Interface Questions

I never used Corkboard until I found that it was useful for moving sections around while I was writing. I split the screen of an open document and one screen I will turn into Corkboard then find the piece I want to move and place it where I want it, Then exist split screen.

I would strongly recomend going through the built in tutorial; it shows you the capabalities of Scrivener. Go at your own pace. You are bound to find features that will be useful to you. Those are the ones that you will use over and over again so simply by constant use you will remember how to use them. Why strain your brain remembering features that you don’t use? You could just make a note of all the features you want to use and how to access them. Then do a few test runs and play with those features.

After 5 years of using it I only use a small subset of all the features. But I plan to go through the tutorial again to see if I can find new features that I can use in my workflow.

Scrivener does have a learning curve, but rather than see that as a problem you can view Scrivener as a game that you learn to play, that is fun.


I move things around in the Binder itself without resorting to the Corkboard by either dragging-and-dropping or repeatedly using the keyboard shortcuts ^⌘► ^⌘◀︎ ^⌘▼ ^⌘▲. One of the things that I love about Scrivener is there are several ways to achieve the same result.

I was doing it that way as well but that takes me out of Scrivenings and I then would have to find my place in the document again. But using CorkBoard I don’t have to lose my place in Scrivenings.

It’s perfectly usable as a detailed reference - more than that, it’s good at not just the hows, but the whys of the software. It’s not meant to be for the beginner – that’s what the tutorial is for – and of course, you don’t need it everyday, but I wish more products cared enough about their customers to have proper written manuals like this, instead of putting out flashy videos which tell you very little at great length.


So… you actually did read it. (?)

@vincent_vincent don’t know about @drmajorbob but I have tried and tried to read it. Sadly it comes over as a novelistic approach to writing a user manual. Difficult to navigate through. Too much like what the OP complained about; 700 pages of inpenetrable guff. Need to point out that I have worked as a technical author producing a 1,000+ page user manual for the API of a large and expensive text retrieval system.

Because of the recent discussion here on using iCloud for the Scratchpad location found a number of inconsistent spellings when I tried yet again to use the manual to explore the feature; I used Preview’s search PDF for that “read”. Once again given up on the manual. Gwen Hernandez book, despite it not being updated for version 3, is still the best guide to using Scrivener.

Come on, it’s not that bad. I see the manual as part of a “support ecosystem”. The vast majority of new users don’t even seem to bother with the walk-through Tutorial, let alone touch the manual. You can tell by the questions asked.

The Tutorial and the videos should cover 95 percent of what you actually need to know (except Compiling, to be fair, which is borderline occultism). The manual pushes you up to 99 percent.

For the remaining one percent – the L&L staff and fellow users are endlessly patient and helpful. It’s possible something’s impossible in Scrivener, but it’s impossible to not get help if it is.


It’s over 900 pages on the Mac. It’s organized around features nearly all the time, with endless minutiae on every page and not enough through story. Better (or in addition) would be worked examples, end-to-end workflows. A visual dictionary approach would be nice, too.

Yes, which is why helping them is so frustrating.

I don’t think Compile is occult at all … and 900 pages is a lot to get only 4%.

Then write a better one. I can’t. Maybe you can. I’d read it.

I have written a better one … or pieces thereof.

But it’s not a full-time job for me.

A guide to Scrivener


Cool. Is there a PDF version that I can consume from top to bottom?

It’s a reference document, not a narrative document. I use it constantly.


If searches were not so ineffective, that would make a lot more sense.

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I typically use the bookmark sidebar, not search, FWIW.

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There we will have to disagree. It is narrative even if you can make it work as reference.

Well, you say that it’s too narratively oriented, @drmajorbob complains that it’s organized around features and not narrative enough. Demonstrating the impossibility of pleasing everyone.


More likely demonstrating that it pleases no one.

While it is may be organised around features the explanations are narrative in approach.

But that’s not a reference manual, it’s a personal wiki.

I can see it’s a work in progress, and how you’ll find it useful pesonally, but it’s nothing like a detailed reference manual: they do very different things.