrivener, so there is no way to scroll up and down page wise.

There should be a page like this in English as well, which might help you (if this was you problem :confused: ).


Hi Michael,
I have a 12 " iBook G4, similar to a 12" G4 Powerbook. Delete forward is fn/Delete. The fn (function) key is on the extreme lower left of my keyboard. Should also work on your Powerbook.

The fn key is also useful on the iBook keyboard in conjunction with the arrow keys. Without holding the fn key, the arrow keys are just arrow keys. Hold down fn and the arrow keys become home, page up, page down, and end keys. Very nice for scrolling quickly in Scrivener or other Cocoa programs.

Just recently (re)discovered this myself, and I’ve been using Macs since the Fat Mac, circa 1986, and an iBook since 2000.

John Robert

Thanks, JohnRobt. For those of us new to Macs as well as to Scrivener, these tips are really useful.

There is. :slight_smile: You just have to erase “-de” from the url:

– MJ

A dummy menu wouldn’t work as menus only work if they are visible and enabled. :slight_smile: You couldn’t have a scroll up/scroll down command anyway because they are buried in the scroll view.

As for a list of keyboards shortcuts - if it isn’t in one of the menus, I didn’t put it there, Apple did. And I’ve always been a bit of a “mouser”, to be honest, so I’m not au fait with all of the keyboard shortcuts. Users such as AmberV are waaaaay more knowledgeable about such things than I am. So it is best to look at external references about keyboard shortcuts for the text engine than ask me. Sorry.

My usual Chaucer quote: “blame nat me” (the Miller’s excuse for telling a lewd tale - he is just retelling it, he didn’t make it up :slight_smile: ).



I’ve always found working without a mouse to be much quicker, and less prone to repeatative stress injuries.

Imagine this - a system where you almost never have to take your hands off the keyboard, allowing you to type AND EDIT as fast as your brain can think.

It’s all centered around the arrow keys, and their normal functions extended by modifier keys. So in this system, the arrow keys alone have their normal foward/back/up/down fuction, of course.

The first modifier key is Command, because it is right there almost under your left thumb as it hovers over the spacebar. So gently resting your thumb on the Command key increases the power of the arrow keys to become word forward/back, and document scrolling one line up/down (the scrolling moves the document up and down one line at a time, AND at the same time moves the cursor in the opposite direction so that the cursor always remains relatively in the same place on the screen (very similar to Scrivener’s typewriter scrolling)).

Then, with that thumb still resting comforttably on the Command key, hitting the delete key on laptops (or the del key on full-sized keyboards) deletes one word forward. What this gives you is an extremely simple, and very intuitive keyboard system that can accomplish 85% of what has to a happen during editing - moving around and deleting text.

Next, if you add the Opt key to the already depressed Command key (the Opt is just one key away, right there, and logically the next one in order away from the spacebar, and it further increases the power of the arrow keys) Opt+Command+Arrow gives you either end/beginning of line, or page up/down through the document.

Add one more modifier key to the left, Ctrl, and again the power of the arrows is ramped up further. Ctrl+Opt+Command+Arrow gives you beginning/end of paragraph, and beginning/end of document.

In the abstract, it may be hard to imagine how powerfully intuitive this sytem is, but I can tell you from experience as a writer, it is pretty sublime.

This is the system I was able to create in MS Word using Customized keyboard commands, and macros for the keyboard scrolling. I miss it deeply, and find juggling my fingers over a variety of non-intuitive key combinations to do the same thing clunky and ugly, and an impediment to smoothing writing.

Would something like this be too much to ask of a sublime writing program like Scrivener? (I know, I know, Apple’s text engine, Yeeeck! But maybe there’s a work-around of some kind, let’s use our collective creative brain, calling on all the brilliant programmers we know for suggestions, plead with Apple for something better - surely Apple can do something better.) In the meantime, I may have to try the programs QuickKeys or iKey to see if it can accomplish this, but am hesitant to add anything on top of (or is it underneath) my OS.


Without rewriting the text system from the ground up, I fear there is no way to achieve this. Hint: I’m not going to rewrite the text system from the ground up. :slight_smile:

The problem with any extensive modifications to the way keys work in the edit view is that you’ll fork from the manner in which nearly every other application on the Mac works. I’m not a huge fan of the default view and cursor manipulation keys because they require you to leave the home row and use arrow keys. Fortunately, there are a number of UNIX carry-overs available, such as Ctrl-a to go to the beginning of the line. A full list of all the default commands is located here.

Another reason why I think it is not a good idea to change the defaults in Scrivener is that there already exists a good system for customising the entire OS! An application that aids in doing this is here. The key binding system is fairly robust. In fact, some enterprising individuals have managed to get the OS to act like vim, which if you are not familiar, has two different modes: One for typing and one for manipulating text.[/b]

See also: This thread, which goes over the same issue and has some good tips in it.

Couldn’t there be some kind of macro program within Scrivener that could watch keystrokes and respond as instructed? (Am I showing my programming ignorance here?)

QuickKeys and iKey purport to do this, but maybe a solution like theirs would be as much of a magilla to impliment as rewriting the text engine.

What about a fully enabled and active menu, one that just so happened to be invisible (same color as the background, or one pixel in size) on which the Apple Preferences-Keyboard Shortcuts could work?

Do you detect a note of desperation in my tone?


For a start, you clearly (and quite understandably) don’t understand how menus work. No, there could be no such dummy menu. It is actually impossible.

And as for a macro program in Scrivener - well, as AmberV has already pointed out, there are already programs available that can do this. Should I really spend potentially months of development time implementing something that you could get today using another program, which would go against every other Mac program out there, and which very few users would ever require or use? I highly recommend trying the other solutions before asking Scrivener to become something that it is not. :slight_smile:

All the best,