Blog: "Full Screen: Evolved"

I was quite excited when I read the back-log of blog entries you’ve posted, culminating in this one. Your little rant on where full screen should go in the future is nearly 100% in alignment with my own opinions, which I have voiced on other forums; mostly without any support. Few people seem willing to see past the notion that the full screen revolution existed for a reactionary purpose, and now that this purpose has been fulfilled, and we have a clean base to work from, the is no reason to impose further limitations upon the writer. Anyway, it was a pleasure to see someone else not only voicing these ideas, but acting on them!

Some comments. The HUD idea is splendid. I like how this will result in a “work space” that can be hidden or revealed, and elements can be moved about to our taste. For those of us using large, wide-screen monitors, there is a lot of waste in full screen mode. There should be an easy, one key way to toggle the visibility of all such elements, such as using the Tab key in Photoshop to hide everything except the art (obviously that would not be a good key here, but you get the idea).

The only major thing that I think you have missing is the ability to either split the main buffer, or open a second one beside it. In my opinion, the need for this is advanced by Scrivener’s design concept, which allows easy parcelling of scenes and sections into separate “documents.” The possibility or need to work on several at once, or referencing while writing in another, becomes quite high. How to go about this from a UI stand-point is where it gets sticky. I can think of a few good ideas, but I’d rather hear from you on whether or not you’d be keen on the idea at all, before spending some time brainstorming.

One last comment, and this relates to keywords in general, not just the HUD version – but I do hope that you will include a mechanism that allows for rapid keyword entry. One thing that bothers me about many keyword implementations that follow the Apple method is that you have to do a lot of mouse work and clicking to get a list in. I rather like the way MyTags works for You can just start typing and every time you press comma or space it starts a new keyword. Keywords that have been designated as “official” are auto-completed. To designate a new keyword as official, you just right click on it and a contextual menu appears.

You said you are not finished, yes, but I noticed there does not seem to be any sort of button to enable “typewriter mode,” as discussed in other threads. I do hope this mode makes it in!

Thanks for the feedback - I glad you like most of what you see so far.

I agree, but I think that this is something I will look at addressing post-1.0. One problem is that full screen now only supports text documents, whereas SG supported both text and media documents in full screen. I made this decision partly because it keeps things cleaner and simpler (and thus less liable to bugginess), but also because it makes more sense. Scrivener is a writing application, so, unlike DevonThink, it makes little sense for it to provide full screen viewing of movies or images - it distracts from its purpose. This makes providing a split view problematic: if the main document in full screen can only be text, then how do I present a reference document? One answer would be to have another HUD panel. This one would just have a pull-down button at the bottom that would allow you to select a document to view. This would probably make the most sense in the context.

Another problem, of course, is that it is much more difficult to navigate between documents in full screen - you have to use the Go To menu, which is not as slick as using the Binder. This encourages the user to stay in one document, and would make navigating between supporting documents awkward - so that the user may wish to stay in normal mode for this even if the feature was available.

Oh, and remember that in full screen in 1.0 you will be able to open any number of text documents contained within the draft as one long document (a little like in the current draft view).

I understand your desire for an easier way to add keywords, too, though again, this won’t make it into 1.0 (I’m not aware of MyTags, incidentally). However, I will ensure that hitting “return” in the keywords table creates a new entry rather than ends editing, as that will at least keep things more fluent. If I forget to do this, please remind me when it comes time to beta-test - it is just a setting I have to add to my table view subclass.

As for typewriter mode - I’m afraid it has been ditched for 1.0. It needs a lot more work and I’m going to take a fresh look at BlockWriter later, after I get to a Scrivener 1.0 release. If things go well with BlockWriter, I will probably then incorporate it into the full screen mode of Scrivener in a 1.x release.

My thoughts when checking out your blog and the screen shots you just posted for full screen was ‘god, this looks beautiful’! I love the thought you are putting into this. Full screen looks awesome. The ability to view reference material/notes, key words, etc., and the other ideas you are mulling would make it a true work environment, where the user can choose how much or how little they want available within it. I know some users just want as much simplicity as possible in full screen. Myself, I would love to have available the same elements I have in regular view in some fashion—at least what would be needed to not have to switch out of full screen to do the work. And to be able to have them appear and disappear with relative ease—along the lines of AmberVs suggestion (referring to Photoshop).

I also appreciate and like your resolve to place goal posts and not waver. I think you need to know when to be open to new ideas (to ‘swaying’) and when to stand firm, or you’d never get anything completed! Much like the writing process itself!

Major bummer about your poor MacBook. What a royal pain! As for your ponderings about shareware, you make an excellent point. I think we are all getting quite spoiled by developers such as yourself and others such as Jesse with Hog Bay, the DevonThink folks, etc. You make yourself so accessible and open and we seem to get more and more demanding as a result! I think it’s a wonderful new paradigm for developing software people can really use, and it can also be overwhelming unless you, at some point in the process, make a decision about what you can and can’t do and then stick with it.

Anyway, I will keep checking your blog and stand ready to help beta test, hopefully, when you are ready. And I also stand ready to write that proverbial check for the final release!



I second Alex’s sentiments and trust I didn’t open up a can of worms by posting my wishlist. I look forward to seeing Scrivener grow - at its own pace, in its own direction.

I don’t think a can of worms, but a useful and stimulating interaction! I know for me, my ‘enthusiasm’ in making wishlists is, at least in part, due to my isolation as a writer, both in practice and in terms of finding software that works. I got very excited about finding Scr. And also about exchanging ideas and work processes with other folks such as yourself.

So, I’m just as guilty insofar as ‘wishlists.’ Now, we wait. At least until the beta comes out… :slight_smile:


I’m not complaining about wish lists at all. :slight_smile: As I said on my blog, the new version of Scrivener wouldn’t be what it is were it not for the feedback and suggestions of users on the old forum. Unless there is anything hideously wrong with the new version, though, I won’t be adding features until after 1.0. And even then there will most likely be a good few months with no new features, just bug-fixes, whilst I use the thing myself. :slight_smile:

Anyway, another shot of full screen:

I have decided against trying to fit in having reference documents in full screen. I definitely think it’s a great idea for the future, but getting the conept right is important. It may even be more of a 2.0 thing. :slight_smile: Certainly, not soon, but not never… Of course, thoughts about it for future reference are always welcome.

Anyway, all I have to do now is put up blanking windows to block other screens for those who have a dual monitor set up… But then again, maybe the other screens should be left untouched. Any thoughts?

Absolutely fair enough. I just think it will be something useful down the road. I missed the ability to concatenate multiple entries before entering full screen. I think that will actually suffice for now just fine. My biggest concern with the 1.0 release was the constantly switching between scenes – so that would solve that part easily. Especially if you can select non-linear, but even just linear would be fine.

Additionally, if one really needs reference documents, it looks like a simple copy and paste into the document’s notes will work fine. Pictures, PDFs, movies, and all.

For me, that would be enough. Whether it is return, space, comma, or whatever – as long as I can type five keywords really fast. I am a much faster typer than point and clicker. And don’t worry, you’ll hear from me if it is neglected. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, fair enough. You’ve long said “feature freeze”, and I was a little surprised when you mentioned putting it into 1.0, so having it off in the future is something I was half expecting anyway.

It is looking awesome, K. And in response to another blog post, I would certainly be willing to help with a widget integration test whenever you are ready for that.

Sounds reasonable re reference docs in full screen. I also think it makes sense to get it out as you think best and then see what folks actually need/want after having had a chance to work with it. Being able to see notes may be enough.

I myself have a dual monitor set up and I would rather not have my second screen affected. I often park auxiliary things I need there and would like to have access while I’m working in full screen. As always, I suppose having it be optional would be best. But perhaps harder to implement and therefore not desirable on your end?


I’m also a dual screen user, often in an over/underconfiguration with my 19 incher stacked above and behind my powerbook. I’d probably use full screen on the PB for writing purposes and want to keep the big monitor for my usual dog’s breakfast of notes/refernce etc in normal mode. What mildly annoys me about most fullscreen systems is that clicking on something on the second monitor deactivates fullscreen on the first and/or that the fullscreened window’s title bar creeps/expands up on to to the second monitor. Any solution that avoids those problems would get my vote - if this were a democracy. :slight_smile: