Help on how best to edit my text


I have worked on my novel in Scrivener for a month or so now. I think I have understood the basics and I like it. What I am struggling with though is this:

I have a very long text built up of many small pieces that I now want to arrange and rearrange. I need to go between reading the whole text in scrivener mode to see how it flows together, and at the same time be able to move around the order. My problem is that if I go out to the binder and do that, my main text gets unmarked and I have to select and find the part I was working on again. Even if I have a split window it is a lot of jumping around and selecting which window I am working in. I am sure there is a smart solution for this, and would be very much appreciate some help to find the best way to do this. Thank you!

If I get you right you should split to two Editors like you have done already and lock both Editors: One to what you refer to as your “main text” you are working on and the other one to the Drafts folder with Scrivenings View active.

While the former will be showing the one text you selected before locking the latter will jump and display the text you select in the Binder but in Scrivenings View, i.e. in context.

You might want to have a look at the manual, section 12.2.1: “Locking the Editor”, p. 290.

Thank you! I did not know about “locking the editor”, but will look into it now.

Truth is, since I am not working on huge manuscripts at the moment (?) and therefore have no use for enhanced navigating functions I had to try myself which lock setting would work. Scrivener is just so unbelievably feature-rich even for long time users it is almost impossible to know every function. Or at least for me it is.

Yes, I thought it would be very straight forward, but then of course as one start using it one wants more and more… Anyway, I havent (yet) managed to lock anything. I hope it is not a mac problem thing. Will keep reading that manual:-) Thank you for your help!

I think what you might be running into is that in forming a new Scrivenings session, the software is not going back and referencing a previous session to find where you were, if that makes sense. Since you’re clicking in the binder to navigate, you’re making a new session every time.

What might work better for you is to use History instead. If you right-click on the Back button above the editor you’ll get a history menu that you can use to jump back to your previous session, and should find your cursor placement retained.

Locking the editor probably won’t work like you want, because that enables a kind of navigation mode, if you click on something within the current Scrivenings session in a locked editor. The effect is to scroll the session rather than navigate to the child item individually. It’s a convenience feature, but in your case I think it would work against you.

Try making a comment by highlighting a word and choosing comment in inspector. If do this if have comment pane open in inspector when in scrivenings view will see all comments in whole text you selected and can quickly look thru comments to where you were.

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Yeah, that’s a similar approach to what I use for longer-term stopping points that may need to be around for days or weeks. I use inline annotations though, and type in MARK//, with maybe a short comment as to what I was doing there for my future self, after the slashes. I have a search collection set up that automatically lists any such markings on the fly and can get to them easily by hitting F3 / ⌘G (the Find Next shortcut, which is pre-loaded when using a search collection).

Ok, interesting. I am on a mac so I found that I need to press alt and the back button, and then I come back to where I were like you said. That might work!

Now another thing that I find frustrating and maybe don’t need to be. When I am in scrivener mode and have my cursor somewhere in it, I need to scroll and look through folders to search for that bit to be highlighted in the binder. Is there a function where it can take you there instead?

This sounds great (I meant to reply to your first note in my last reply) but over my head… It all gets quite complicated in the end. I have a huge puzzle of text to lay now and I am just trying to find the most efficiant way. I will try this too.

Actually, you were of course right - control and back button. The alt button started to make all kinds of mess.

Aye, Ctrl-click if you don’t have a second mouse button, is the Mac standard fall back.

Well there are two things to try:

  • If you really just want to see where you are in the overall session, click the little “outline” button in the top right of the header bar, near the Up/Down buttons that would flip through sections in the session. That shows where you are with a checkmark, but you can also use it to navigate. Great if the binder is off some place else at the moment, or you don’t actually want to unfold folders.
  • But if that’s exactly what you want, Navigate ▸ Reveal in Binder works from almost every context you’d think to use it from.