Cannot find the Appearance Options Tab referenced in B.5 of the user manual

I have done a search of the various help files and this forum, and all I see is that you begin at the Tools tab to find the Appearance Options tab. However, there is no tools tab anywhere on the project page. Where do I find it?

Since I anticipate using the Appearance Options a lot, it would be great to have it displayed on my dashboard at all times. Can I do this? (After I find it, of course!)

Hi pique, and welcome to the forum.

Which version of Scrivener are you using and on what operating system?

I ask because File > Options > Appearance is the path for settings on Scrivener 3 for Windows.

In contrast, Tools > Options > Appearance is the path for settings in Scrivener 1 for Windows. On a Windows system, you can go to Help > About Scrivener to get your version number.

On macOS 12 and older versions of macOS, the path for altering Scrivener’s appearance is Scrivener > Preferences > Appearance.

In their infinite wisdom, Apple changed terminology in macOS 13, so the path for macOS 13 or macOS 14 is now Scrivener > Settings > Appearance.

It won’t be possible to keep that panel open, by the way. And, you’ll often need to completely close and restart Scrivener to ensure any changes you make will be saved and implemented in the interface.

I had noticed that the description of where to get to Options in the appendix is ancient, and it will be fixed in the next revision of the user manual.

As a general tip: at the top of the Help menu is a menu search tool, so in this case you could have searched for “options” there and found it in the File menu.


Hi Ruth,
Thank you. My version is Version: (1918386) 64-bit - 01 Feb 2023
And I’m using Windows 11 for my OS. File>Options>Appearance works!

So are you saying the changes I make in this environment are only temporary unless I close and restart Scrivener? That seems counterintuitive. Isn’t there an “apply” button, or a selection that says something like “make these changes default” ?

Will there be a prompt to close and restart?

Thanks Amber,
I did as you suggest but since I didn’t know I was looking for “Options.” I was searching for “Appearance” which does not appear if you search that term in Help. Possibly another modification that could be made in future?

Hi pique. Scrivener should show a message about needing to restart for settings. But, I’ve found on my PC that it’s easy for me to click past that warning without even realizing I’ve dismissed it until the settings aren’t showing as expected.

That’s even with using the “Apply” button at the bottom of the File > Options panel and knowing I should look for it.

Given the number of help tickets we’ll see with users reporting that their changed settings aren’t actually showing in Scrivener, I’d say others find dismissing that “Please restart” message easy too.

That could be nice, yes, but the help menu search tool only looks for menu command names. It does not search through the entire program’s user interface, and that probably wouldn’t be practical or useful considering how many labels there are in the software, and how some of them are buried multiple windows deep and in places that might require confirmation (or even lag, like opening the compiler or global Statistics window in a large project) to get into.

I think for most things a familiarity with the appendix will be best, like you’ve been doing. It is organised in the same order and categories as the software, so you can use it get to or from the documentation, depending.

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