Generally confusing things re. Scrivener: Help!

  1. What is meant by the term “scrivenings.” It is not in the dictionary, at least where I’ve looked. In the General setup, it says something about “Separators” and refers to a “Single newline” and a “Double newline.” What does this mean?

  2. I set my column width to, say, seven inches. Fine. Then I use the zoom view command at the lower left of the screen to 200%. At that point, my column width changes to three-and-a-half inches. I guess that to get around this, I could set the original column width to fourteen inches, but this seems ridiculous.

  3. When I tried to use the “find and replace” option, nothing came up. Totally dead. After some rather extensive trail-and-errors, I finally found the “find and replace” window behind the main text editing window. I tried a number of other commands that would initiate a window of some sort, and they all ended up behind the main window. So, in order to use these functions, you have to move the main window over to the edge of the page so you can see the function windows. Of course, this makes many functions worthless. Why is this happening?

  1. “Scrivenings” is just a term meaning “writings”, or “snippets”, or some such thing, and I think was chosen as a stylistic label as anything else. I recall some discussion about it somewhere else on these forums, but can’t think where.

Basically, when you “Edit Scrivenings”, it combines all of the selected text documents and displays them as a single document on the screen, so you can in effect edit and view the documents as one (although they are still stored separately).

The preferences pane just sets how each document is separated when they are combined.

  1. I am not sure on this one, and don’t have my laptop here to check.

  2. This is not a problem I have experienced before. They always come up on front for me. Maybe someone else will know the answer to this one.

I’m pretty sure the Zoom refers only to the text size. If you want to make the column wider as you zoom, use the Universal Access feature, accessed via System Preferences. The keyboard shortcuts are cmd-opt-= and cmd-opt-minus.

As for your question 3, I’ve never seen this either. If you can reproduce it every time, I’d file a bug report. It’s definitely not supposed to work that way.


Hi Matthew,

  1. Yep, “scrivenings” was really just chosen for want of a better word. It is just the verb of “Scrivener” and means “writings”. I doubt you’ll find it in a dictionary, but at the same time, it isn’t a neologism either. It’s one of those words you might use ironically about some pieces of writing, as in: “Take a look at these, my modest scrivenings,” uh, or something. It you do a Google search on “scrivenings”, you will see that I didn’t just invent the word, at least. :slight_smile:

  2. The zoom button zooms the whole editor. But any column you have created will not be 7 inches if set to 3.5 inches. Rather, it will be 3.5 inches but given that it is displayed in twice the size (if zoomed at 200%), it will be displayed inches wide. When printed, it will be 3.5 inches. I’m not too sure of the source of confusion here. Perhaps you are misunderstanding the Zoom feature. This only affects the display; it has no effect over the font or formatting at all. A 12 point font when zoomed to 200% remains a 12 point font; it is just displayed twice as large.

  3. I’m not sure what you mean about the Find & Replace thing. Certainly, if you have the Find panel open and click on the main window, the Find panel will disappear behind it. But if you select “Find” again, it should come to the front. I can’t remember if this was ever a known issue off the bat, but try downloading the 1.08 beta from the Beta Testing forums to see if this resolves the issue for you, as it might be an old issue that has since been fixed.

On a general note, I would definitely recommend going through the Help file and tutorial if you have not already, as I feel that some of these issues are further elucidated there.

All the best,

You meant verbal noun, I guess – anyway, that’s what it is. Or rather it’s the plural of a verbal noun.

Well, ‘scrivening’ (singular) is in the OED, and it’s certainly not a neologism: the earliest use they record for ‘scrivening’ is 1809.

‘Scrivening’ the noun is derived from ‘scriven’, the verb, itself made by back-formation from ‘scrivener’, another noun. That is, there was a word ‘scrivener’ for a kind of person and it sounded like there should be a verb for what they do, so it came into existence.

scriven: “To write as a scrivener does.” (earliest sighting 1685)

scrivener: “A professional penman; a scribe, copyist; a clerk, secretary, amanuensis.” (Earliest sighting around 1375. From ‘scrivein’, which is from Old French ‘escrivain’, ultimately from the same Latin root as ‘scribe’, ‘inscribe’, ‘script’, I suppose)

Hence also
“scrivener’s cramp, palsy, writer’s cramp.”

‘Scrivener’ could also mean ‘author’ in a general sense, but the OED says that meaning is obsolete.

Erm, yes, well, obviously I knew the meaning of “Scrivener” given that I did choose the name of the application. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the elaboration on “scrivenings”, though - it isn’t listed in the Collins I have handy but it’s a word that is associated with just the meanings you provided. When I said “I doubt you’ll find it in a dictionary” I meant your bog-standard Collins or Webster’s. There isn’t much you won’t find in the OED.

And thank you for your pedantry regarding “verbal noun” - always appreciated. :stuck_out_tongue: (This is the sort of pedantry up with which I shall not put!) But yes, you’re right; obviously “scrivenings” as in Edit Scrivenings is a noun, and not a verb. But look, honestly, you try getting anything right after seven hours in a classroom with ten year-olds (though obviously getting it right in the classroom is important). :slight_smile:

All the best,

Do you by chance have ‘float window’ checked under the Window menu?