Default to Scriptwriting Mode?

Hi there.
Is there a setting or method to have scrivener be by default in scriptwriting mode? As I move around from index cards back to documents, i find usually I have to re-click the scriptwriting mode option on the drop down menu. Even when the document is clearly in script format and I’m trying to add something in the middle, its in normal text mode unless I tell it otherwise. Is there a way it can DEFAULT to script mode, since 95% of what i do is in that mode? Thanks!

Did you open the project with a scriptwriting template?
It’s File > New Project > Scriptwriting > one of seven templates.
I’ve used Scriptwriting templates for years, and never had one evaporate.


I’m not sure if i did or not, because i started with note cards. (is there a way I can tell?) why would that make a difference? does that set up a preference file somewhere that changes the defaults? can i do that manually?

To be clear: the script format does not “evaporate” on stuff I have already written. everything stays fine. what I’m wondering is why every time i come back to a document i have to manually choose Scriptwriting Mode even when i start adding something in the middle of a page of script formatted material.

This happens every time i go to the index cards or other formats. when i come back, i have to reselect scriptwriting mode.

I think i did, i just don’t know for sure. the script format is all fine, so i’m guessing yes?

Must be the template isn’t the problem. I just tried writing a couple short scenes, using a blank template project and formatting scene individually for Scripwriting. Broke away for other items, filled out a couple of index cards, went back to the script, and it was still in Scriptwriting mode.

So apparently that isn’t it.

Afraid I can’t help you beyond that. But don’t despair; someone will have an answer for you.


There is no need to start with a scriptwriting template. The only the thing that determines what the next file will be when you hit Cmd-N is what you have selected when you add a document, or if you have a non-text item selected, what was used last. That will be the same no matter if you are using a template or started with Blank (templates add no new features to the software). This is just a dynamic feature, not a preference.

Also note you can much more rapidly toggle the writing mode with Cmd-8.

Is that basically what you’re experiencing?

that doesn’t seem to work for me. If i’m writing a scene in scrivening mode, then go to cork board EVEN IF I DO NOT TYPE ANYTHING when i go back to the scene i’m in Regular Text mode again, it just seems to automatically want to go to Regular Text.

Is that just how it is? Or is there a way to have it always be in scriptwriting mode? Or is it a bug in my system?

btw i’m on a mac running Mavericks.

Okay, we’re talking about two different things, sorry about that. I was referring to creating new documents, not using Scrivenings mode to edit multiple files. That is a little different, because a Scrivenings session is a singular thing on top of the files that comprise it, and it doesn’t really “exist” in the same sense that a file does—it is only there while you are using it and then vanishes. So we have to make some assumptions, mainly that if the session contains a mix of document types, it prefers the editing mode most frequently used by those documents, when you enter the session. If the session is composed solely, or as a majority, of scriptwriting documents, however, you should be seeing consistency.

Thus you can “game it” if necessary or desired. If you have a lot of standard documents as notes or treatments, then just throw a few extra scriptwriting cards into the folder as fodder to bring the count up. If you end up not using them you can just trash them later.

But like I say, you can also just hit Cmd–8 and proceed with writing. When using Scrivenings mode, this shortcut doesn’t toggle the underlying files type, it purely toggles the session mode. Sorry if that is a little confusing, but we have to do something like this since you are in fact editing an arbitrary number of files simultaneously when using Scrivenings.

Yes, now I see. Thats why this behavior seemed to change!
I just made a Collection of only script documents and sure enough when I go back and forth it defaults to script mode.

So, i guess if I want to keep my unwritten script cards in the scrivening session i have to at least add some dummy text or something in script mode in each one. THANKS for explaining this.