Boxes, Bullets & Shortcuts

Vote If You Want the Following (You can pick all 3)

  • Customizable Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Text Boxes
  • Ability to Insert Individual symbols and bullets

0 voters

I LOVE your software! However, I’ve used MS Word for well over a decade and I’ve learned how to make the program my b***h. There’s lots of stuff I do in Word that I’m missing here they are:

  1. ability to insert individual unique characters, such as bullet points.
  2. ability to insert and manipulate text boxes to set certain areas of text apart from others.

and most important of all–

  1. Keyboard shortcuts galore!

I’m only just learning your software, so maybe I’m missing some things. It’s really great, and just what I need to help me with some specific projects. But boy do I wish you had these other elements too.

Hi mnanda

Welcome to the forum. For 1) check out the Edit menu > Special Characters. And for 3), in my opinion Scrivener has just about as many keyboard shortcuts as any application I can think of, and if you want any more you can always roll your own via the OS X System Preferences menu. As far as 2) text boxes are concerned, the application is not designed to be a layout tool – it leaves that to word processors like MS Word, in which you can if necessary tidy up your document having done all the heavy drafting in Scrivener.

If you haven’t worked through the application’s excellent Interactive Tutorial (in the Help menu), I strongly recommend it. It won’t take long and will save you a lot of time later.


(N.B. I’m not the developer – I just enjoy using the programme.)

  1. Many common special characters can be input using the keyboard, universally on the Mac. In the System Preferences, under Keyboard, enable “Show Keyboard & Character Viewer” in the menu bar. This will give you an icon that you can click, and from there select Keyboard Viewer. Try holding down the Option key with this open, then add the Shift key. Bullets, for example, are Opt-8; Euro currency symbol: Shift-Opt-2. While learning these, you can leave this open in the corner of your screen. It will highlight and change even when not the active window. Beyond the basics, Scrivener gives you easy access to the Special Characters palette in the Edit menu. From here you can browse through tens of thousands of Unicode glyphs and easily insert them into your text. Both of these methods are universal tools in OS X. The Special Characters palette is also accessible in that menu bar icon, so these are great things to learn as they will enhance your experience on the Mac as a whole.

  2. Text boxes and other freeform page design tools are way out of scope for Scrivener. It’s a drafting tool, not a layout tool. You’ll hear that refrain a lot around here. A program has to focus on something to be good: Scrivener focusses on bulk writing and the organisation of that writing in ways that page layout and word processors do not. This means it must sacrifice a bit in the things InDesign and Word to better—and to do so with elegance—not just neglect them: but provide powerful alternatives towards making the compiled draft ready for final design. There are also many who consider a lack of heavy formatting/layout emphasis to be a major feature. Leave making the words pretty for later; and for now just concentrate on writing the words—that sort of thing.

  3. There are already many, but every single application on the Mac (with rare Java/Flash/Unity/etc exceptions) can have their menu commands customised. Scrivener has extensive menu support. Nearly everything you can do in the interface has a corresponding menu, which means you can adjust or add new shortcuts using the same Keyboard system preference pane.


Welcome to the forum, and many thanks for the kind words - much appreciated! Looks like the others have covered your requests, but I would also add that I’d be very grateful if you don’t create polls when posting feature requests, because I don’t add features based on votes. :slight_smile: