Keeping the sidebar updated when going to a linked document

I have begun using the double brackets to surround a document title in Scrivener. This creates a link to that document. This is proving to be a great way to keep track of the many directions I find myself going in all too often, at the same time.

I also find it confusing that the sidebar does not update with the page I have linked to. I often end up working on a page that I have linked to but when I look at my sidebar nothing is selected. If I can find the back chevrons I can go back a page (which are already hard to notice as I posted in another comment). I know we are not all the same (thank God for that :wink: ), I am a highly visual and spatially organized person. It is very important to keep track of where I am visually.

If possible it would really help if this could change.

If you lose your place, you can use the Opt-Cmd-R shortcut (View/Reveal in Binder menu command) to quickly locate the file in the sidebar.

As for automatically doing that whenever, that has been heavily discussed on the forum before, if you’re interested in the theory behind why it doesn’t, I’d do some searching around. In short though, the sidebar is its own workspace. What you do in terms of scrolling and expanding or collapsing containers should not be trampled upon by the software.

Compromises will arrive in the future.

Might help… … ings-mode/

Good tip, thanks. I could say it again, or I could shout it from the rooftops but visual cues to organization are vital to some of us. Making the page forward and page back chevrons look like actual buttons ar at least stand out is a part of this problem.

It seems somewhat straightforward to make this change? It sounds like a key-bindings problem. If command-option-R works in this way, then why couldn’t clicking on the forward and back chevrons to click forward or back to a page and the double brackets clicks to a page (linked) also work this way? I would think it simple enough to have the programmers put in the key press of command-option-R whenever one of those actions occurs?

I for one will appreciate what compromises in the future will mean. In the mean time I will try putting a sticky next to my screen to help remember the reveal command.

Glad to see good tips on Scrivener, thanks. Unfortunately, this example shows a horizontal and hierarchical layout which is not visible on my Scrivener screen layout. And, even if it were, that is still a linear solution as opposed to a visual solution. The command option R is my best bet which as I just posted, “should” be simple enough to implement and to combine with a linked click or a forward and back click.

The way scrivener does this now makes about as much sense as putting in a setting for a destination with your Garmin or other GPS device. Then, when you arrive at your destination the GPS device wont show your new location, only a fresh GPS map that shows only your starting point - no route is visible and no destination is visible, just where you started from on the map. If you want to see where you are now in relation to the context of your document, good luck. You will have to fiddle with some other keys (command-option-R) to find out where you have arrived at.

I hope the programmers at Literature & Latte agree.

The reason the “sidebar” doesn’t update and follow the editing window is that it isn’t a sidebar. The thing to the left is the Binder, which you can choose to show or not, in the same way that you can choose to show the Inspector or not. The thing in the middle, the editing window, can show three different things: scrivenings (text), corkboard or outline. The Binder shows the overarching structure, partly in the same way as the Outline mode, but not quite. Having the Binder focus jump around when you click on different things in the scrivenings/corkboard/outline window would make things rather confusing at times.

I guess part of the problem is that you perceive Scrivener to have a hierarchical order from left to right, with a sidebar to the left showing the structure, the middle part showing only what you have selected in the sidebar, and the inspector to the right showing only what you have selected in the middle part. This is not the way it is. In the Binder, you can select several independent items and have them appear as one continuous piece of text (a scrivening) in the editing window. If the Binder changed focus when you went from one part to the other in the editing window, you wouldn’t know any more what it was that you chose to display as one continuous text.

There are several good reasons for not having the Binder automatically change focus when you do something in the other parts of the main window.

This is just semantics. It has nothing to do with my point. I am speaking of visual cues which could or should accompany navigation. What the area is called and whether I mislabeled it or not is frankly not relevant to my point.

Negatory good buddy. My point is about seeing where you are in a document. It is about visual cues. As to the hierarchy, The structure you are working with is not as important as understanding where you are in the structure or that hierarchy at any given point in time. This is no more complicated then seeing where you are in a complex document at all times. I believe that my comments were clarified somewhat when I posted the following. It is as simple as having a visual page reference to tell you where you are at all times.

It’s not semantics.
How would you show ‘where you are’ in Scrivenings mode when you have selected several sub-documents that are not anywhere near each other in the Binder, maybe not even on the same hierarchial level? Or what if you do that in split screen, with different sub-selections in each half?
If the Binder was a simple sidebar it would show you ‘where you are’, but it’s not. It’s a separate way of looking at your project, different from the editor, corkboard or outline.
If you see it as semantics, buddy, and don’t think you have understood the possibilities you have in the Binder.

Note that you can also open a clicked link in a variety of different places, not just the main editor. See Scrivener -> Preferences -> Navigation for the relevant options. So, for example, you could leave the main editor exactly where it is and open the linked document in a floating Quick Reference pane.


Some prior discussions:

In short, there are conflicting opinions on what is the best approach, with the design always strongly sided in favour of respecting the binder as a workspace rather than a status tool with little user control over it. Once again though, compromises are coming.

As I just tested it, this works great. You can test it yourself. Put a link (surrounded by double brackets) to a text or folder that is buried somewhere. Click that link. Now hit command-option-R and it shows that file.

Yes, scrivener is still far more robust than I have yet experienced, no doubt. I have much to still learn here. I don’t think what I am asking is all that complex an idea and, since it is already done using a simple key command all I am suggesting is to make it accessible with a following process with froward or back or linked clicks.

There is disagreement? I am really scratching my head as to why? This already happens wth a certain combination of keys. All I am suggesting is that it should happen without having to use the key combination. Not sure why this is causing a debate? Only reason I can think of is that some people don’t want to loose their place where they are working. In that case why not make this feature on/off switchable in the preferences?

Why not put an option in preferences to reveal followed links in Binder so that those who don’t like this can turn it off? Now that I know that it is there and I know the key stroke, I will use this all the time. I guess it just seems sort of silly that it isn’t doing this automatically.

Thanks. For the time being it is better to learn the interface I am trying to lean. Scrivener has so much more to offer. I understand this. But my argument for keeping a visual reference of where I am is meant to suggest that, before thinking about opening other windows and other views, I need to learn to navigate well in the one I am using.

I am looking forward to learning more about the compromises that are being hinted about.

Again, there are lots of different uses for the Binder, only some of which would be helped by having it “follow” the file in the editor.

Adding options to the already long list of Scrivener Preferences makes an already complex interface more so.


Um, this fails miserably for me. Select multiple documents in Binder across levels, creating a custom scrivenings “view”, then cmd+opt+r and only the first document is highlighted, YET the multiple documents are still combined and editable in the editor!!! There are multiple possibilities of the Binder beyond your simple use case…

Is it possible to do the opposite?

Split screen. Select multiple documents to create a scrivening in the top half, and then temporarily move focus to the lower half to show something, and still see the initial multi-selection made for the top half when returning focus to the top?

What I see is that the binder is additive for a straight selection. If I select 3 documents to view in top-editor, then switch to lower editor and select another 3 docs, the binder shows 6 highlights of the documents split over the two editors. But I can click to a single document in the lower editor and can lose the selection. If someone really wanted the Binder to ape the selection Scrivener would need different highlight colours for each “view” (2 main editors, inspector, quick ref). Then if a doc was selected in more than one “view” you’d need split-shading or a new shade to properly represent where it was viewed (i.e. doc is visible in editor1=yellow AND inspector=red so binder highlight would be orange). :open_mouth:

Imagine what that would look like if you, on top of that, choose Use Label colour in Binder :open_mouth:

It’s gonna be very interesting to see what compromises they have come up with.

I never said anything about selecting multiple documents. What I am talking about here - the only thing I am talking about here, is seeing Scrivener perform automatically what it can already perform using “command-option-R”.

I have not made use of the split screens feature yet. There are so many ways the Scrivener is a great app. Again, all I have suggested is what it already does using “command-option-R”. No more and no less.


Right. But Scrivener needs to behave in a consistent and predictable way when people do have multiple documents selected. Multi-document views are not an obscure feature, they’re one of the primary reasons why Scrivener exists.


OIC. You are saying that, while my idea may have merit for my purpose, three are other uses of the binder where such a suggestion would not make sense? That makes sense now. I am still vitally linked to visual references so, lets see what sort of “compromise” L&L says is coming.

I freely admit I still do not use most of what Scrivener offers. I was feeling intimidated both with my own commitment to the process of writing - the hard work of actually writing (not just talking about writing), and learning to use Scrivener at it’s full potential. I started using Scrivener about a year ago for my daily logs, record keeping, notes and so forth. This has allowed me to begin to get past feeling intimidated by it’s feature set.

I finally committed to joining a writers group and I had my first meeting with a writing coach to see if it was a fit. I will continue to learn how to use Scrivbener as I continue to work on my first book (yay, finally).