Keyboard shortcut inconsistency

The standard Mac keyboard shortcut in Scrivener to “Hide Others” (alt+cmd+H) doesn’t work for me. Instead text in Scrivener indents slightly. The keyboard command “Hide Scrivener” (cmd+H) works fine. Both shortcuts work as expected in other programs.

Has anyone else noticed this?

I’m using an up-to-date Mac with Mountain Lion set to Iceland region and using an Icelandic bluetooth keyboard.

No, this works fine for me, and there are no other shortcuts in Scrivener using this combination which would interfere. Given that shortcuts are dealt with at the OS level (once set by the app or System Preferences), this suggests you have something else interfering. Do you have any third-party services or input managers running?

There are some system text substitution shortcuts I use but no key combination similar close to the “Hide Others” shortcut. I don’t use TextExpander or similar programs. The only third party background apps are 1Password and Dropbox. As I mentioned the “Hide Others” shortcut works fine in other programs.


Does the shortcut still appear beside the “Hide Others” in the Scrivener menu? Perhaps it got reassigned in the application at some point. Given your description of the text indenting, I’d check Format > Text > Indents > Increase Indent and see if there’s a conflicting shortcut set there, but otherwise watch to see if a menu title flashes when you use the shortcut.

Thanks for being so helpful.

Yes it does and the “Hide Others” menu command works fine when I click it.

The Format menu flashes briefly. Checking further the text appears to indent because the text alignment changes from left aligned to centred, but only for the paragraph the cursor is in.

I would check “Keyboard Shortcuts” in “Keyboard” under System Preferences - the “Application Shortcuts” in there. Check to see if Scrivener has any custom shortcuts associated with it.

I’ve checked this and there are no conflicts with this keyboard combination and Scrivener or any other program.
I ought to mention that the “Hide Scrivener” shortcut works as expected.
I can repeat each time a change of text alignment (from left, right or justified to centred) when the shortcut alt+cmd+H is pressed.

Scrivener has no feature that toggles through those alignments, so something external has to be interfering here, I’m afraid - I can’t think of any other explanation, unless it is to do with the Icelandic keyboard.

I wondered whether this might be the case but why does the issue only arise in Scrivener? In other programs the “Hide Others” keyboard shortcut works as expected.

Thank you for your comments.

I’ve isolated the inconsistency.

It is indeed to do with the Icelandic keyboard, or more accurately Icelandic input source.

By changing the input source to English then the “Hide Others” shortcut works as expected. When the Icelandic input source is reselected then using the alt+cmd+H shortcut aligns the text from either left, right or justified to centred. I can repeat this consistently.

I’ve tried many other programs both Mac and third party and they all behave as expected. Scrivener is the only program, on my system at least, that shows this aberrant behaviour.

Can anyone else repeat this by selecting Icelandic as input source? I suspect you may have to change language settings to Icelandic, too.

I’ve researched the inconsistency and it seems to be connected with the Scrivener shortcut cmd+| which centres text as if you used the Format — Text — Center menu command.

When using the key combination alt+cmd+H using Icelandic input the signal cmd+| is registered in Scrivener thus causing the paragraph to be centre aligned rather than hiding other programs as the user expects.

I’ve repeated this on two machines and it’s easy to see how the conflict arises by using the Keyboard and Character Viewer program from within the Input Sources tab of the Language and Text system preference.

The conflicting behaviour may occur in other language settings but I have not tested this.

In summary the Scrivener shortcut for “Center” conflicts with the system shortcut for “Hide Others” in at least one language.

Sadly, it appears that the only way of fixing this will be to change (or allow to be disabled) the Scrivener centre text shortcut.

Moderators: would you like me to submit a bug report or have you enough information from this thread?


Thanks for the extra information. There’s no need for a bug report as this isn’t a bug, exactly. Cmd-| is the standard shortcut for centring text - Pages uses it, too, as does TextEdit. Or, rather, Pages and TextEdit it in English. Could you please tell me what shortcut is used for centring text in Pages and TextEdit on your machine?

The difference between these apps and Scrivener is that they are localised - translated into other languages - where as Scrivener is not (yet). When apps are translated, they often have different keyboard shortcuts in different languages to allow for different keyboard setups. So, this isn’t actually a bug, but rather, it’s caused by the fact that Scrivener only has English interface files, so English keyboard shortcuts are being used which may not always be ideal for other languages.

We are right now in the process (at long last) of starting translation into other languages. We’ll be starting with French, German and Spanish, though - translation is not cheap and Icelandic will be quite a way down the list, I’m afraid (as much as I love Reykjavik and the blue lagoon!).

So, until such a time as Scrivener has other interface files in other languages, the only way around this is to change the keyboard shortcuts via System Preferences.

All the best,

Both Pages and TextEdit use the same shortcut so it’s not just Scrivener — apologies for casting aspersions!

I’ve tested some more and the conflict only arises when the cursor is in an editable text area in a program that uses rich text formatting. For example when using TextEdit in plain text mode the “Hide Others” shortcut works as expected but convert the document to rich text and the conflict arises. I seldom use Pages but I’ve just tested and the same issue arises when the cursor is in an editable text area. I don’t use Word but if their shortcut for centred text is the same then I suspect the conflict is there as well.

The conflict also occurs in Mail but only when editing a rich text message. I normally use plain text in both TextEdit and Mail so I hadn’t noticed the issue before. Scrivener is really the only rich text environment I use so the conflict was, to me at least, only discernible in your program. The shortcut behaviour works as expected in other programs without the centre text keyboard shortcut

I’ll summarise this and report to Apple. It now seems to me that two of their standard shortcuts conflict in at least one language.

Thank you very much for your help and now it’s back to work!

Ah, thanks for checking up on this! It makes sense the problem only occurs when those apps are in rich text mode, as the “Centre” menu item will be disabled when they are in plain text, so the shortcut will then always go elsewhere.

All the best,