First impressions, large wish list and bug list

Hello, I am new to Scrivener, but already has a long list of wishes for improvements, as well as some bugs. These are for the Windows version. I really enjoy the program, and it is great for texts, but there’s a lot of things to fix! Especially the support for references, images and tables are too badly implemented and bugged to be really usable.

You should really take a close look at the list, because most of them is easily fixed/implemented, and all of them will undoubtedly make the user experience much better!


  • The reference module should include support for actual academic references, i.e. making the use of [1] possible, and then [1] Author, name, journal, year, volume, page number, PMID, DOI, ISBN - making the use of Scrivener to academic texts usable - even OpenOffice has this possibility (!)


  • Ability to have text at the side of images and illustrations, now an image creates large white fields (!)
  • Ability to add text below images, connected to the image
  • Scaling images directly in ‘Draft’ by dragging with the mouse
  • Copying an image in ‘Draft,’ scaled on the page, should not reset the scaling
  • The scaling of images in ‘Research’ should follow when adding the image to ‘Draft’
  • Bug: In ‘Draft,’ if you try to scale an image that first was scaled, then moved and therefore reset the scaling, nothing happens.


  • Ability to change column width by dragging with the mouse, including the ability to scale the first column, not only the second one (!)
  • Font should not be automatically changed in a new table
  • Bug: The program sometimes crashes when scaling images inside tables
  • Bug: There’s several bugs with table borders disappearing and re-appearing, when you try changing the borders, especially with pictures in the tables
  • Bug: The margins change here and there, seemingly random especially when having images inside table
  • All in all, the table support is ridiculously bad, the table engine should be completely rewritten (!)


  • It should be possible to write in the preferred font size, not only select from a drop-down menu, making the use of different font-sizes easier
  • Marking a whole page with different fonts should display as blank in the font list, not the last used font
  • Bug: Font and font size is often changed when making a table
  • Bug: Changing font size of blank line doesn’t affect the line before text is added, giving problems with managing the size of line-breaks
  • Bug: Copying new text changes font to Courier New
  • Bug: Removing all text changes font to Courier New
  • Bug Copying a – (extended -) with a chosen font, sometimes changes the font, but not always
  • All in all, it is really a lot of instances were the font is changed, often to Courier New, other times to seemingly random fonts, for no apparent reason. The engine for fonts should be looked at and changed accordingly (!)


  • Ctrl+Z (undo) should include things like ‘Split at section’
  • One should be able to make headers of the individual pages to be in several lines, in the mode where you see synopsis of each page. If not with enter, then with shift+enter, or preferably automatically
  • Writing e.g. or i.e. should not make the corresponding letters to CAPS
    • should automatically become – when used with spaces in-between (like in OpenOffice)
  • Manual should include screenshots of the buttons/panels/menues that are described

[size=150]The web-page[/size]

  • Bug: The top menu of the homepage is broken, into a line-shift, with Opera 11.52 under Windows 7, with screen resolution 1680 x 1050 px

I am sure I will post another list when I have used the program more. I want all the best for Scrivener.


Well, welcome to the forums.

I think it’s important to realise that Scrivener has a very different philosophy behind it – it is not supposed to be a conventional word processor. It’s all about writing and organising the text, not about layout. This is what makes it so valuable.

You might want to report the bugs in the section that is dedicated to those. I’m sure they will be glad to receive bug reports.

Cheers, Martin.

Hey, and thank you for your answer! I realize that Scrivener is not intended for layout, but still, it wouldn’t hurt to have the possibilities I posted. When the image and table functions are already there, why not implement them properly?

Also, the part about a proper function for scientific references, which can be very easily implemented (look at OpenOffice as an example), is something I would love to see. I am confident it will give more costumers to Scrivener, as there is a huge scientific crowd out there that write long papers and books, but need a real reference function in the program they use.

When you say references, do you mean footnotes? The footnoting / endnoting capabilities of Scrivener for Mac have been very much improved even since the earlier versions of Scrivener 2 and now do just about everything that is necessary (for me, at least, and I use dozens of footnotes). You might want to take a look at the Mac to see what the Windows version will be like when it catches up. For reference management, I use Bookends, but I have also used EndNote with Scrivener for Mac.

Best, Martin.

Yeah, I did indeed mean footnotes - English is not my primary language. The problem is that I am using the Windows version, and this does not seem to have any function for footnotes at all. Cool to see how the function looks in Mac though (that you posted in another thread), and I agree, it looks like it will fill most of my needs. Looking forward to the next version of Scrivener for Windows! (Any idea on approximate release date?)

Perhaps I should take a look at Bookends or EndNote, if they are in Windows version and not too expensive.

Thanks mate!

A few additional points:

It sounds like you might have factor-based line-spacing turned on. Does your format bar say something like 1.2? If so it is increasing the line-height by 20%, and a figure can have a very large line-height, resulting in superfluous padding on the top. Try setting the image’s line back to 1.0.

Not entirely sure what you mean by that. You can set up your preferred font attributes in the Editor preference tab. So if you are having to reset things each time you make a new item in the outline, definitely check that out!

Try Merge. It’s actually pretty complicated to implement undo for both split and merge. There are a lot of factors that could make that unstable. But since they are opposing features that naturally undo each other, that is how you should proceed with undoing mistakes.

No kidding, but my time is limited; I barely finished the text of it, and it needs a lot of revision. I would like to put this at a higher priority this year, as it is an improvement that has been let to slide. I don’t know about menus though. I’m not a fan of wasting pages on non-embellished lists of things that can be seen right in front of you if you click on it. A toolbar icon, sure, it’s subjective to describe an icon in words—but “File > Open”? Does a picture of the words “File > Open” really add much when you can just type it? I don’t know, I’m a text driven brain—as is probably obvious. :slight_smile:

Use “–” instead.

Opera: Yeah, I know. :confused: I had to bash it into shape for IE and ran out of time to get the peculiarities with Opera sorted out. It looks like it handles font size specification in a completely different fashion than all of the other browsers, so the menu choices are word-wrapping as the font is too big. It’s on the list! I always try to find platform-agnostic CSS solutions rather than write in browser-specific exclusions, but I might have to bend the rules in this case as it seems resistent to everything I try.

Thank you a lot for your answer!

Nope, it is set as 1.0x, in all my text and images. If I place an image that takes up 30% of the width, there appears to be no way to place text besides it, except using tables and setting the margin to 0, which doesn’t work very well, due to the bugged and feature-less table support (at least in the Windows version, 1.0.2).

As far as I can see, there’s no option for font size in the Editor preference tab - although as far as I can see it’s named “options,” not “preferences”. Maybe I look in the wrong place? What I meant by the quoted text is that now you have a drop-down menu of font sizes. But what if I want a font size at, let’s say, 30, but the drop-down menu only offers 24 and 36? If there was a box you could type in the preferred font size, you could choose exact font size yourself. Look in any normal text editor to see an example of what I mean.

As for the rest: Thank you! You cleared up some things for me. I would, however, like to see the features mentioned to be included at a later stage, and especially the bugs fixed!

What is most important for me is that we see a real footnote function in the Windows version soon, as I’ve been shown the Mac version do have such a function.

Thanks again, great program you’ve made! :slight_smile:

Oh, right, a blank space to the left/right/sides. Yes, being that it isn’t a layout engine, think of the image placement as placeholder quality. You put the graphic where you want it to appear and when it comes time to polish off the final draft it’s already there for you to put together.

Yeah, sorry, I meant options. Font and all paragraph attributes are configured in the little mock editor in the top half of this Editor pane. You can use the format bar to change things, and the changes will be reflected in the sample text. To change the font attributes, click the A button. These were reduced down to a single button to save space. Having all of the convenience drop-downs would be too wide.

I’ve brought up the problem of not being able to specify custom point sizes with the convenience tool. So I do believe that is on the list. I think the toolkit we are using might not have a combined text entry / drop-down widget like others do.

At any rate, hit F4 to bring up the full font panel while editing, right now. That’s also in Format/Font/Show Fonts.

Agree on the bug fixes; I just thought I’d step in for a few of the answers I could address. As for the features, some are out of scope. There is a difference between providing placeholder graphic placement, and full canvas boxing and procedural word-wrapping; basic tabular assembly and extensive table formatting and embellishment. The idea is to provide basic drafting tools. Not to replace Word, InDesign, or other such tools—I think you’ve already noticed that based on your respones, but maybe that goes a bit further than you anticipated. In some cases these things are simplified because honestly one programmer will never be able to match Microsoft’s Word development department (or OpenOffice’s cadre of volunteer developers and corporate backing from the Sun days)—but other things are intentionally simple because that is one of the aims of Scrivener, to provide a streamlined writing environment. Not a publishing or formatting environment.

Footnotes: Actually Windows isn’t that far behind the Mac in this regard. It does do a little more in terms of compilation formatting; but mostly picky stuff like whether or not they should be indented; use non-superscripted numerals; alternate counting systems; et cetera. Nothing fundamental. You can, in Windows, specify endnotes, footnotes, or grouped endnotes (via a marker, as some academic styles require notes to appear before the very end of the document).

Perhaps you just haven’t found the feature yet? It’s Format/Inline Footnote. Yeah, that sounds a little funny right now; it’s named that way to accommodate an alternate footnoting style that will appear in the future. Same feature, different placement off in the sidebar; mainly just for taste. Some absolutely cannot get used to having footnote content contextually placed in the location that calls for it.