(Parts of this are copied from a tech-support thread I started, so please forgive any overlap.)
With regards to Composition mode, which I otherwise really dig: While I respect the fact that for focused writing, some people want fewer distractions brought on all the program’s usual by bells and whistles — and that Composition mode was probably built with these people foremost in mind — that logic certainly doesn’t apply to everyone who uses Composition mode, and isn’t the only reason to like using it. I personally like Composition mode because the rest of the GUI is gone, and I get a nice, aesthetically pleasing interface to my current document (and with a nice, non-tiling background image and translucent, textured paper to boot), with a nice, compact bar at the bottom of the screen with some basic options in it, and LOTS of room to work in without bumping into other the parts of the UI. However, that doesn’t mean I want actual functionality taken away from me in some sort of Faustian bargain.
So, what I would propose is simply adding an option to the Composition pane of the Preferences window: “Allow Distraction-Free Writing In Composition Mode,” a checkbox that would do exactly what it says (and which could maybe be switched “on” by default). When checked, Scrivener would look and behave exactly as it does now in Composition mode. When not checked, the appearance of Composition mode would not change one bit, but some of its behavior would; i.e., the user’s access to all the program’s (hidden) windows, menu-options, and functions would be restored to normal, so the rest of us — who simply want a clutter free writing experience (and not a less functional one) — would still be able to have an interface free of visual distraction, without losing any functionality.
Another improvement I might suggest for Composition mode is this: Currently, one accesses the Document hierarchy by clicking on a button in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen and navigating a series of pop-out menus. While this is effective, and is in keeping with the clutter-free ideal of Composition mode, I think there may be a better solution: A visually-slick, gradient-shaded copy of the Binder that magically slides out with an animation when the user bumps their mouse cursor against the left side of the screen, and then magically slides away again whenever a selection is made. It’s perhaps not quite as compact as what’s there now (which, don’t get me wrong, works pretty well), but it’s more in keeping with maintaining consistency across all parts of the UI, even when in a different writing mode.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Comments, suggestions?