In Edit-All-Contents mode -- allow binder to show location

I suggest that, when in Edit-All-Contents mode – the mode that allows us to see all the contents as if it were one document – that when we click on a location in the main central pane, that the binder should colour-highlight the level at which the cursor is located on the main central pane.

I would find this useful because I use the binder to plot the line of thought of my writing. Hence, when in Edit-All mode, it’d be useful for the Binder to show where, in the line of reasoning, that I am editing.

i.e. such colour-highlighting would allow me, in one glance, to see where I am (1) in the big picture (the binder) and (2) in the detail (main central pane).

Right now, when we vary the location of the cursor in the main central pane, there is no visual indication in the binder.

Good idea!


If you mean a non-selection based highlighting, I kind of like that idea too. There are good reasons why the selection focus does not move around in the Binder, based on the editor contents—but some form of subtle background colour shading or something is an interesting notion.

That is a really cool idea.

We’re under feature freeze. :slight_smile:

The place you are in Edit Scrivenings is indicated in the inspector - the index card shows the current document. It is also indicated in the header view - the title of the document on which you are working is shown there. A non-selection highlight would be too much work during feature freeze. :slight_smile:

EDIT: Also, bear in mind that the items viewed in Edit Scrivenings may not always be visible in the binder, and the binder expansion/collapsed state should not be affected by what is visible in Edit Scrivenings. Thus, the highlight may or may not be visible. I think this could be confusing. Anyway…


Hi Keith

As you said, no doubt, it is possible to ascertain the position in the binder from available information.

The issue here is – not that we can’t tell – but speed of obtaining the information.

A visual colour change is instantaneous.

Whereas, the time taken to look at the information in the Inspector, then scan through the Binder to find the location. That could take – well, in a crammed binder, it could take so long that it is impractical to do it.

Keith, when you use Scrivener to write, do you use the Binder as topic headers? or do you include more information such that the Binder actually acts as a mini flow of argument, readable in itself.

A person who merely uses the Binder for topic header won’t understand why the others in this post thought the idea was such a cool idea.

For me, this idea is indispensible.


Unfortunately it is not being dispensed. :slight_smile: Please read the other reason why this idea is impractical - if you have the folder closed, there will be nothing to highlight. Moreover, I think having two highlights in the binder - one to show selection and the other to show the location of the document in Edit Scrivenings - would be visually confusing and possibly even against the HIG. I don’t think two highlights would be good interface design.

All the best,

Rather than dismissing the idea on technical grounds, let’s keep the end-goal in mind.

The end-goal is to allow the user, when editing in the main pane, to instantly see where the editing text correlates to which level in the binder.

This is important because many users rely on the binder as a quick-look summary of the flow of argument – not just as topic headers.

Keith, your point is true, but it does not torpedo this feature.

If you didn’t like my implementation idea, then you should keep searching for a better way of implementing the end-goal.

In response to your rejection, I believe this feature could still work by letting the binder colour the nearest level.


sub-text 1
sub-text 2
sub-text 3

Hence, if all the binder folders are open (as above), then the colour highlight will appear at the actual level it is at. For instance, if I am editing sub-text 2 in the main pane, then the words “sub-text 2” are fully coloured.

However – and this is the solution to the obstacle you saw – if the binder folders are closed,


in this scenario, the colour highlight will appear at the next main level up. Thus, when the user is editing sub-text 2 in the main pane, but if the user had closed the structure such that only FOLDER NAME is shown, then the colour highlight is on FOLDER NAME, to indicate to the user that he is editing something inside FOLDER NAME.

Keith, I don’t understand your reference to “two highlights” in the binder – which makes me suspect you missed what we’re all saying is a good idea.

Right now, the only colour differences in the binder are in the folder icons. My suggestion goes to the extent of colour highlighting the entire line of text, e.g. all the words SUB-TEXT 1 are totally coloured (or, as in the 2nd example, all the words FOLDER ONE are coloured).

The overall goal is to enable the user to instantly see, in the binder, where it is that corresponds to the text he is editing in the main pane. i.e. to allow the user to instantly see where he is in the big-picture and in the small-picture simultaneously.

Even if the feature I suggested has flaws, the end-goal remains worthy, and some other idea should be thought of to meet this goal.

i.e. don’t throw the idea out, simply because a technical flaw can be immediately seen.

The end-goal is what needs to be assessed. And if it is a good end-goal, then there are ways of making it happen.

Hey, as they say, if it’s worth it, it’s worth another ask (from our benevolent dictator)

p/s in my mind’s eye, I can see how it can be implemented. The problem you pointed out can be overcome.

No, I shouldn’t - not if I think the end-goal isn’t something I particularly want to implement or see as especially important. Please see the “BEFORE POSTING” sticky at the top of the Wish List forum, which explains that getting more forceful won’t help - Scrivener isn’t software-by-committee. I can understand that some users feel very strongly about this or that feature being implemented, but I’m afraid that I make the final decision and right now I don’t see this as something I want to implement.

As for the highlights - no, I didn’t misunderstand your idea. I was also talking about the whole row being highlighted. But the standard OS X interface has the whole row highlighted to indicate a selection. This highlight is usually blue or grey, but it may be any colour depending on the user’s system preference. Having another row highlighted to indicate something other than selection could potentially be confusing. An underlined title would make more sense, because that would fit in with the underline that appears in the header view to indicate the current focussed document.

But I’m afraid that whilst users don’t need to worry about technical difficulties, I do.

So, sorry to say, this is not a feature that will be coming to Scrivener any time soon. I never rule out anything forever because I always like to keep the option of changing my mind. But I do understand your suggestion, and understand why you want it, but I’m afraid I’m still saying “no” to this one.

All the best,

Sorry for the forcefulness. I guess it’s my attorney background. I tend not to give up with just one rejection. Always several rounds of appeals. The argument is never dead until the judge (i.e. you) makes it plain that he understood the argument, and gives reasons for rejection :slight_smile:

No problem - at least you were polite and didn’t shout. :slight_smile: Like I say, I can see why you want this and am not ruling it out for the future, just for the immediate future.