how to keep scratch pad from fading?

I swear I’ve looked for a preferences toggle. I just can’t find it.

I need to refer to my scratch pad while I write. But when I focus the main Scrivener window, the pad fades away. How to prevent this?

Might I suggest you use one of the other areas of notation instead of the scratch pad? It is really intended to be a tool that lets you take notes not yet integrated with the project, rather than to be a floating notepad that holds important information for the project. The Inspector based Document and Project notes (especially the latter) will probably be of more use to you if you are putting information intended for writing reference in it. The Scratch Pad is really better for jotting down ideas where you aren’t sure where they fit in yet, or in Float mode, taking down notes and pasting text from other applications.

It has been recognised there is a need for a floating notepad, so in the future it will be possible to detach project notes into a scratch pad type interface. Meanwhile the scratch pad will become even more generalised, and no longer be tied to any specific project. So in my opinion, you might as well start getting used to the the scratch pad being more for general “out of context” notation and use the Inspector notes for now.