Binder Highlight in Split View Mode

I often work in split view mode. One window holds a composite draft of my entire project. The second window holds reference material (usually an individual scrivening or one of many .pdf resources). I’ve found that, working in these two views while navigating with the binder can be a little clunky.

  1. In the window that holds a composite draft of my entire project: If, in the binder, I click on an individual scrivening within that composite, the composite draft window jumps to that particular scrivening in the composite. I appreciate that. However it doesn’t work in the reverse. If I’m working in a composite view, and I scroll up or down and start working in a different scrivening within that composite, the binder highlight doesn’t change. The binder holds onto the previous highlight. If I jump around a lot in my editing, it quickly becomes confusing to figure out which scrivening I’m working with in the composite view. There might be some keybord command or menu option or something to reveal the current scrivening in the binder, but I’d prefer to have the highlighter just jump around correctly depending on which section I’m in.

  2. When I work with the second window (my reference material) and then go back to the top window and start editing my composite draft, the highlight in the binder does not change to reflect my new work environment. The highlight in the binder holds on to the scrivening from the bottom window, even though I have started editing in the top winow. Again, the binder highlight is not moving around to reflect the current editing window, so it can be confusing. This happens even though I have set the menu option to Binder Affects > Current Window.

You want View > Reveal in Binder (opt-cmd-R). (It would be very annoying if the binder highlight just changed automatically, which is why you very rarely see such behaviour in source lists. See the FAQ entry here: … ly_editing

All the best,

Hmmmm, yes. I can see how the issue of hidden or nested documents could be a problem. And a highlight that jumped around while I was typing would probably get annoying. But I find, as a fequent Scrivener user, that I do quite a lot of moving around between different documents in different editors. And so, if the binder highlight stays put, it quickly becomes totally irrelevant. It’s a flag marking the place I was ten minutes ago. I can certainly learn to ignore it. And to manually update it when necessary. But I wonder if there’s some more elegant UI solution that would help track my current location as I worked? Just something to ponder…

The header bar and/or inspector both track the current file or container you are looking at, that’s the up to date data upon which to rely. The sidebar is more analogous to Finder. It’s what you use to organise and load things, but once you do that it doesn’t attempt to keep track of what you are doing in the stuff you’ve loaded. It’s not meant to be a status, but a launching pad.

And to tack onto Ioa’s comment, by clicking the icon in the editor header you can reveal the “Path” of the current document, giving you some additional context.

Yes, but I do a lot of work in “compile” mode. I scroll up and down and edit in a string of documents compiled together in an editor window. In compile mode, the header bar doesn’t list the specific document. And, even if the document title did appear, the title is not necessarily the most useful bit of information. It’s more helpful to know where I am relative to the entire document.

Assuming you’re on Windows, the ability to see the name of where you are inside of a Scrivenings session (“compile mode”) is a planned feature; I do realise things are more difficult now than they could be otherwise. You have to rely on the Inspector more and that doesn’t provide pathing information as per MM’s suggestion. If you’re on a Mac, then you should be seeing sub-item names and pathing info even in a session.

It’s definitely one of those “design conundrums” where the thing that might be most useful is kind of tacky looking if you do it in the most directly useful way (always selecting in the binder); so we just have to kind of assume that the writer will know where they are in their manuscript since there isn’t a good easy to implement alternative. That isn’t always a safe assumption—in large works it can sometimes be elusive, I know that myself—but the Path menu really does help; and once the header bar is revamped so that it keeps track of where you are in a Scrivenings session, that will be much more helpful. For now I’m afraid Reveal is going to be the go-to method.