Enhanced Scratch Pad

Hello, my name is Erik and this is my first post. Let me preface all this by saying that I’ve just started out with Scrivener and I’ve searched to see if someone posted anything like this before. I didn’t find anything but perhaps it exists in a feature elsewhere in Scrivener, calling it a name that I didn’t think of.

I find myself using both Scrivener and WriteRoom. Why? The thing I think is “missing” from Scrivener is the ability to just jump in. Sometimes I want to just bang something out, then figure out what it is. With Scrivener I’m finding that I’ve got to figure out if it’s a new project or an existing one, then if it’s better off being in a folder… Then I’m farting around with the fonts and it’s all over.

I discovered the scratch pad feature today, my heart skipped. I thought I had found a way to write without thinking about that first. I’d think it was the bees knees if the following two features could be added:

  1. Decide where scratchpad goes after. Not just where to put it, but what project to associate it with.
  2. Full Screen. I’d like to just jump in and write, without distractions. Much like WriteRoom does.

I know I could write in WriteRoom then if it turns into something pull it into Scrivener, but I’d prefer if all my writing can be in the same program. This removes another question from the process: Which program do I start? Do I know what I’m going to write about? By cutting off the question there, it’s easy to jump in.

Thanks for listening, I appreciate any feedback, especially if this is covered somewhere else and I missed it!

??? Click on the “Full Screen” icon… !?

As for the scratch pad, it is per-project and cannot be associated with other projects.

I’m not really sure what your issues are here… I would recommend going through the tutorial if you haven’t already. It sounds as though you may be trying to use Scrivener for something for which it was not designed. Scrivener is designed to hold projects. So, if you want to write a novel, you create a project and start banging out your text.

But I’m not sure why you think you can’t just “jump write in” to your writing. That is exactly what Scrivener is designed for. You can type and edit your text in any order you want and reorder it, shuffle it etc. And you don’t have to decide whether to create a folder or a text file, either, as you can convert one to the other and back…

Hmm, not to be rude, but it does sound as though you have not read the tutorial or looked at the Help file yet.


Sorry, I think you misunderstood. I wasn’t writing a laundry list of features I’d like, I was referring specifically to the Scratch Pad.

I think it would be cool if the Scratch Pad had a full screen mode. It’s a useful tool and it would be nice if it could be used full screen to write without distraction before figuring out where it fits.

My other request is to disassociate it from projects to further the idea that you can write something without figuring out where it goes first.

Having gone through the tutorial, read some (great) usage posts here in the forums, and searched for something like this I found that it had not been mentioned yet.

The thing that is great about WriteRoom is that it’s intentionally immediate - click the icon and it boots up full screen mode. While Scrivener’s features are much richer and take a more organized approach I feel that the immediacy isn’t there.

I’ve thought about it for a couple days, then thought I’d share a possible approach to what I was trying to do. Maybe just a setting that loads up a new document in full screen mode is all that’s necessary. Maybe it’s something that’s not important to most people.

If you’re not sure where a bit of text might belong, you can try what I do with my random snippets: I have a project just for them. They’re all just sort of dumped in there; if I want to make more of one of them later, I’ll drag it into a new project. But, for random snippets, just open that project, press cmd-N then cmd-opt-F and voila! new blank scrivening to scribble in, in full screen mode.

Yes, it’s two more key combos than WriteRoom, but that’s the nature of Scrivener. You can’t start typing until you’ve created a file to type in.

Then once you have a bit written and you know what it is, you can give it a name in the binder, fill out other metadata, figure out where it belongs, whether it’s a document or a folder, and all that stuff.

That’s a good workaround. I wasn’t aware that I could drag things from one project into another. I’ll try that out.

Thanks Janra!

Hi again,

Sorry for misunderstanding your request and essentially trying to teach you how to suck eggs. :blush:

I’m afraid to say that what you are requesting really falls outside of the way Scrivener is designed - it is not really what it is intended for. Scrivener is very project-centric, whereas what you want is an area for stuff that doesn’t fit into any project. I definitely think the workaround proposed is the best way of doing this - a project used for scraps. This would be much better than the scratchpad anyway, as the text in the scratchpad does not support all the bells and whistles of the main editor.

All the best,

Apart for the full screen issue, I guess quick taking notes can be done with the Stickies that the Mac kindly offers from decades. Just scratch down as many notes as you like, then copy them into the project they fit best. I find them very handy.


No big deal. I find that whole new document/full screen thing to be working pretty well for now. I went a little further, attempting to get it to as few steps as possible. I’ve added the Notebook (my name for random stuff Scrivener project) to my dock and to the sidebar in finder. At least it’s as easy to click on as to open Scrivener. :slight_smile: