I would like to see better support in Scrivener for switching the current document with keyboard-only (no-mouse).
There are currently some keyboard shortcuts for finding, of which especially useful is the ‘Find Synopsis’ feature (Cmd-Ctrl-G). Still, the process of actually switching between two documents without having to reach for the mouse is incredibly cumbersome if not downright impossible as of the current 2.5 version of Scrivener.
Let me take a simple example: suppose I’m currently editing full-screen ‘first scene’ and want to switch to ‘second scene’. A reasonable scenario would be pressing the ‘Find Synopsis’ shortcut, Cmd-Ctrl-G, then typing ‘second’ and choosing from the drop-down list the ‘second scene’. This is incredibly difficult to do in Scrivener: after typing ‘second’, simply pressing the down arrow as one would expect so that you can choose from the dropdown list — does not work. What you need to do is press the Tab key instead, which is a bit annoying and counter-intuitive as the down arrow has no other employment in that case and would only come naturally. Besides, after you get into the drop down list by pressing tab, and you do choose the right document that you want to switch to, surprise! By simply pressing ‘Enter’, in order to select it into the current editor, as you might be enclined to if you have used computers in the last decade, what actually happens is that you get to edit the synopsis, which is not all that useful actually. If you just want to switch, that is, to load into the editor that document, well, you just can’t — not without reaching for the mouse.
And, if you click with the mouse on the item, if open the quick-reference, which is a separate window for editing the same text, feature which, cool as it may be, I still have to find a use case for.
Now, to follow the document-switching scenario. The (hard) solution I found was that once I manage to select the document in the Find synopsys dialog box, I press Cmd-Alt-R (reveal in binder). Then you see the item selected in the binder, but it is still surprisingly not loaded in the editor. And here, to my knowledge, you have no other choice than having to reach for the mouse or the trackpad, so that that the item really opens in the editor. But, taking care, NOT to press on the text part of the item in the binder but rather on the small icon nearby, because otherwise you will end up editing the title of the item, not open it in the editor. You actually need to click on the tiny icon.
(As a parenthesis, hitting enter on an item in the binder makes you edit the title instead of (as one would expect) opening it in the editor? That is not good, unless you believe in Finder.)
So it’s really a cumbersome succession of three-key shortcuts (Ctrl-Cmd-G, Tab, Cmd-Alt-R, and mouse on the tiny icon, then possibly Cmd-Alt-F again to go full screen) for what is a really simple use case, which is switching buffers.
You may consider taking a look at how Eclipse (the IDE) which solves this problem very simply. You press Ctrl-E to choose among open documents; or Cmd-Shift-T allows you to do a search among all the classes in the projects (the equivalent of documents in Scrivener). In all cases, once the drop-down list is built using search results, simply hitting enter on on of the items simply does the dear thing — opens the item in the editor as expected.
And please assign Alt-Left/Right Arrows to Go back/forward like browsers do so, after you switch to a new document you can just go back with a known keyboard shortcut. Also using simpler shortcuts instead of those finger-twirling Cmd-Ctrl-G and Cmd-Opt-R would be great. Like developers IDEs, Scrivener is for people that have a good relationship with the keyboard so having simple and effective keyboard shortcuts is not optional, to my sense.
These annoyances put apart, congratulations for the good editor that Scrivener is.