Keeps changing from Novel to screenwriting mode

Hi, all.

First of all, gotta say, I absolutely love Scrivener. It deserves all the kudos it gets and more–easily my favorite piece of software. Keep up the great work.

Now, the problem I’m having is probably my fault–I must be clicking some key combination by mistake or whatever, but here’s the deal–

I always use the novel template, never screenwriting. But this has happened a couple of times: I’ll be typing a chapter, and have the little blue wordtracker thing going on (the little circle at the bottom that lets you keep track of goal for the session), and then at some point I look down, and the tracker is gone, along with word count, and somehow I’m in screenwriting mode. (Usually general text). No more tracker, no more word count. And I can’t seem to be able to change back.

Now, I don’t know what I did, but here’s a couple suspect causes–you know how in a novel when you space between passages, you use a “#” --so to center it, I click on one of the line things between STYLES and SPACING on the ruler–so I wonder if that might change it to screenwriting for some reason? The other thing is I sometimes go from one Chapter to another to look up something (in the same novel-template project) and when I come back, I’ll notice I’m in screenwriting mode.

So any idea what I’m doing to make it happen, and how I can get the blue counter and novel mode back? As I say, I NEVER use screenwriting, and ONLY use novel template mode, so I have no idea why it keeps changing to that.

Anyway, great software, and thanks for listening…


You have to turn scriptwriting mode on, so, as you say, you must be pressing something. :slight_smile: My guess is that either you are accidentally hitting cmd-3 at some point (cmd-3 is the keyboard shortcut for toggling between scriptwriting and prose modes) or you have put the “Format” icon in the toolbar and are clicking on that. (The “Format” toolbar icon - which isn’t in the toolbar by default you would have had to put it there via Customize Toolbar - also switches between these two modes; admittedly “Format” isn’t the best description and it’s potentially confusing, and it’s on the list for altering in 2.0 - certainly this has been the one that has confused many.)

Also, whenever you create a new document, the new document uses the format you are currently using. So if you accidentally switched to scriptwriting mode and then create a new document, the new document will use that format too.

Obviously you can convert back easily enough.

I have this on my list for consideration for 2.0. I may introduce a “New Script Document” command as opposed to “New Document” and change the current toggle so that it is re-termed “Convert” or something - something to make things more obvious, and to make it more difficult to convert documents by default. (The only trouble with this idea is that scriptwriters probably wouldn’t be happy if cmd-N didn’t create new script documents…)

Hope that helps.
All the best,

Ahhh, that’s it then. The “#” mark that novelists use to separate story sections is on the “3” key, so instead of hitting SHIFT+3 to get the “#”, I must be hitting COMMAND+3. And in Word to center something, you hit COMMAND+E, so that’s probably the confusion.

(Is there a way for the user to change that key combo to their own preference? Or is it “hardwired,” as it were?)

Anyway, I didn’t know it toggled, so that’s a great tip!

Thanks again. You’ve really created a wonderful program (and believe me, I’ve tried them all, Mac and Windows), so really, good job. I can’t wait until 2.0.



Yes, you can actually change any keyboard shortcut for most applications on OS X using the Keyboard System Preferences. See this page on our support wiki for more details: … _Shortcuts

(Note that the above refers to Leopard - things have changed slightly on Snow Leopard so I need to update that page, but you should still be able to find the things the above refers to.)

Thanks for the kind words!

All the best,

Something you might wish to consider doing, and it is purely a matter of taste so take it as you will, is splitting your sections up in the Binder, and letting Scrivener handle all of the ‘#’ section markers for you. To do this, just place the cursor between sections and press Cmd-K. You’ll now have two documents instead of one in the Binder. If you want to view them together, you can use Edit Scrivenings to do so. When it comes time to compile the manuscript, make sure you have “Scene Breaks” set to “#” in the Text Options tab.

Having your manuscript cut up like this is, as said, a matter of taste. If you are used to working in Word or something of that ilk, you are probably used to just scrolling through your chapters (or the entire book), so having everything cut up into smaller pieces like that could take some adjustment. However after a period of transition, a lot of people end up preferring this method as it turns your Binder into a table of contents, and Edit Scrivenings is always there to temporarily sew everything together for you if you need to see the bigger picture.

I tend to write in short bits, so that might make too many separate files, but that’s a great idea though, especially for bigger project sections, thanks for the great idea. That’s especially cool way to do it when the project gets in the bigger stages, thanks.

I’m just glad I know about the keystroke-toggle trick–and how to change that key-combination if I want–it was driving me nuts wondering how it was changing novel-to-screenplay while I was typing. I knew it had to be something I was doing.

Thanks again–


How short? I sometimes do a few hundred words.

And you can have nested documents, too. For one novel, I have a bunch of smaller documents nestled under a grouping document, and some of those are also grouped.

It depends, of course, but sometimes my sections can be pages, or–a la Steve King and Dan Brown–as short as one line, a “grabber” to close the chapter. Certainly not long enough to give it a whole file.

But I really have no rules–sometimes it’s all in one file, sometimes some experimental stuff, plus I use Scrivener for all my writing now, lists and stuff–I’m just a Scrivenermaniac, I guess.

*** cue girlish Beatle-like squeals ***