Editor exits when returning focus to Scrivener[BUG LOGGED]


  1. Have Binder on the left side of the window and a document open in the Editor in the middle.
  2. Move focus to another application window.
  3. Click on empty space below Trash in Binder to return to Scrivener.


Scrivener is brought to the fore, but the document being edited is closed.


Expected Behaviour

Scrivener is brought to the fore, with the document that was being worked on still in the Editor.

I get the same thing. Clicking the ‘previous’ arrow (at the top of the editor window) and then the ‘next’ arrow will restore the text, along with any changes.

Glad I’m not the only one. Yeah, I can also get back to the text by click on the document in Binder. The issue isn’t so much getting the text into the Editor again, but that this shouldn’t happen to begin with.

I see this as normal behaviour for Scrivener.

By clicking in the empty area, you took the focus away from the document you were editing, hence the blank screen. The previously selected document is no longer highlighted in colour but has a dashed box around indicating that was the file that last had the focus. Clicking on the document in the binder restores the document in the editor.

The title bar remains the same indicating the last document that had the focus. the editor remains blank because your selection selected nothing.

The binder is for selecting documents. If you select nothing , you get nothing.

Norm, I agree that from Scrivener’s pov this seems like a logical response. I do wonder if anyone has a mac version that can verify if this action happens to them.

If this is an action that can be duplicated in the mac version than I would accept this as a Scrivener quirk (under mild protest). If it does not then it is an inadvertent bug.

Not quite. This happens when I was using some other app, then wish to return to Scrivener, so that click is to really to return focus to the Scrivener window, not to select anything within it.

You still changed the focus.
If you clicked on the binder item that was framed with dots(dashes), you would have returned to document. Clicking in the empty space selects nothing, resulting in an empty editor window.

Maybe a later beta or the final release product will do things differently.

I am sure lee will look at this.

To me, it seems like an appropriate behaviour, selecting nothing–shows nothing.
Discussions like this helps us all understand Scrivener better.

I am pleased with how Scrivener works even as a beta. Much, much better than what I was using previously.

Do you, by chance, use macs often and can help me with a related question?

On a mac, if you click on a program that is not in focus, does that program register the click and react to whatever you clicked on?

In windows, clicking on a program that is not the subject of focus only ever does one thing: it brings that program to focus. It does not register the click as any intended action.

Therefore, Scrivener’s action to read the click as an intentional locational click is very much abnormal behavior where windows users are concerned.

Although I have used Windows, it is not for some time, so I can’t comment on what you consider “normal” behaviour, but I can confirm that on the Mac the outcome of a click in a blank area will depend on what you consider a “blank area”. The selectable areas for folders and documents extends right across the binder, so if you click in the “blank” area beside the icon and title of a folder or document other than the one which is currently in the editor, Scrivener will switch the contents of the editor to the item you have just clicked near. On the other hand, if you have most of the contents of your binder collapsed to the highest level, so you see blank space at the bottom of the binder below the trash, if you click in that area, the editor is unaffected.
This operates even when switching between applications. For instance, here I am in my browser window which occupies the centre of my screen. To the left I can see the binder of my Scrivener WIP running in the background (see screenshot … you need to scroll). If I switch to Scrivener by clicking anywhere in the binder above the trash, then I will switch apps, but the editor will change to whatever item is in the line where I clicked; if I click in the area below the trash, then Scrivener will become active but the editor will not be affected.
Yes, this is standard Mac behaviour, whether moving between apps or between different windows in the same app. Whether it is something that needs to be addressed in the Windows version is between you and the developers.

Ah, really? It’s interesting that Mac will register a click within an unfocused program but the real gem is confirmation that Scrivener does not blank the main editor when you click space below the ‘trash’ file.

Which means this behavior is a bug. (yay for deduction!)

Thanks for looking into this, xiamenese! Regardless of whether this is a bug or an intentional behaviour, it’s still quite inconvenient to the user, since this is generally not what’s expected in a Windows app, as a poster above pointed out. When there are several overlapping windows open, sometimes the only part of Scrivener that is visible (and can thus be clicked on to give focus) is the empty space below Trash, so it’s annoying to have to reopen the document each time afterwards. Furthermore, the “greyed out” Editor view has no function that I know of, so there seems to be no reason not to just leave the active document in place if the user clicks on some “empty” part of Binder.

A couple of days ago I discovered that this problem isn’t just about focus:

  1. If I open Scrivener with any last project opening (so that I have an article or corkboard showing on startup) and then click the blank area in the binder panel below the ‘research’ folder, or whatever the last folder or file is, the editor area or the corkboard area goes blank. Clicking the previous or next arrows does nothing-- it doesn’t restore the article or corkboard that was open on startup. I have to select and open another file or folder, after which the previous/next arrows will return me to the file or folder that was open on startup.

  2. I have several photos, and nothing else, in the research folder. If I close Scrivener with the research folder open, and then start it again, Scrivener opens to the research folder as expected. If I then click the white area on the left in the binder panel under the last folder or file, the contents of the research folder go blank (same problem as in #1 above). However, if select another article or folder and then use the previous/next arrows to navigate back to the research folder, the research display doesn’t refresh-- instead it comes up blank again, and the only way I can display the research folder contents is to reselect that folder in the binder panel.

  3. In both of these processes the Scrivener window has always has focus.


I think that this might be the right place to connect what I collected on a similar or at least related problem.

First I aplogise for the lentgh of this report : It is a collection made since yesterday.

Now that I begin to know Scrivener a little, I’m working on a quite messy, but not really big document (about less than 11 000 words), which puzzled me a lot while under Word.
I’m organising this with Scrivener and it really becomes very easy.
This is the only Scrivener window open.
Beside, open applications are Word, Notepad, Firefox, Windows Explorer and Skype (and, of course, all that is usually working in the background).

I’m cutting my document it into bits and pieces, which I try to organise in a logical order, moving parts around, using corkboard and editor, adding labels and status, cutting and sorting again.
I jump forward and backward with the arrows quite a lot, but I try to stay close to the “main corkboard”, the one belonging to that messy folder, as this is my real “control panel” in this mess.

I’m trying out nearly every feature I consider useful. Used to Word since years, there is only little I’m not looking for : formats, indents, style sheets, word count, statistics, a.s.o.
But I’m still completely new to Scrivener (it’s my third day), and I have still a lot to discover and to learn.
Maybe I did something wrong, but I don’t think so, as I made normal use of what I learnt with the tutorial.

I jump back twice to go back to my “main panel”.
The last jump is thus from an editor pane to a corkboard pane.
The screen did not change as quick as I expected from other jumps forth and back, and the text remained on the screen, but was at sudden wholly mixed up, unreadable, for only a second or two, before the corkboard would appear.

There is only little text in the last file viewed, and there are less than ten folders on that corkboard.
Every folder has its label and status assigned. None has any text written in itself by now, but contains text files and/or folders, with as much as six levels of folders/subfolders or files/subfiles.
Nothing seems to be wrong with this. I add it only to complete the description of what I’m doing (guess it would maybe not be the same in other circumstances, and you might wish to reproduce these).

This happens under Win7.

In the whole project, there are only texts coming from a master document under Word, which I opened each subdocument separately, cut the text, pasted the text to Notepad (to avoid invisible characters), cut it from Notepad, and added into Scrivener by “paste and match style”.
There is not one single hyperlink inside, nor any reference document in the project, and the trash has, up to now, been emptied each time I have deleted something.

Once that kind of a “reflesh delay” starts, I can reproduce this as much as I wish.

Next, I shutdown Scrivener to restart.
And again, there is that weird behaviour of not opening the last file, but the one before (which is reported in another post).

After opening the project I’m working on and closing the other, there is still that kind of “refresh” problem when jumping. But this time, the jump is between files of one and the same scrivening (one folder without text, the other with little text inside).
In none of the other applications open, such graphic troubles appear to happen at that time (I checked for this).

It does not look like performance related, as the applications open are far less than my usual consumption.

Could I give you more details on this ?

After having written this, I just wish to give it one more try, willing to make a screenshot with the effects described.
I click on the Scrivener Button in the Windows Bar.
And that’s where it crashes.

Next scene after restart
Well, this time, at least I get the last opened document.
I jump around a bit to see if it works. Seems fine, but still some refreshing delay and mixed up letters, when jumping between a scrivening and a single file or between a scrivening and a corkboard.
And this does not only happen while jumping with the arrows.
Could it be related to scrivenings ?

Two more crashes in the next few minutes…
Well every time I quit and go back between Scrivener and another application, crash again.

It seems that, when shutdown, Scrivener needs a while to forget about its pains before start again.
Starting immediately does not help. Waiting a minute or two does.

As far as I can check the performance and memory use, Scrivener is not even taking so much on this unit.
Next time, I will not only restart Scrivener, but completely reboot the system, to see if that helps.

No. It’s too late now. I’ll see that early next morning.

I do, indeed. I just turned on the computer (thus with no further memory in use than when freshly started in the morning).
I launch Scrivener and try immediately a jump.
Text mixed up for a second or two, then corkboard.
And this time with only Skype and Scrivener open.

Now, this does not really bother me, given the quality of Scrivener. I’m not obliged to stare at the screen while jumping, am I?
Nevertheless, you might care.

Whatever you need to know about my computer, ask, I will load it up.
But I cannot believe that this unit would show videos perfectly, and stumble upon text, even with all that power behind.
I mean, If Windows, Excel and Word together can’t use more than 30%, who could?

I guess I’m a loggerhead.
I still see this as a change of focus.
Clicking in the blank area under the trash, greys out the editor pane. Yes.

But it does something as well.
If you have long project notes, clicking under the trash area changes the Inspector pane to show Project Notes only. You then have a much larger look at Project Notes. This reduces scrolling the smaller view of Project Notes.

If I have huge Project Notes, I can re-size the Inspector pane across the editor pane to get a larger view of the Project Notes.

After I review the Project Notes, I can see what document had the previous focus by the dotted frame around it in the Binder or the name in the Title bar of the editor, so I can return to it.

Then, I re-size the Inspector back to its normal size. It would be good if it did this automatically.

So, clicking the blank space under Trash seems to have some functionality to it, whether by design or quirk.

Is this really Bug or is it a useful function?

Some of us might find this useful. Right?