Default to "open in external editor"?

Is it possible to make Scrivener default to “open in external editor” when I double-click on a file under Research (e.g., a PowerPoint file)? Or put a button in the Toolbar - something simpler (fewer clicks) than right-click it and choose Open and then choose open in external editor.

CTRL CMD O (the letter O, not a zero) or click the right-facing curved arrow in the footer (which can be turned on, if necessary, at View > Editor Layout > Show Footer View).



My preference has always been the keyboard shortcut Login recommended. However . . .

Sometimes there is just too much stuff. One of my novels ended up having over 15,000 pages of research documents associated to it (various genocide firsthand accounts, maps, anatomy of weapons, power players, trade agreements, etc.). It was a beast.

So bringing all that in to Scrivener as Research didn’t work. My alternative (which defaults to “external editor” every time with a single click) was to create a text file in my Research folder that gave a general overview, like things called “Firsthand accounts”, “Mass Graves”, etc. to where I ordered things by rank on which I felt was most impactful. Then I typed the file names and linked them to Scrivener via Edit → Add Link. Any time I clicked on any link, the file opened up out of Scrivener.

I realize this doesn’t give you a preview of the file, but in many ways (at least for me) this worked better than the bloated Research folder I would have had, it made things much more searchable for me, and it required less from Scrivener resources-wise when loading my file.

Either way, hope Login’s tip helps. If you get hammered down with too much, maybe mine could be useful too.

Excellent, thank you!

There is a nice middle-ground that can take advantage of the primary pros for each of these approaches, while avoiding each of their primary cons: File ▸ Import ▸ Research Files as Aliases… (or simply dropping aliases you’ve created in Finder, into the project Binder).

So long as Scrivener supports viewing the file type, you’ll get your nice preview pane—along with the natural abilities to organise, keyword, search for and link between them. They are in every way a native binder item citizen, except the bytes get left on the disk where they were, rather than stuffing up the project.

I tend to use all of Scrivener’s linking capabilities where I can, between this and linked images, it’s very rare I put binary data into a project. It keeps things lean and mean, and puts a high cap on how many backups you can justify keeping around, never mind how often you can take them because it is faster to do so.