Can Scrivener handle the new "notched" MacBooks?

I use Scrivener every day (working on a novel for the past seven or eight years). I also have a lot of Apple gear. MacBook Pros released within the last year have a “notch” (a gap in the display at the top center) similar to iPhones in the last few years. This is a display liability that I abhor. The notch vanishes on Apple software (the top edge of the software window is automatically lowered a few centimeters) but not on all non-Apple software.

I need to know how Scrivener 3.x handles this. Is it savvy enough to shrink the software window (when maximized) so that there’s no gap in the middle of the top edge of the software window? If it can compensate (shrink), that would be great; but if not, I’m going to have to buy a 202 MacBook Air (the last of the non-notched MacBooks, apparently). Hoping someone reading this might have the answer. Thanks!

I don’t have a notched machine to test this on myself, but from the support tickets I’ve seen, it seems there can be some issues with the notch not being compensated for in Composition Mode, but otherwise works fine with Scrivener. We’re aware of the composition mode issue and are working on a fix for it, but in the meantime, it can be worked around by manually adjusting the screen using the Paper Width and Paper Position sliders.

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Thank you for such a nuanced response! So it is a bit of an issue—for a while, anyway. I tried the sliders in Composition Mode a bit on my current machine. I don’t think that is going to suffice as a workaround for me. Even though I’m not currently drafting new chapters, I’ve realized that my preferred way of doing that is in Composition Mode on a laptop, so I guess I will have to look into getting a MacBook Air while Apple is still selling notchless versions of those.


Having said that what about the idea of using an external monitor It would eliminate the “notch” plus give you a lot of extra room on your screen. Not good if you need to be mobile.

Just a thought.

Yes, that’s a great idea in general, but not for me, however, as I usually write in the kitchen (on a laptop), mainly to “get away” from my home office, which has come to be synonymous with my day job since I’ve been WFH since the beginning of Covid.

Complete misuse of resources, I suppose, since I have a big iMac in the office. But on the other hand, the view from the kitchen is of a 1000-tree pristine woods—quite inspirational. Also I’ve been thinking getting another MacBook Air might allow me to do journal entries in bed once again.

What’s the starting price of those NotchBooks again? About USD 2000? Considering that Apple plans to sell their own external displays again (to people who have to work around this marketing joke) – I mean, that’s certainly just a very convenient coincidence, but man… those lucky bastards!

As a point of clarification, I think the best combination of settings will be to hold down the Opt key and drag the Paper Position slider one tick to the right. This will move the anchor point for adjusting the paper height to the bottom of the screen. With the Opt key still held down, drag the Paper Height slider to whatever amount you need.

The end result of this should be something that very close to what any kind of official support would take anyway.

As a final step, go into the Appearance: Composition Mode: Options tab, and click the large button at the bottom to “Use current composition settings for new projects”.

I am running Scrivener on a 14” ‘notched’ mbp with no issues

What does that look like? Maybe I can find a picture with my Google-fu.

In fullscreen and normal modes

And fullscreen with menus not showing. Some kick up about the black bar at the top, but this area is additional to the normal resolution

I see what JenT means about composition mode, though I use Typewriter scrolling in the few instances I’ve used composition mode and the issue appears only on the top line of text as it scrolls. As my focus is on where I am writing, it’s never an issue.

As I said, I hardly use composition mode, so it’s really a non-issue for me.

Weird, just checked a second project and the composition mode issue doesn’t exist with that one. The text doesn’t scroll around the notch.

And this is how it appears when there is the issue.

Well, there’s an oddity. In reality on the display, the notch blocks out the words Virtualbox…, in the middle of the line but when you take a screenshot, you get the text displayed on the screenshot. Go figure :slight_smile:

As one wit put it “I’m not working at home; I’m living at work.” :wink:

Makes sense, a change of environment to a place dedicated to writing. When I lived in NC I had a view of the Smokey Mountains. So I understand, it refreshes your mind.

11 posts were split to a new topic: Apple, displays, and power outages

Thank you so much for posting all these screenshots! That took a bit of work, I imagine.

Although in my mind the jury is still out with regard to composition mode, one takeaway I have from your pics is that Apple (with the notched MacBooks) is taking advantage of what is often a black area in that middle top center portion of the screen. Although, oddly, when I full-screen the Safari browser window I’m typing in right now, that top middle area is certainly not black; it’s where the URL is displayed.

Obviously I am going to have to visit a store. For a while they closed all of them in NYC…I may have to wait for the Omicron wave to die down.

I should add, my Dell 4K 27" may be a few years old now (5?) but it works great!


Scrivener’s response to the notched display is on-topic here. The design and reliability of Apple hardware generally is not. I’ll be splitting that portion of the thread to a more appropriate location.

Also, please remember that no one in this thread has any control over what Apple chooses to do. Complaints about Apple are fine, but attacking fellow forum participants is not okay, regardless of their views.


There’s a considerable issue with the notch on my new MacBook Pro. It completely hides the two menu items between “Document” and “Help”, and it also obscures about 95% of the window title.

I’ve sent a complaint to Apple - the OS knows where the notch is and if there is a notch and should handle the menu bar. It’s not a scrivener issue though I understand that there’s some way for Mac developers to mark their apps as “notch aware”, so there’s probably something that can be done on the development side.

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