Inspector Layout


I’d like to suggest a small modification to the Inspector Layout.

Currently in the bottom panel of the inspector, there are three tabs for notes, document references, and keywords.

The tabs are fine for switching views between these three elements, but it may be visually more efficient to view more than one of these elements simultaneously.

Specifically, I would like to be able to view my lists of keywords and document references at the same time. This could be accomplished by adding another panel within the inspector window so that keywords are in one panel and document references are in another panel. There seems to be plenty of room in the bottom of the inspector window to add one more panel (i.e. synopsis, general, plus document references or keywords.)

Taking this idea one step further, instead of using any tabs to view the three elements, there could be individual panels for each of these items. References, keywords and notes could all be viewed using an arrow button - just like how the synopsis and general panels are currently optionally viewed.

Thank you,


I second that wish as it would suit my way of working as well. And by that I mean a chaotic, higgldey-piggldey, don’t-know-what-I’ll-be-doing-next-so-want-all-options-available-at-once kind of way. Sort of the opposite of full-screen-distraction-free.



Thanks for the suggestions. I’m afraid this won’t be happening, though. :slight_smile: I did consider this layout, but it doesn’t work. The trouble is that all of these elements - notes, references and keywords - really require a variable height, something you could resize. This involves Cocoa split views (the views that allow you to resize two different views using a bar) which are notorious for squishing and losing controls. The room available in the inspector depends, of course, on screen size. What seems spacious on a 24" screen is cramped on a 12" screen. There is just not room for these three controls to go one on top of the other and be resizable; opening one may push another off the screen. I don’t think I’ve explained that very well, but basically, I have tried this set up and it just didn’t work very well, which is why I decided on the three panes for these three views.

All the best,

For those of us with larger screens a viable solution could be to be able to have two Inspector windows open at the same time (I sometimes have three Information windows open in Pages, together with the Fonts window – and I’ve found that to be a real time-saver).

Would that be possible – and not too difficult to implement?


A reasonably elegant way of doing this would be the way OmniGraffle handles its palettes. They have square buttons along the top, very similar to Scrivener’s square buttons along the bottom. If you click the buttons, the palette switches to that view, just like Scrivener. But, if you Cmd-Click on a second button, the palette expands and shows both at the same time in a column. Thus if you have a small screen you can click between “tabs” but on a large screen you can expand all four or five elements of the palette. The only catch is, they aren’t resizeable, and very likely for the reason Keith brought up.

Anything with splits is difficult to implement, by definition.

Thanks AmberV, that is indeed the catch. The notes view, references and keywords tables all need to be resizable, which is why they are set up as they are. So I’m afraid things will be staying as they are.
Thanks and all the best,

Sorry Keith, I know you have tried to close this but can I just pitch in with something related?

I was just browsing the forum before posting a request which also relates to these panes in the inspector. The space available for notes is a little on the small side - yes, they are resizable but on a macbook monitor there’s not enough screen real estate to make them permanently bigger, and it would be a chore to keep widening then narrowing them.

I was going to ask if it were possible to double click on one to have it pop out into it’s own window - a bit like the scratchpad. That might also be a solution to the problem mentioned in this post. Double-click to open up the notes, for example, resize as you like, float it, move it out of the way and change the inspector to references, that way you could see two at once.

That’s not my motivation for asking – I just want to be able to easily zoom the notes to make them a lot bigger while I look through them, then shrink them back again.

Thanks, once again…

Sorry to bug you.

You can close the index card and the general pane by clicking on the triangles in their header bars or by double-clicking on the header bars - that way, the notes can take up the whole of the inspector.
Hope that helps.

An extreme example:

Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq’s Skitch

Notice that the khaki tinted notes area is actually a bit wider than the default width of the white standard text editing area. It’s practically like a third split if you have a big enough screen, and in fact some people use it that way by temporarily dumping in content from other areas of the Binder.

Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq’s Skitch

Turning the Binder off will allow this configuration on a 15" MBP.

I too would like something more with the inspector, but I would suggest bringing the fullscreen “floating” inspector into the non-fullscreen mode. I have two monitors setup and I love putting the corkboard up and outlining on one screen (taking up the whole screen with no binder, inspector, or toolbar) but I also love adding notes to some scenes, so I feel that it would be incredibly useful to have a “floating” or pop-out inspector, just like there is in fullscreen mode, available to me during outlining. That way I could put it on my second/unused monitor without it taking up space on my primary monitor (both monitors are small and opening up the inspector drastically cuts the corkboard size and I hate having to write in a small window at the bottom right of the screen). I know that I could use the scratchpad but I feel it would be ultimately much easier to have the inspector available so that I can jot the notes down and move on without having to append them or copy them from the scratchpad. Just my two cents :slight_smile: