Have two documents always appear together in split-screen?

Hello Scrivener peeps

I’ve just started using Scrivener, so apologies if I’m missing something obvious with my question.

I have a list of sections (or chapters, call them what you will) for a book I’m writing. I’ve set each of these sections up as documents in the “Draft” part of the “binder” thingy.

Now, for each of these sections, I have another document, which outlines its structure. Provisionally I’ve set up these “structure documents” in the “Research” part of the binder.

So each section in the “Draft” part of my binder has its “structure” counterpart document in the “Research” part of the binder. (Each pair has the same title, except I prefixed the “structure” documents with a capital “S”).

What I’d like to be able to do, using a vertical split-screen view, is, when I click on one of my main sections of the “Draft” part of the binder, to have its “structure” document counterpart always show next to it, in the split-screen view.

is this possible?

Many thanks.

There’s no way of doing this automatically, although it’s an idea I’ve been playing with. The trouble is how to associate two documents, and how it works with user-expectation and so on.

What you can do, though, is add the structure counterpart document as a reference to a document. So, you open up the Inspector and drag the structure file into the References pane of the document to which it refers. Double-clicking on the icon of a file in the References will open it in the split view. So then when you open up one of your files, although the structure counterpart file won’t be opened automatically in the split view, it’s just a matter of double-clicking on its icon in the References pane.

Hope that helps.
All the best,
Keith

Thanks for the workaround. It’s a shame Scrivener doesn’t have this built-in.

I think it would be a good idea if you incorporated a “structure” pane for every document in the binder, which could be viewed split-screen with the document itself.

I’m sure I can’t be the only person who needs to refer constantly to a structure/layout plan whilst working on a document.

If this was always available for every document, there needn’t be any associating of discrete documents, just a menu item and/or hotkey for each document view.

These things always sound a lot simpler than they would be in practice. :slight_smile:

What happens if the user changes the structure in one but not the other? That would throw every other document off.

And if it’s just a matter of wanting a separate document associated with every document in your Draft, that’s what the notes pane in the inspector is for.

All the best,
Keith

And there are probably many many of us using Scrivener, not just myself, for whom a structure document is of no importance, and to have one automatically appearing when what you want in the other half of the split is something totally different would be a major frustration. Keith’s suggestion of how to do it is a good one, and for those of you who want such a thing would achieve your needs without much re-programming needed.

Keith - I’m not sure I understand what you mean. …what happens if the user changes the structure in one - what? but not the other - what?

Couldn’t each document had an optionally-viewable structure pane “of its own”, not affecting other documents?

xiamenese - of course I meant an optional structure view, not a mandatory one.

But I guess I’ll use the little notes pane.

I guess I misunderstood your request. By a “structure pane”, I thought you meant a separate pane in the binder itself, which would reproduce the structure of the documents in the Draft so that you could add notes in them. Now I’m not sure I understand what the request is for. :slight_smile: Are you essentially asking for something exactly like the notes pane, but which can be viewed in the other editor instead?

Sorry, I didn’t explain myself very well. I guess I was asking about something like the notes pane, which could be viewed in the editor, but I wasn’t aware that the notes pane could be customised, made larger, etc., so I’m using that. Structuring the document is very important to me. Sorry for the confusion. :blush:

Further to my thoughts on this … although I can use the little “notes” pane, I find that it doesn’t accommodate workflow properly. Somehow the little notes pane, although good for a brief structure outline (thanks for tips), isn’t ideal for lengthy text.

Often I find that I want to work on one of the documents from the draft folder, and refer to a particular “research notes” document from the research folder - which is a sort of research “companion” to the main document. To do this, I use a split-pane view, the “main” document in one and the “notes” document in the other. Excellent.

But as often as not, I’ll want to switch to another pair: a different main document from the draft folder, with its companion notes document from the research folder. Now when I do this, it would be nice to associate the pairs of documents somehow, so that both open together. As it is, I have to fiddle and switch documents and split-panes around until I get the new view.

I guess I’m thinking along the lines of, being able to select two documents, and toggling a command like, “Link in split layout.”

As I say, this was something I was considering (though not for the initial 2.0 release), but there are problems in terms of user expectation. It could get annoying if every time you open a document in one pane, the other pane is automatically loaded with another document, replacing what is there. There are design considerations, too - does it override Lock in Place, or not? Does the split pane get automatically opened or not? How does the link get applied and how does the interface reflect that a link is applied so that the user is not confused about the behaviour? This is on the list for future consideration, so if you have any ideas, let me know. In the meantime, the ability to add a research document as a reference to a draft document and double-click it to open it in the other editor means that you can already do just what you want, albeit with between two and four extra clicks (depending on whether the references and notes pane of the inspector is already open or not).

All the best,
Keith

… that’s why I thought of a specific “Link these two documents in split layout” command that one could toggle.

What I have added for 2.0 - based on this discussion - is a way to add references to the top of the header bar icon menu. It’s pretty easy: add an internal reference to the document references and type an asterisk in the “URL” field (internal references don’t use the URL field). Any document references with an asterisk there will appear at the top of the header bar icon menu (the menu that appears when you click on the icon in the editor header bar). Select a reference listed there and it will open in the other editor. Thus, you can link one document to another and open it in the other split really easy - this will be handy for the situation you describe.

I know it doesn’t go as far as you had hoped or imagined, but it’s useful and about as near as possible all things considered, although I don’t rule out revisiting it post-2.0.