I am a new user so let me say at the outset, the following two suggestions are not offered in the tone of a complaint. They are offered in the hopes that they might make an already spectacular program all the more so.
First request - a Dashboard:
It would be great if Scrivener had a Dashboard so, when you opened it, your project list, nks to forums like these, , recent/helpful announcements from L&L, a calendar perhaps and perhaps other features the writer could select (or not select) as well.
Second request - Re: Dictionaries.
As you already know, writing is task requiring intense focus, so the less time a writer need use to access a particular feature, the better. This brings me to the current dictionary set-up. You click on TOOLS, then WRITING TOOLS,then move your cursor to the dictionary of your choice (three actions). If your cursor movement is not precise, the menu closes and you need to start over. My thought would be to develop a way that, along the lines of MSWord, you can right-click on the document and go directly to the dictionary or thesaurus of your choice and perhaps there is a way for the writer to select the default dictionary he or she prefers.
Thank you all for listening. If any of these features are already present in Scrivener and I’ve got my foot in my mouth as a result, no worries. It’s been there before.
Have you tried WordWeb? I got it because of the exact same reasons you listed and wasn’t interested in waiting for a solution to be coded into Scrivener. It’s free, and it allows you to do dictionary lookups on any word you highlight, using Ctrl+alt+w, or any word you just hover the mouse cursor over, using Ctrl+right click. It’s free, and it works in all programs (that I’ve found so far). It’s not as full-bodied of a dictionary as many, but it gives you enough definitions and synonyms to at least allow your workflow to run more smoothly than the default Scrivener dictionary experience. And it’s free.
I’ve had something similar in mind. Scrivener needs some protected space that could be set as a sidebar, topbar or bottombar. Corkboard style and scrollable, but not for documents. Thus we’d be able to keep the Keyword HUD and the Scratch Pad visible without blocking our content; similarly with system and third-party gadgets. Anything we keep on top, we could keep out of the way.
In time we’d be able to use this space to add our own scrollable mix of Inspector functions, making them no longer mutually exclusive. For example, if we wanted to see Project Notes, Document Keywords and the Document Path simultaneously, we’d keep Notes in the Inspector, and pin Keywords and Path gadgets to the Dashboard.
Scrivener works best when maximized. Adding a Dashboard or miscellany panel to the Scrivener window would spare the user all the window wrangling that is otherwise required to get needed functions to fit.
Add me to the list of happy Scrivener users (188.8.131.52 on Windows 7) that would like a more readily navigable startup dialog; call it a “dashboard” if you like.
I especially find the New Project dialog’s Open Recent list to be a bit finicky. Insofar as I far more often run Scrivener to work on an existing project rather than create an entirely new one, I think it’d be nifty if I didn’t need to point-click-choose-click to open a previously created project.
Regarding dictionaries, I’d like to be able to customize the Writing Tools menu. For example, in my Firefox browser I have added DuckDuckGo, OneLook Dictionary, and Online Etymology Dictionary to my list of search engines. And when connecting to those resources, I like to use HTTPS whenever it’s available. My point being that I’d enjoy having the saame sort of ability to specify my preferred online writing tools in Scrivener.
I emphasize, however, that these are but minor annoyances in an otherwise happy Scrivener world…