I didn’t realize my current version was incompatible with mac os catalina.

Screenshot with inspector pane “toggled on” and not displaying

The screenshots you’re showing are all from 3.x, which is compatible with Catalina. I’m not quite sure what we’re looking at in the screenshots, since the original description was removed–is the text that is displaying the document text or notes?

If the project repeatedly opens like that and a newly created project does not, I’d try clearing the interface settings for the project, since it looks like just a UI glitch. Hold the Option key and select File > Close Project and Clear Interface Settings. That will also clear settings like whether label colours or status stamps are shown on index cards on the corkboard, so be prepared to reset that as needed, but none of the actual data will be touched–labels and status settings will all be there, just using the default display settings.

Do make sure you have Scrivener 3.1.5, which has some Catalina-compatibility fixes. – Katherine