Clicking on the margins

When I’m working in Scrivener, which is most of the time now, one thing I continually find myself bumping my head on is the dead areas within the text window.

Let me explain.

When I’m in Microsoft Word, or other word processors, I can click approximately in the margin area and get the cursor to come as close to me as the page formatting will allow. In other words, to the end or beginning of a line.

But when I’m in Scrivener and I click on the margin area of a text window, nothing happens. If I want the cursor to come to the beginning of the line, I have to find the very point that the invisible margin ends and the first character begins and click on it in order to get the cursor there.

This becomes a real problem when I want to select and delete a line of text. In other word processors, I can use a sweeping motion from the margin area into the text and it will select the text I want.

If I use that same sweeping motion in Scrivener and start in the margin area, I get nothing. Again, I have to find the exact point where the text area starts in order to do my selecting.

It’s a small thing, but an annoyance. It makes the process too finicky in what is otherwise a happy writing environment.

Is there any way to make the margins “live”?

I suspect this is an OSX text editor thing. The same thing happens in TextEdit if you have Wrap to Page active, i.e. displaying the page margins.

(I find it annoying, too.)

Selecting a line in OS X is pretty easy. Just triple-click anywhere in the line to select it. Double-clicking selects the word your mouse is over. Note that by ‘line,’ I mean a technical line, not a pseudo-line. Triple-clicking will select the entire paragraph. Not sure if that is what you want.

There are keyboard shortcuts for this, too. Cmd-left and right arrow will move the cursor to the beginning and end of a line. This operates on pseudo-lines, not paragraphs. To select an entire paragraph, play with the Option key while using the arrows. Up and down arrow keys will jump the cursor to the end or beginning of a paragraph. So holding down shift with either Cmd or Option will let you select blocks of text easily.

Other keystrokes exist here and there. Ctrl-K will delete everything from your cursor position to the end of the paragraph. Ctrl-A and Ctrl-E act a bit like Option-Up and Down arrow.

If you want to use the mouse to select a pseudo-line in a sweeping motion like you describe, try right to left instead of left to right. That works for me.

Thanks for those keyboard tips, Amber. I’m a creature of habit and the mouse swipe has always been my way, but it would be useful to learn a few keyboard shortcuts.

Though I still think those margins should be “live.”

As suspected, the margins are an OS X thing. They are “text container insets”, in OS X terms. I have no control over how live they are, I’m afraid. :slight_smile:

I, too, find this annoying, mostly when trying to mouse the cursor to the beginning of a paragraph, because if you have the paragraphs set to indent on the first line, it treats the indentation (what would ordinarily be a tab space) as dead space. You have to click where the actually text starts to get a cursor, or, if you’re dealing with a blank line, where it would start if there were any text, not always an easy thing to eyeball.

Amber, you seem to say in your post that a triple-click in a line will select both the line and the paragraph. I’m confused.

I’ve already explained that this is an OS X thing - there is nothing I can do about it (short of rewriting the whole text system for myself, of course :slight_smile: ).

Yes, it is a bit of a technical thing. Technically, a paragraph is just a line. Hence, my remark on “pseudo-lines” which are incorporeal things that change depending on the width of the editor. If you have a wide enough monitor and made your Scrivener window fill the whole screen, a paragraph might all fall on one “line.” So triple-clicking selects a true machine line, which appears like a paragraph to us when word-wrapped. Cmd-Shift-RightArrow from the front of a pseudo-line, will select that pseudo-line. There is no mouse shortcut for selecting a pseudo-line, except for the aforementioned trick of swiping right to left, as opposed to left to right, which is where everyone is running into dead space issues. I have no problems going right to left.

Thanks Amber, that makes perfect sense. I’ve missed being able to select grafs, and am thrilled to have regained the power.