Floating Research Inspector in Full Screen mode

I have searched the forum before posting this, and I haven’t found anything similar. I work primarily in Full Screen mode in Scrivener. In fact, that is one of the main reasons why I use Scrivener. In addition, I find Scrivener’s Research Folder invaluable. Nevertheless, whenever I am working in Full Screen mode I lose access to my research. If I need to check, say, a character’s background, I need to exit Full Screen mode, go to the appropriate research folder and take a quick pick, then go back to working in Full Screen mode. Because my memory is not photographic, I usually have to do this a few times, which defeats the use of Full Screen.
A workaround is to copy selected material into Document Notes. In fact, sometimes I resort to do that, so I have the information I need while I work in Full Screen. This solution is far from perfect, as characters, setting, and so forth, do appear an reappear in several sections of my novel.
So, what I am requesting is the ability to see the Research Folder using an Inspector similar to the one that currently shows Document Notes and Project Notes. This, with another feature I am still hoping that will be implemented in the future (see [url]https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/request-for-views/1986/1]), would make Scrivener a comprehensive writing solution for me.


I’m afraid I’ve never intended full screen to replicate the main window. For referring to research and suchlike you’ll have to use the main window. Full screen is more for typing without anything else to look at other than your text…

I’ve already answered your other request rather extensively.

Happy hols and all the best,


Thank you for your reply. Like other suggestions that I’ve posted, my aim is not so much to tailor Scrivener to my own, particular needs–which is, of course, unrealistic to say the least. But mostly to see whether other writers have similar needs, and, perhaps, to learn what kind of workaround they have found. I know for a fact that I am not the only writer who likes to keep reference material visible while working, but it is quite possible that I am the only writer using Scrivener who would like to use the Full Screen mode while keeping some reference material visible.

I understand that as a developer you are entitled to decide what to implement and what to leave out. In fact, I don’t like designs by committee. On the other hand, as a Scrivener user of many years, I believe that I am entitled to post requests for new features, even they never get implemented.

Merry Christmas and my best wishes for 2009.


My preference is not to get over-dependent on the Research folder, for just this reason: you can’t always see it when you need it, at least not in FS. If you just use the split-window, you can easily view a Draft item on one side and a Research item on the other. I never use FS myself: need the security blanket of my notes. But then I don’t use the Research folder all that much, because for me DT Pro is a better place to store research data, as I’ve noted in many previous posts. With the new DTP 2.0, its power and versatility as a research database is even more evident. Happy New Year.


Yes, and there are improvements to the new DT Pro that make it even more friendly with Scr. You can now drag things directly from DT to Scr. as an external reference, a feature not possible in previous versions of DT Pro. It’s the major reason I stopped using DT, since I need to be able to link up to Scr. in this way. I have scores of research material that I need accessible in multiple Scr. projects without having to duplicate the files. I’m happy as can be that I can go back to using DT as my ‘information warehouse.’

So what Droo says here is quite a good way to go. Dt allows you to clone files into multiple files, create wiki links, all kinds of useful aids for an information management package. I have found it best to not try to make one program fit all. Let the programs do best what they are built for.

Hope this helps.


Thanks druid and alexwein for your comments.

This might be the way to go. Though, it seems sad that the Research Folder would go unused in Scrivener. But that would be okay. There are many features I don’t use anyways.

One of the reasons why I was reluctant to use DT was the fact that they had a proprietary database format. I just checked out the 2.0 version, and now they store the files unchanged–which is fantastic. So, it seems that the best solution, so far, is to have your research in DT. This, of course, would involve switching apps, if you want to use Full Screen mode in Scrivener (which is one of the main reasons why I like it so much).

Or, perhaps, using a dual screen. Any experiences with a dual screen setup with Scrivener?

I have a dual screen set up at home, but haven’t tried full screen with both programs. What I do in this regard is create an external reference to my DT file in Scr., then open it in split screen. Then I can see the DT file in Scr. in full screen. You can bring your research material into Scr. in this way and view it within Scr., which is what I do constantly! I do use the research folder in Scr. for more ‘localized’ research material, or to house research notes created from the material stored in DT. For example, a transcription of an audio file or notes created for that particular project from that audio file. Sometimes other very project-specific items. If something saved in Scr. becomes a resource for other projects, I simply import it into DT (after exporting from Scr.) and then it is available to multiple Scr. projects.

Does that make sense? Not sure if it answers your question about dual screens, but it is a way you can bring DT-stored material into Scr. for viewing.


Instead of using FS try using the Layouts menu. A few tweaks and you can have a “full screen” that allows the binder as well.

Just a thought…

This sounds really useful. I have played with the split view, and now I can see the research on one side and the text I’m working on on the other. The drawback, for me, is that I lose the Full Screen mode, which–to my eyes and concentration–is a blessing. I didn’t quite get the external reference to DT to work in Scr. There must be something I’m missing.

Would you mind being more specific how to do this? I’d be very interested in a Full Screen mode with a view of the binder.

You are right, I don’t think you can use split view in full screen. What I mean about the external reference to DT is that you can create external references whose links are housed in the Document and Project Reference pane. It is possible to drag a file directly from DT’s binder to this pane in Scr. It creates automatically an external reference to your DT file, even if you move the DT file around in DT. It’s very cool. This was not possible before DT 2.0, and it was why I stopped using DT to house my research material.

Does this make sense? If not, please let me know.


Now I get it. I had been using DT 1.x for academic research project, mainly because they were chunks of text, but with fiction writing I also need to see images. This makes more sense now. By the way, I’m posting a question about Together, which I tested, and DT 2.0. Thank you.

You are welcome. :slight_smile:

(A) Go to PREFERENCES and save your current preferences (so you may switch back with ease).
(B) Go to SHOW LAYOUTS and save your current layout (so you may switch back with ease).

Ok here are the steps to my own custom FS view.

(1) Collapse the toolbar by either clicking the pill button on the top right corner, pressing OPT+CMD+T, or selecting HIDE TOOLBAR from the VIEW menu.

(2) Hide the ruler if it is showing (CMD+R)

(3) Go to VIEW/LAYOUT and hide the following items:

(4) Now you should have a windowed Scrivener with only a binder showing. Make this window full size to fit the entire screen. (Select Automatically Hide show Dock in Dock Preferences if you want the Dock hidden).

(5) Go to SHOW LAYOUTS and save this layout.

Ok now to get the background and text to be different than black text on white paper.
(6) Go to PREFERENCES and select FONTS & COLORS. Set the TEXT background to say BLACK. Set the BINDER background to say a grayish color if you want. Save this preference.

(6) Highlight the text and change the font color to something you like (like green)

Now when you want to to switch to this “full screen” mode simply go to layouts and select your “full Screen” layout, then go to your preferences and load your “full screen” preferences, and then highlight the text you are working on and change the font color to whatever you like. When you are done writing simply select your default layout, load your default preference, and highlight the text and change the color back to black.

Having mutiple layouts saved can be nice. I have one for writing (hides everything including binder) one that hides everything but the binder, one that makes the SCR window small so I can view other documents in other programs, and one that is “full screen”.

Hope that helps

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such detailed instruction. I must confess that, although I have used Scrivener since its very beginnings, I had never explored layouts. After following your instruction, I have now a screen layout which works very well for me. The only kink to iron, from my point of view, is text color–as you will need to change it back and forth each time you need to print. Perhaps this is a feature that could be easily added to Scrivener, Keith?
Thank you again.