Keyboard Shortcuts for Outlining & Move Binder Edit Windows

I have been using Scrivener for several months now and LOVE it. Best writing program I’ve seen.

Two related requests. I use the Binder a lot for outlining. However moving topics from to left or right or making one topic a subtopic of another is awkward for 2 reasons.

  1. The Binder text window sometimes takes several clicks to get into the state where it can be moved rather than being written into.
  2. The key commands for moving a binder item require many fingers and are awkward. For example Control + Command + an appropriate Arrow key.
    Is is possible get simpler keys. On Circus Ponies Notebook you tab to move right and Shift Tab to move left. This is quick, easy and intuitive. I realize that Tab is used in the Editor to make tabs, but couldn’t it be used in the Binder for navigation? Other simple key combinations that you choose would also be great.

Second request. Moving from the Editor to the Binder is also awkward for the same reasons. It frequently takes several clicks to actually activate the editor so you can start typing. And the key commands again require many fingers. Moving between the Binder and the Editor is something I do a lot. Is it possible to assign simple keys, such as command plus a letter to make these shifts so that your fingers don’t have to move off the keyboard?

Much less important and maybe moving into feature creep. Is it possible to add folders to the Project References? I put links to a lot of documents that I use throughout a project there (PDF version of talks I’ve given, Figures etc) and it would be nice, though by no means essential, to have a way of reducing clutter by putting different kinds of links in different folders.

Final Request. As indicated in your materials Optima 13 is a great font to work in. I defined it as a style in the Ruler. However when I copy stuff from elsewhere I frequently have to go up and apply the style after the copy. Could a button for this be added to the toolbar (I realize there is already the paste into existing style command).

Incidentally (you probably know this) if you paste Endnote reference links into Scrivener they work when exported to Word and you can edit them manually in Scrivener (eliminate author name, etc.).

A great program!


Thanks for your kind words. I’ll go through your requests one by one:

Circus Ponies Notebook is quite a different program. The binder is a Cocoa outline view - the same as used in Xcode, Mail and many other programs - and tab is reserved in this context so cannot be used on its own for moving items. Scrivener has so many different keyboard shortcuts that it is impossible to please everyone, as everyone will have different sets of commands that they use frequently and thus want simple keyboard shortcuts for. Personally, I think the current shortcuts are fine - I use them a lot and think they work well - but the great thing about OS X is, if you don’t like certain keyboard shortcuts, you can change them for any particular program. So the best thing to do would be to go to System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse, and then in the Keyboard Shortcuts pane, add Scrivener as an application, and add your own shortcuts for “Left”, “Right”, “Up” and “Down”.

A similar request came up recently. Whilst the keyboard shortcuts for moving to the binder, editor, notes pane and so on will remain unchanged, there is another shortcut in the next update - control-tab - which will move between the editor and the binder (or cycle between the two editors and the binder if there is a split). This should hopefully provide what you want.

This would involve a radical rewrite of the references - the underlying model of how they are stored would have to change, and the view would have to change from a table view (flat list) to an outline view. Also, I think this would be overkill and cause too much clutter in the inspector. You could just import the files into the Research section, of course (the next version allows you to import any file type, not just those that Scrivener can open internally), though obviously this isn’t a good solution if you don’t want everything stored inside the project itself. I do see the sense in your suggestion, and that it would be useful, it’s just that the changes involved make it something I don’t really want to look at just yet. I will add it to the list as a future possibility, though.

Hmm… There are already a lot of options in the Customize Toolbar sheet (and even more in the next version), and the copy and paste commands are not common in the toolbar in Mac programs (e.g. Pages), so I’m not sure about this one.

Thanks again and all the best,

One suggestion I have seen on the forum is to use the keyboard shortcut remapping that KB mentioned, and swapping the shortcuts for “Paste” and “Paste and match style” - so that what your fingers think of as a normal paste will automatically match the document’s style, and if you want to preserve the original formatting you can with the extra modifier key on paste.

I also recommend swapping the key commands for Paste and Paste & Match Style as a good way to go with this.

You may also find handy (and may want to assign a key command to) Document > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style. (This is particularly handy if you use Scrivener’s clipping service, which does the equivalent of a Paste, not a Paste & Match Style.)