Inspector request, especially URLs in references

I’m brand new to Scrivener, like it a lot.

I use a lot of URL references in my work and am attempting to use the References area of the Inspector.

The Inspector area would work much better as a floating palette. Currently I’m having to resize the window and the pane to give enough screen real estate for the References area. There’s no horizontal scrolling available.

With Safari 2.0.4 I can’t drag from the toolbar into References (the online FAQ says the opposite). On the other hand I can copy and paste a URL. However the URL in the References area can’t be clicked, only copy and paste into a browser.

I suspect these limitations are already known, but mentioning them anyway.

Kind regards,

Hi Morley,

In some early iterations of Scrivener I did play with the idea of the inspector being a pallette. In fact, I spent weeks writing my own code for tear-off palettes such as the one in Mellel (the code is now freely available on the “Free Stuff” section of the website, in fact).

However, in the end I decided I preferred a single-window interface, and I’m happy with that decision. I really wouldn’t like the inspector to be floating as I like it where it is. (Hmm, I suppose I could see a distant future where the inspector is a floating palette if Scrivener ever has multiple windows… With a floating binder, too… But only in the very distant future. :slight_smile: )

As for the references - hmm, you should be able to drag from Safari’s URL into the references; it certainly works for me. It depends how you are doing it, though - you have to drag the icon in the left part of Safari’s URL text field into the references table, and not the text in the URL field itself.

Also, you just double-click on the Safari icon in the references table to open the URL in your browser. (Clickable links inside a Cocoa table are strangely more complicated than they should be, otherwise I would have made the URL clickable too.)

Hope that helps!
All the best,
Keith

P.S. I’m moving this topic to the Wish List forum as it’s more of a wish list item than a tip…

Definitely the “feature” of Scrivener I like the very least. Currently I have to resize the main window, then adjust the portion given to the Inspector. When I close the Inspector I’m forced to resize the window again.

I don’t have a hate on for Microsoft Word. After all it’s really a secretarial tool. But some things they do have right – such as being able to bring up the formatting palette at a single click and have its current location and disposition remembered for the next time.

Can’t take seriously your claim to preferring to fiddle with windows every time you open the Inspector. By the way, the Inspector has no horizontal controls.

Have never used Safari that way. Have always selected the URL before dragging to the Finder. Finder accepts both ways, but Scrivener only one way.

Understand now. May I suggest instructions be more explicit. Or better yet, if a URL appears in column 3 that the Safari icon appear in column 1. Serve both kinds of users.

Kind regards,

I understand that everyone has different preferences but also do please understand that I was very careful and meticulous in my design of Scrivener. I designed the interface the way I wanted it. Not all users will like it, and they are entitled to their opinions, but should not expect me to change it at their demand. :slight_smile:

I have no idea what you mean here, nor why you would want horizontal controls in the inspector. I don’t quite understand, sorry.

Scrivener is not Finder… Scrivener looks specifically for a URL data type, which only the favicon drag supplies.

I already tried to explain why there is no clickable link in column 3, and the Help file already makes it explicit that you need to double-click on the icon to open the reference:

Best,
Keith

Clearly you feel just as strongly in the opposite direction on this particular issue. I’m attempting to share my experience of being frustrated by the current setup with the kinds of functions I need; not demanding anything.

The Reference segment has great potential for the kind of work I’m doing. However the default width of the three fields is too narrow for me to see what’s going on in Description or to check out the critical part of the URL field which is the last several characters. I can tug at the field widths but these are still too narrow be functional, at least for me and my needs.

Therefore I resize the whole window (which has a distorting effect on the width of the main text editing area). However now I can slide the section divider to devote more horizontal space to the Inspector segment. (Has a secondary benefit of returning the main text editing area to an appropriate width.) Nevertheless, on a 20" wide Mac I still don’t have all the text in the Reference fields displaying. While there’s a vertical scroll bar there’s no horizontal scroll bar.

If you’re determined to leave the Inspector interface unchanged, go for it. It’s your program. No dispute. I’m surprised you haven’t had other users asking for a palette.

Clearly I misread the tutorial. Didn’t see the word “favicon” and haven’t seen that word used in some years. Its meaning isn’t something that springs quickly to mind. If I had understood at the time, we wouldn’t be having this part of the discussion.

Kind regards,

Most users prefer the single window interface, at least from the feedback I’ve received. Also, you have to understand that your suggestion would involve a radical rewrite of the whole interface, so it’s not the sort of suggestion I would ever undertake lightly.

As far as references go - I’ll add a horizontal scrollbar; you are right, there should be one really.

All the best,
Keith

Morley,

Given your heavy reliance on URLs, you might prefer to use one of the DevonThink products, like DevonNote or DevonThink Pro. They display URLs, PDFs, and many other file formats quickly, and you may arrange them in folders as topics or chapters as you please.

I prefer to use a separate app for this material, rather than the Research folder in Scrivener. That way, you have them available for more than one project.

See the DT site at devon-technologies.com/ for more information.

Love the Thoreau quotation. My favorite: “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”

Droo

Keith, here’s my take. Reading your comments above, I find myself nodding my head in agreement. I too like the single-window approach in Scrivener. In every application where I need multiple windows, the time I spend switching between them is annoying. In Scrivener, text entries which open in floating windows would destroy the unit of the program. Likewise, I very much dislike tear-off palettes. I have to endure them in Publicon, but I’m always moving them from one-side of the screen to the other.

But…in Scrivener I’d like to be able to see the Reference and Notes palettes at the same time, and I rarely need to see the General palette. To see both notes and references at the same time, I keep the notes in the Synopsis for those entries where I really want to see the linked references. So I have a mishmash, some notes in the Synopsis, some in the Notes pane.

How about a compromise? Give the Reference, Notes, and Keyword palettes in the Inspector their own title bars for the user to open. The extra functionality would more than compensate for lost space needed for the two extra bars.

Thanks for hearing this out.

Steve

Sorry, this was a duplicate of the one above.

Keith, here’s my take. Reading your comments above, I find myself nodding my head in agreement. I too like the single-window approach in Scrivener. In every application where I need multiple windows, the time I spend switching between them is annoying. In Scrivener, text entries which open in floating windows would destroy the unit of the program. Likewise, I very much dislike tear-off palettes. I have to endure them in Publicon, but I’m always moving them from one side of the screen to the other.

But…in Scrivener I’d like to be able to see the Reference and Notes palettes at the same time, and I rarely need to see the General palette. To see both notes and references at the same time, I keep the notes in the Synopsis for those entries where I really want to see the linked references. So I have a mishmash, some notes in the Synopsis, some in the Notes pane.

How about a compromise? Give the Reference, Notes, and Keyword palettes in the Inspector their own title bars for the user to open. The extra functionality would more than compensate for lost space needed for the two extra bars.

Thanks for hearing this out.

Steve

This has already been proposed and pondered and rejected a loooong time ago, for very sound reasons. Each of these panes - the references, notes and keywords - need to be of a variable height. Having them one on top of the other would mean that you should be able to resize them all to as big as or as small as possible. But the if the inspector is resized so that it is very short (that is, if the window is resized), everything gets very messy. OS X controls have a habit of walking all over each and not getting fixed until you restart the app in this situation. So, this just wouldn’t work, technically.

Unfortunately Scrivener will never be 100% perfect for any other user than me. :slight_smile:

Best,
Keith

That’s good enough for me, Keith. I knew that you would have thought well about the possible ways of organizing the Inspector. If you had to choose one arrangement among several, it should certainly be the one you prefer.

In reflecting on my frustration, I realized that it had little to do with the impossibility of viewing Notes and References at the same time. Rather, it arose from the many steps needed to switch the views-move hand to trackpad, navigate to the choice panel at the bottom of the Inspector. click, move back to the previous view, return to the keyboard… If I could switch more easily, I would not care that only one view is visible at a time.

So, another wish: keyboard shortcuts for the the views in the third pane.

Thanks,

Steve

Your wish is granted. Check Cmd-6, 7, and 8 for switching between the three views. To switch between Document Notes and Project Notes, use Cmd-Opt-6 and Ctrl-Cmd-6, respectively.

Additionally, you can move the keyboard focus to the notes view by pressing Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-I (the same with U) will go to Synopsis. Use the same combination with E to get back to the editor (E and R will go between splits if you have multiple splits open).

When it comes to keyboard shortcuts, Scrivener generally has your back. :slight_smile:

Oh, joy! Thank you, Amber! and Keith!

Where are these Cmd 6-7-8 gems documented? Before I wrote, I looked everywhere.

-Steve

Hmm… I don’t think they are documented in the actual Help files, but if you hover the mouse over the buttons a tool-tip appears telling you the keyboard shortcut.
Best,
Keith

Right there under my nose, or mouse, if I’d only taken the time to look.

I do have a minor suggestion. It’s not necessary to have one shortcut prefix (cmd-opt) for Document view of Notes or Reference and another (cmd-ctrl) for the Project View. Or, is it the other way around? After a morning of using them I still cannot remember. One prefix would be enough. Let it switch to the view that isn’t showing.

Thanks again.
-Steve

I agree, it is a little weird to learn, I wish it toggled to, but I imagine there is some technical reason as to why it doesn’t work. I know you can have toggle stage menu types, but a toggle wouldn’t really make sense in this context.

It’s because a pop-up menu’s shortcuts are there by way of the menu, so they have to be different for each item in the menu.
Best,
Keith