For editing: Show one sentence at a time

I’ve looked around and can’t seem to find this, and so I turned to my trusty Scrivener in the hopes that it might have this function built into it, but I haven’t found it yet.

One of the handiest ways to edit for me is to start at the end and go backwards sentence by sentence, editing as I go. It would be great if scrivener had a function like this, particularly on their up and coming IOS version.

Edit: it would be great to see only that sentence, with the option of opening it up to the whole paragraph when I need to check for context. Plus an optional automatic font/size changer, so my eyes don’t get used to the one font and size.

you should find that your brain already comes with this functionality, and if you set the preferences correctly, should interface with scrivener nicely.

:smiley: You’d think it would, now wouldn’t you?

In all seriousness, I already do this both on my computer and on paper, but I’m looking for a more efficient way that will be more effective and won’t kill as many trees during the revision process. And I have to admit I love the idea of being able to sit on the couch and tap through sentence after sentence, with the changes I make going directly into the document. I miss stuff while scrolling through a document I’ve seen a hundred times while sitting at my computer.

You could try duplicating the manuscript file, then—using the duplicate as a proofing source—search for every . ? ! that has been used to end a sentence and replace each item with the same punctuation mark and then XX number of carriage returns.

You can then split the window to have the original in one pane and the broken up text in the other: allowing you to read lines in isolation as well as enabling you to refer back to the original context when necessary.

Not exactly what you want, but it at least breaks things up for you.

And on a Mac with text to speech enabled, highlight the relevant text and press CMD+T to get the Mac to read your work to you. Fantastic resource because it can only read what has been typed, rather than your brain reading what you think you should have typed.



Mac, those are fantastic ideas! I know how to do all of that (except the short cut key text to speech). So I’m left wondering, why didn’t I think of that? :slight_smile:

After I make my editing changes, it will be pretty easy to go back and take those extra carriage returns out. That will definitely do for now.

I just went and did a little research and found out that the ipad has a text to speech option as well. Perfect! (I’ve been trying to decide on a tablet, and I’ve been leaning toward an ipad, at least partly because of Scrivener.)

Thanks for taking the time to help me solve my problem.

The key combination is customisable in (Mountain Lion) System Preferences > Dictation & Speech > Text to Speech > Speak selected when the key is pressed [SET KEY COMBINATION YOU WANT].

I find text to speech useful whilst looking at work on screen.

Also useful—from any main menu—when a block of text has been selected: Services > Add to iTunes as a spoken track.

With this method, you can add an entire book to iTunes (using whichever system voice you have got set up in Sys Prefs) and then have the option to stop, start, fast-forward or rewind when listening to text—something that is not possible when using simple Text to Speech—and even copy the file to an iPod/iPad, etc and then listen to work whilst out and about.

Again, not perfect, but it does help to get a general idea of how well written work flows.

And yes, the iPad also has a text to speech function. Just select the text you want, a pop-up menu appears and you choose > Speak. IMO the voices on the iPad are not as good as on OS X. Worth trying on a friend’s or store’s iPad to hear what it is like.

I had no idea I could convert it to an itunes sound track - that will be really useful. I’m in the car all the time for my job, and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make that time more useful.

I’ll definitely try out the text-to-speech function first on an ipad before buying one. Thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks again!

Convert to iTunes works really well— although for a long novel the actual conversion can take some time. 15/20 mins for 80,000 words on my old iMac. When the file is in iTunes, you can tweak the sound delivery a little using the equaliser presets.

You can set the actual voice you want to use and the rate at which it speaks via system prefs.

My personal favourite is Alex. There are loads that can be downloaded from Apple.

I listen to my own work in the car and when out walking. Find it very useful…though, sadly, not as good as I wish it was. I blame the author :wink:

Good luck!

Alex is my favorite voice too. But I’ll have to check the ones that can be downloaded, since I haven’t tried that.

It’s good to know that it might take some time to process. The mac I use is a few years old, so I’ll need to take that into account.

No, don’t blame the author - blame the voice! :smiley: As good as text-to-speech is, it’s not the same as the inflections from a live person. Of course, as an experiment you could find the text to a commercially published novel and convert that, just so you can compare it. I know Baen Books has quite a few free CDs floating around out there that are free for public use and sharing. If you google “BaenCD at the Fifth Imperium” you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Edit: I just took a closer look, and Baen has changed the rules on this. It’s okay to download, but the files are not in the public domain.