Bug when clicking on folders?

Hi there,

Overall, we think Scrivener is a really good program, but we find ourselves continually pulling out our hair over its inconsistent interface quirks. For example, today this is what we’re pulling out our hair over:

There seems to be a bug when we click on a folder in the Binder. Ideally, we would love to click on a folder and have it immediately go into “Edit Scrivener” mode. We can accomplish this by going into the preferences and choosing “When in editor mode, open folders: In an Edit Scrivenings session”.

However, after selecting that preference, the bug crops up.

After clicking on a folder, it immediately goes into “Edit Scrivener” mode, but we can no longer switch into “outliner” or “corkboard” mode for that particular folder. Both the “outliner” and “corkboard” icons are dimmed on the toolbar, and they are also dimmed in the “View” menu as well.

In fact, the only way that we can see all 3 modes ((1) Edit Scrivener, (2) outliner, and (3) corkboard)) is to switch that folder preference to some other selection, but even then, it doesn’t always respect the selection. For example, we could set that preference to “outliner”, but it often shows us corkboard view when we click on a folder.

Even if you right-click on a folder, and choose to “Open as Index Card Stack in Editor”, then the “Outliner” button is still dimmed.

In general, the interface to Scrivener has become a real frustration for us, and we find ourselves often switching back to OmniOutliner instead, whose ultra-simple interface is at least consistent at all times. It seems like there could be a lot of cleanup work done on the Scrivener interface in general – from our point of view, it looks like there’s 3 different modes: (1) Edit Scrivenings/Editor Mode, (2) Outliners Mode, and (3) Corkboard Mode. But the program doesn’t always respect the ability to switch between those 3 different modes. And we can’t figure out any easy way to jump from the other modes back to the “Edit Scrivenings” mode. We would love to double-click on an index card or an outline line, and immediately have it take us into the Edit Scrivenings/Editor mode.

Please note that we are only working with a single editor pane, not a split-screen editor pane. It seems like some of this stuff was designed to work only with the split screen editor pane.

Couldn’t this be cleaned up a lot? Even with a simple “tabbed interface” at the top, or the way that iTunes handles its different views with simple buttons at the top.


Quite a bit of thought is going in to how to fix the problems you have brought up. The way in which these different views work together is a known stumbling block. So be rest assured it’s been noticed around here. The three conceptual modes are Corkboard/Outliner/and Text Editor. Edit Scrivenings is not considered a fourth mode (though it does kind of act like one with that navigation option) because you can select any arbitrary range of documents (Try command clicking on 10 scattered files, and then Edit Scrivenings) for editing purposes—whereas modes are considered ways of viewing a particular selection in the Binder.

One thing that will help you out; note the text beside the E.S. preference which states you can hold down the Option key to select a folder normally. That does exactly what it sounds like. When you Option click on a folder, it will be selected with Edit Scrivenings turned off, meaning you can activate the Corkboard or Outliner.

More importantly, the opposite is true. If you select one of the other modes as default, holding down the Option key to form an automatic Edit Scrivenings is possible. Depending on which you use more often, you may find that to be more useful. Since you indicate a double-click to E.S. would be nice, you might find this of interest.

Yes, as Amber says, this is something I’m working out for 2.0. I have a plan in place for how to fix it and have it work more intuitively, and it is the single largest thing left to implement for version 2.0.
Thanks and all the best,

Great, thanks so much Amber & Keith!! :slight_smile:

Amber, i especially appreciate those great workarounds to use in the meantime.

You are welcome! I used to write in outliners myself (though I preferred Tao to OO), so I know where you are coming from. Some things with Scrivener might seem idiosyncratic at first blush, but if you give enough time, I think you’ll find it to be a far superior alternative to the consistent, but limited offerings of an outliner. Navigation will become second-nature with use, and its overall strengths will become much more apparent at compile-time, when your outline gets transformed into a single document, consistently formatted and ready to run (though some with more exactly requirements do use word processors or LaTeX for the final stage).