Dragging text to make file, shift of focus

I often find myself working in a big, messy, multi-file Scrivening. As I work through the text of the Scrivening, I very often find that a chunk of text really belongs in a different file than the one I’m currently working on. Simple, I grab the text from the editor and drag it into the Binder to put it in the proper place within the Scrivening - it is then incorporated into the Scrivening. A thing of beauty.

Two changes could make this a smoother process:

1 - When I drag this chunk of text into the binder, the editor automatically shifts its focus to this newly created file - this is rarely what is most useful, because a) my intent is almost always to continue working on the original file, so I then have to find my way back to it; and b) even if I wanted to work on this new file, I would still have to go back to the original location to delete the text I had just moved, otherwise I would have duplicate text in my Scrivening. Best solution: don’t shift editor focus to newly created files. (This is not a problem when dragging text outside the Scrivening, the focus stays on the original file.)

2 - I’ve mentioned this before, but it sure would be nice to have the option of appending this dragged text to an existing file, rather than only creating a wholly new file (again, not shifting the focus). Perhaps this could easily be done through dragging while holding down the command, option, control keys.

With regards to switching focus, when you have your main text displayed, select View->Editor->Lock In Place (Cmd-Opt-L). The title bar of the editor will go red and focus will remain with it when you drag and drop.

I’m not sure if it’s possible to default to appending, but if you have two documents (or more) that you wish to combine together, you can simply select them both in the binder and select Documents->Merge (Shift-Cmd-M) to quickly combine them into a single document.


Thanks for your thoughts. However Lock in Place does not solve this, the focus still shifts to the newly created file WITHIN the Scrivening.

Yes, there is the Merge command, but this is an extra step and also requires a shift in focus to a place I as the writer don’t want to be. I just want to append the text to some other file to work on later while continuing to work on my current file.

Hey I think you can do this already:

  • Select the text

  • right-click, select “append selection to document” - a menu comes up with a file tree for the entire project

  • select your desired file. The selected text is appended to that file but you stay right where you are.

You can then delete the still highlighted text in front of you or keep working.


Yes, use Append Selection to Document for that.

Yes, that’s right, Append Selection to Document will do that. However, in a draft with literally hundreds and hundreds of files, I find this command essentially useless, too painful to drill down through all those multiple layers of files. This is why I argue for a more immediate solution: Modifier Key + drag text, boom it’s done.

And yes, Favorites would work wonderfully for this, IF the target file was always the same, but it rarely is.

But in both cases you’re navigating through the same file tree, just in different places. If you have hundreds of files, won’t they be heavily nested in the binder, or else require a long scroll to find them? So don’t you have the same problem? At least with “append to document” they un-nest automatically for you as you hover :slight_smile:

Well for me, almost all of my writing is done within Scrivener’s brilliant and powerful Scrivening mode - this is the tour de force of this application.

Therefore, the vast majority of my appending is done within a Scrivening, and that set of files is right there in the Binder to my left, my organizational partner, as I try to wrestle a scene, a series of scenes, or a chapter to submission. Rarely do I have to drill down through the whole draft to find a target file… unless I were to use the Append to Document command, then I would have to do it all the time.

Once again: Modifier Key + drag text, boom it’s done.

Oh, okay, I see what you mean.


Oh, you mean like holding down the Control key when you drop on a document to append the text to it? You can do that.

How? On my machine Control plus clicking on the text to be moved brings up the right click menu.

Hold the Control key down when you drop the text in the binder, not when you click on it in the text area.

Wow, awesome, a thing of beauty!

I think it may even have been your idea from a while back. :slight_smile:

Oh that is very cool. 8)