Index Card Wishes: Text Wrap, Hard Return, Guides/Grids

I love working in the free form index card mode. In fact, it’s my primary reason for using Scrivener as a demo - to take it for a ride using index cards. In this and only in this function, it does the trick for me with a few exceptions.

One: The index card heading should wrap to the next line. Even when working succinctly, one line and the top of the card isn’t enough. At least two lines should be considered above the red line if not more.

Two: Hitting return within an index card should take you to another line. In that way, it should work like a text editor within each card. A hard return takes you to the next line if you want to do short lines or itemize a list on the card in, say, bullet points.

Third: I love working in free form, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like things to be neat. Pages and other graphics savvy programs have guidelines that appear when you need them and allow you to snap-to-grid any objects. This would allow free forming the layout of the cards, but could also keep them neat and in line.

Thanks for a wonderful program. As I said, I think the implementation of the index card view is very nicely done.


Have you tried working in a larger, or maybe even just wider, index card setting? If you haven’t found those settings yet, click the little “four card” button in the lower right of the corkboard view in the footer bar. In freeform mode, you can change the card size and the card aspect ratio. Fiddling with those together, you could get more space on the title line without sacrificing too much in terms of how much total working area you have. Selecting a smaller title font can help, too.

You can work that way if you want. The default has a more “outliner” feel to it, where newlines are the exception not the rule. To switch this over, visit the Navigation preference pane, and check out the Return key behaviour section. Disable “End editing…” for text editor style behaviour.

If this is a more exceptional thing, Opt-Return will always add a newline in a card (that, by the way, is a fairly general Mac trick for inserting newlines and tabs into places that otherwise wouldn’t receive the keys, like search and replace fields—so its handy to know in any case).

You’ll need to hear from Keith for the other stuff as he makes feature decisions.

Thanks for the tip in addressing my item two. Didn’t understand the return key behaviors before. Works nicely.

For item one, resizing the cards sort of defeats seeing the big picture in the index cards. Too large and, for an entire screenplay, you have more cards than fit in the overall view. Even on my giant iMac screen. So… I’d still like to have the ability to create a one or two line heading on an index card.

Hey, thanks for the speedy response. Y’all are good.


Just as an addition to Ioa’s suggestion for number one, have you tried selecting “use small font” in the corkboard settings from the footer popup menu? I use that one to maximize space on the Mac Air, so I don’t like to make the cards bigger, but by making the font a little smaller I’m able to squeeze in somewhat bigger titles. It may not make enough difference for you, depending how large you need your font to be in order to keep it legible, but it may be worth trying. You can set the size for the “small font” under the Corkboard tab of preferences.

I did do that and, you’re right, it makes it easier. Haven’t seen it on the laptop, but for the desktop,it’s more than big enough. Thanks.