Binder and Inspector UI Tweak - Drawer-like

I tried searching to see if someone had already posted about this feature, so apologies if its been mentioned before (but I couldn’t find anything on it)…

This is a small gripe, but one I hope to see in 2.0 or sometime soon. I use scrivener like mad, I love it, I can’t wait for 2.0 and I can’t believe I that this actually my first post. But there is one thing that tends to drive me crazy. I show/hide both the binder and inspector quite often, switching back and forth between views to check on various things. But I really dislike that this causes weird window-resizing issues for me. For example, I hate how if you have both the binder and inspector hidden, and you are in split-pane mode (vertical), but then if you switch them on and off quite often the different panes resize automatically, but they pane on the right always ends up a different size from the pane on the left. I’m constantly pushing and pulling the divider back and forth to get the two panes to be the dimensions I want them to be (which is roughly of equal width).

I was hoping 2.0 might have UI tweak where both the inspector and binder act more “drawer-like,” in the Mac interface. Or some sort of feature where the two panes I have open will both decrease/increase in width by the same percentage, by the same portion.

So if I have both the binder and inspector hidden, and I show just the binder on the left, both split panes will adjust size equally and proportionally (and vice versa for if I hide the binder again once I’m done). Same thing for if I turn on the inspector.

I know this is a small (and probably odd) gripe. And truthfully, I’m not sure how many people other than myself would like this feature. But I would love it!

Thank you for an excellent product

I had never noticed it but I see the same symptoms … on my system it’s always the right split that gets its width adjusted. This isn’t a complete fix, but here’s a little tip that saves you moving the join.

Every time you are in vertical split mode, and you show or hide the Binder, Inspector or both, tap CMD+" twice in quick succession (on my keyboard, the " is SHIFT+’ so I have to tap CMD+SHIFT+’ to get the same result). This is the default keyboard shortcut to toggle vertical view on and off. By toggling it off and on again, it’ll snap the split back to the middle of the area. It’s not perfect, but certainly faster and more accurate than clicking and dragging.

If you want to remap this to a different key, you can do this from outside Scrivener.

  • Go to System Preferences under the Apple menu on the menubar
  • Select the Keyboard section (On OS X 10.5 or less it’s Keyboard & Mouse)
  • Select Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Click the + button below the list to add a new one
  • Select Scrivener from the drop-down applications list
  • In the Menu Title box, type Split Vertically
  • In the Keyboard Shortcut box, press the key combination you’d like to use
  • Click Add

The new keyboard shortcut should take instant effect. I just tested it with CMD+v and it worked fine for me. Make sure you don’t choose a keyboard shortcut that will conflict with any other keyboard shortcuts you already use, of course.

There may be a better solution, but hopefully this will tide you over until such time as someone enlightens us both :wink:


Perhaps try Preferences>General – set a default editor width and make sure to check the box for “fixed width.”

If you set the editor to use a fixed width, then the size won’t change when you show or hide inspector or binder. So that means depending on the size you make it, you might actually overlap the editor, as it were, and require horizontal scrolling, but if you’re usually working on the same size screen, you can set the fixed width to something that will allow you space for the split editors and your usual inspector and binder widths without covering anything.

Unfortunately, if you toggle the split on and off as Eddy suggested, usually what will happen if you’re viewing two different documents is that you’ll lose the second one when you (for that brief instant) close it, and turning it back on will make it display the same document as the first editor.

But try the fixed width and see if that works for you!


Cocoa split views are notoriously complex and need treating with care or they can start eating up interface elements, so there are no changes upcoming in this regard.

However, an easy solution would just be to use Scrivener’s “Layouts” feature. Go to View > Layout > Show Layouts and a panel appears. This lets you save the interface in certain states and return to these interface states easily. So you could have a layout with both the binder and inspector hidden, with a split, and so on. In Scrivener 2.0, the list of layouts you create will be available from a menu in the toolbar, too, so rather than hiding the inspector, the binder and resizing things, you could just click on the button in the toolbar and select the layout you want to use, and everything will be shown or hidden and resized for you. You can already do this but you have to go through the View > Layout > Layouts submenu - in 2.0 the feature will just be more easily accessible and the layouts panel has been overhauled to work a little more intuitively (and look prettier).

All the best,

Thanks for the tips, guys! I’ll definitely check these out. I totally understand that split views are complex, and on the whole I’ve been using and loving scrivener for a long time with only minor irritation about this issue.

Lookin’ forward to 2.0!

By the way, I’ve needed this feature for about a year now, and only just discovered it thanks to this thread. The more convenient location for choosing the layouts in 2.0 just made the feature awesome++.