Full screen behaviour when switching between two projects


Writing my thesis, I need to refer to my bibliography all the time to insert references while I write. To make this easy, I put my bibliography in a separate Scrivener project, and use Exposé to move between bibliography and thesis.

Even when I work ‘distraction-free’ in full screen, I have to switch between thesis and bibliography now and then. Unfortunately, every time I select the bibliography-project via Exposé, the thesis-project falls out of Full Screen mode a split second after the bibliography-project comes into view.

So here comes my small wish: I would love a given project to remain in Full screen when I switch to another project.



May I suggest putting your bibliography in the same scrivener project?

Scrivener was specifically designed to do exactly what you’re trying to handle: writing while having easy access to your reference materials.

For a single monitor: go into the Scrivener preferences / Full Screen and deselect “hide main window”. This will leave the main window active when you start full screen mode. Then you can use exposé to switch back and forth between the two, without confusing full screen mode.

The reason Scrivener prefs hide the main window when you enter full screen by default is that if you have the same text file open in two places, the whole system slows down dramatically as the file grows. If you put different files in the main window and full screen, this isn’t an issue. You can also change your full screen background opacity to show what’s behind, while you’re in full screen, so you can see your reference materials, without actually switching windows.

For dual monitors: deselect “hide main window” as above, and put your main window on a different monitor from your full screen window. :slight_smile:

Thanks Janra,

That looks like a good solution. However, I seem to be doing something wrong (or Scrivener’s behaviour is different in the beta, which I’m using), for although the main screen isn’t hidden anymore when using expose, when I select that window the full screen window closes. Is this a bug or a feature? Does this work differently for you?

Thanks again,


P.S. I’m working with a single monitor

Full screen is intended to close, I’m afraid, if the main window gets the focus, as things can get pretty ugly otherwise. So what you are seeing is intended behaviour.
All the best,

What about Spaces in Leopard? I haven’t tried it with full screen mode in Scrivener, but it might work.

Good idea. Next week I’ll have Leopard, so I can give Spaces a try. For the time being, I have decided to create a PDF of the Bibliography, as I do not edit it anyway when I’m writing. That circumvents the problem.



I haven’t used full screen in a while, but - if I were using dual monitors, with full screen on one and the main window on the other, do you mean that full screen will close if I click on the main window to (e.g.) look at a different reference file?