Fun with Split Screen A REAL LIFE SCENARIO

I’m in split screen, with the top window showing the corkboard, blue arrows selected so that the bottom window shows contents of whichever index card is selected in the top screen. But then I click in the bottom window and select a document in the binder. Now, even though the blue arrows are selected, the bottom window is showing something different from the selected index card in the top window.

Then I go away and have a beer.

I come back, and start editing the bottom window, THINKING that I am editing the contents of the selected index card in the top window, because the blue arrows are selected, only to become confused, then figure out what I’ve done.

This is a real life scenario which actually happened!!! Is there any way I can prevent it happening again? (apart from giving up beer, obviously.)


Giving up beer would be a dire step that I wouldn’t advise. What I would advise is the following mantra:

“What you are editing is not in any way reflected by either the Binder, or the selected row in an Outline, or the selected card in a Corkboard. Always check the header bar first to verify the title.”

A corollary mantra could be:

“Clicking on things to load them is the only time the editor is ever linked to a navigational element.”

After you click on a card (with blue arrows on, obviously) or on an item in the Binder, that’s it. There is no further connexion or interaction between the editor and these navigational elements—until you click in them again, or use the Reveal in Binder shortcut.

Because there are so many ways that items can end up being displayed in the editor, it is not possible or reasonable for the rest of the interface to keep up. Consider that you can use the “Go To” menu to navigate to any part of the Binder you please, or that Scrivener Links when clicked on can whisk you away to items you can’t see anywhere in the Binder or Corkboard, the History buttons only pay attention to what has been previously loaded in the editor.

This is all very much by design, and any other solution would involve having the rest of the interface go through contortions to keep up. Binder folders would be flipping open and closed, the Corkboard would jump all over the place—it would just be a mess outside of the simplest scenarios, and for some people that wouldn’t be a desirable outcome. They might have carefully arranged the Binder to look a certain way, and be scrolled to a certain spot, so to suddenly change it would disturb their workflow.

So always check that header bar to make sure the title matches what you think you are editing. Everything else can very well be misleading.

You could also try “caffeinated beer”, but I hear it is pretty disgusting.

Well, I’ll owe you a beer for that. Thanks, makes perfect sense.