keyboard shortcuts

I was wondering if it would be possible to add two keyboard shortcuts to scrivener (If they’re already there, I’d be grateful for any hints).

Firstly, is there a keyboard shortcut for a mouse right-click?

Secondly, and this is related to the first one: If I want to look up a word in the Apple dictionary, Scrivener looks up the word at which your mouse cursor is pointing. As such fine, but seems to me to be defeating the purpose of a keyboard shortcut since you have to use the mouse to actually get to the word you want to look up. Is it possible to make a setting so that the little black, blinking bar (does it have a name by the way? You know, the one that magics out the letters) has the same function as the mouse cursor in terms of ‘marking’ a word to look up, so that you’d look up the word at which the bar is?

Thanks very much!


There are no keyboard shortcuts for right-click on OS X as far as I can see, other than the obvious ctrl-click.

As for the dictionary, you could always add your own shortcut for “Look Up in Dictionary and Thesaurus” via System Preferences.

All the best,

Insertion point?

If your mouse cursor isn’t visible, the Ctrl-Cmd-D shortcut for the dictionary will work on wherever the insertion point is, which I think is what you want? You just need to click a key (e.g. the arrow key) so that the mouse cursor disappears.

Once again, MM beat me to it. I use OS X’s built-in Ctrl-Cmd-D shortcut all the time, and you most certainly don’t need to use the mouse to highlight the word. In fact, you don’t even need to highlight the word, just type the word you want to look up and then immediately press the shortcut (noun a shorter alternative route - definition retrieved from OS X’s built-in dictionary as I typed, no mouse required).

This may mitigate your need for a keyboard version of right-mouse click, but if not you could check out using mouse keys (under mouse & trackpad options in the Universal Access menu in System Preferences). I believe that if you have mouse keys turned on, Ctrl-i works as a right click.

Keith, I have just this week switched to an iMac from PC/MSWord for the purpose of using Scrivener, so I’m among the many who wish for some features of MSWord, e.g., after highlighting a word and clicking Shift+F7, thesaurus options cascade in a new window.

For those of us of a certain level of maturity, writing a novel involves using synapses that frequently can’t connect with a word we know is just out of mental reach. So a “nearly-OK” word, substituted and thesaurused is often the way to reach it. Ctrl+Command+D in Scrivener reveals a definition of the word. It requires two additional mouse clicks to see the thesaurus entries for that word. If a writer uses the thesaurus more often than the dictionary, it would be a help if the Thesaurus function could be selected as the default for Ctrl+Command+D (or create a “sister” command, Ctrl+Command+T, for the Thesaurus).

Re: Your suggestion that the Scrivener Thesaurus feature might be accessed directly with the use of a keyboard shortcut – to be created in Scrivener/Preferences… I’m unable to see how that may be done, i.e., I find that I can create a keyboard shortcut for a dropdown menu of “Notes Location” options, but not for a Scrivener function (that requires three mouse clicks).

PS: Similarly, an “F7” key (or some such single key) to find correct spellings for red-underlined “nearly-spelled-correctly” words would also be a help.

PPS: And, likewise, an “Undo” curly arrow, as well as a “Redo” clockwise curly arrow would be greatly appreciated by the thousands of converts (and potential Scrivener users) who will find the transition from MSWord to Scrivener much smoother.

Thanks, John Gordon (one of your newest fans!)

Hi John,

The Ctrl-Cmd-D shortcut is a Mac OS shortcut for displaying the dictionary pop-up; it’s useable in plenty of other applications besides Scrivener. If you use the thesaurus more than the dictionary, you can have the thesaurus be the popup by opening the Dictionary application and in the Preferences, dragging the thesaurus to the top of the list, above the default dictionary. If you want the full dictionary window instead of the pop up, you can use System Preferences to assign a keyboard shortcut to Scrivener’s menu item “Look Up in Dictionary and Thesaurus”; like the pop up, if you’re switched the arrangement of the dictionaries and thesaurus in the dictionary preferences, then this will take you to the thesaurus first. This page details how to create a custom shortcut on the Mac. To assign one to the dictionary/thesaurus, you’d set Scrivener as the application and then use the exact text “Look Up in Dictionary and Thesaurus” (without the quotes). After you’ve assigned a shortcut, you should see that shortcut appear alongside the command in the Edit>Writing Tools menu.

For correct spellings for underlined words, you can right-click (Ctrl-click) the word to get a list of suggestions, or open the Spell Check window with the shortcut Cmd-Shift-: to check spelling on the document (starting from where your cursor is). You can change the shortcut via System Preferences if you wish, following the directions linked to above. Or you can add an icon to the toolbar to open the Spell Check window, if you prefer that–just choose View>Customize Toolbar to see your options there.

And while there isn’t an Undo or Redo button, you can use the shortcuts Cmd-Z and Cmd-Shift-Z for this, which is standard across the Mac interface, so you’ll probably get used to that quickly the more you play with your new computer. On which note, welcome to the Mac clan and to Scrivener. :wink: Thanks for your support!