Let the binder reflect which split pane is active

Might it possible, for a future update, to include this small functionality: when you have two split panes, when you click in one, the relevant document in the binder should be highlighted; and when you click in the other pane, that other document should then be highlighted in the binder. It would help you to keep a visual track of which documents you are editing.

As it is, only the last selected in the binder remains the highlighted document.


You can easily find the document active in the editor by using View > Reveal in Binder (opt-cmd-R). Please see the FAQ entry on this here:

literatureandlatte.com/wiki/ … ly_editing

All the best,

Yes but wouldn’t it be nice if it just happened automagically :slight_smile:

Definitely not - see the FAQ reasoning. I would hate such behaviour. :slight_smile:

Well, for what it’s worth, I disagree with the so-called ‘reasoning’.

Should parts of the Binder open and close whenever you change splits?

I don’t see why not. I assume it’s possible. I wouldn’t find it frightening or anything.

This would be very distracting.

On the contrary - it would constantly give me a clue to where in my book I’m making an edit. As it is, the highlighting in the binder only tells me the location of the left-hand-side document whilst in split-pane mode. It could be an optional setting if some people found it alarming.

It would be highly annoying if you’d collapsed lots of items and then had them all automatically expanded again just because you clicked into an editor - clicking into an editor should never cause items to expand in the binder. As I say, you can force this to happen by using Reveal in Binder, which is exactly what that command is for. This one is a definite “no”, sorry. :slight_smile:

All the best,

I don’t understand. You make it sound like they’d be all left expanded, leaving you to manually close them all again. But why couldn’t the program just remember to expand and collapse as required? Would it use too much memory or something? Or is it technically too difficult?
Anyway it’s a shame. I think an auto-expansion option would be helpful, not just to me. It’s always nice to know where you actually are in the general scheme, visually. As it is, when using split views, half the time the highlighting in the binder is pointless in that it’s indicating some other document than the one I’m actually working on. Even a path view somewhere would be helpful.

But I guess you’re the boss!

I know the new gmail interface starting auto-collapsing on me. Distracting isn’t the word I’d use for it, more like infuriating.

Having the option to turn it off and on in Scrivener? I’m having trouble seeing how that would work, but I wouldn’t be against if there was some reasoning behind its inner workings.

As for gmail, I need to find the option to turn it off.

This one does exist; click on the document icon in the editor header and go to “Path”.

Argh. Let it not be named. I have managed to prevent it from switching on me thus far, but it’s only a matter of time; I have an ominous “Gmail’s getting a new look soon” message looming over my inbox all the time. I took a look at it back when I had the option to return to the classic view and I am not excited. Nor am I happy about my reader switching. And when they force the new calendar on me, unless it is wildly improved from the last time I checked the new setup and left feedback, that is going to make me cry.

…Oh goodie, I just took us wildly off topic. My work here is done.

I wouldn’t like things expanding and contracting too much in a split-view but I agree that the highlighting in the binder is not entirely helpful in that situation, because it only sometimes shows you “where you are”. Could the document path (that you see by clicking the icon at the top) be made visible across the top bar?

I’ve raised a similar issue in the forum (https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/binder-highlight-in-split-view-mode/15312/1). And I still yearn for some elegant solution. I remember that Microsoft Word had a “Document Map” feature that I found handy. I don’t remember how the “Document Map” feature handled the issue of nested folders. And, Microsoft Word didn’t let you hide/unhide material the way that Scrivener does. But the Document Map did provide an easy way to visually track my location. And I don’t recall it being distracting as I worked.

Penny, Reveal in Binder will show you where you are if you need it (Opt-Cmd-R).

Automatically revealing (and hiding what has been revealed prior) in the Binder would completely change it from the tool it is right now into something else. That is perhaps where the divide is between those requesting it and those saying it would be annoying. The binder is designed to drive the editor, not the other way around. It is a top-end organisational tool and working space. The behaviour that is being proposed here would convert the binder from that sort of tool, into some kind of auxiliary feedback device like the Explorer sidebar in Windows, that just jumps around showing you whatever you clicked on—but is in itself because of that, somewhat useless as a work space because it is not persistent and only nominally drives the right side. Hence, any friction toward making that sort of change. You’re really asking for some of the core management features of Scrivener to be converted into a completely different sort of program.

To the comment asking for a document navigator: Try the View/Go To/ menu or the analogous in the header icon menu. This menu will automatically turn into a document navigator when in a Scrivenings session, from its normal role of providing a single launch-pad to anywhere in the project. Note this navigation/information tool shows you hierarchy and current position with a checkmark.

The suggestion (binder highlight moving to reflect active window) might not be a good suggestion. You guys have successfully convinced me that there are many valid programming and UI reasons not to implement this idea. However, the underlying issue remains-- when working in split pane view (particularly when one of the panes contains a compiled group of material), it’s easy to lose track of your place. And the instinct is to look to the binder highlight as a reference. Years of working with computers have taught us to look to sidebars for navigation/reference and, that when something is highlighted, it is active. But in Scrivener, that is not the case. The highlight is not necessarily the active document. It’s the document that you last navigated to from the binder. And if you’ve been scrolling around and editing, that highlight could be left over from hours ago. It’s just strange.

I’ve started to train myself to hit Opt-Cmd-R whenever I get lost. And it’s helping. But it’s not yet instinct. My instinct is still to look at the binder. So there’s this brief road bump in my process as I look to the binder, have a moment of confusion wondering why that random document from twenty minutes ago is highlighted, remember how the Scrivener binder works, and then dig out the keyboard command. This works. It’s fine. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. But I do feel like I am having to re-train my instincts.

… which is something that you should never have to do with software.

God preserve us from that! I think most of us moved over to Scrivener because we wanted something that didn’t behave just like the word-processor we wanted to get away from. Scrivener is all about retraining your habits — they’re not instincts! — to work differently. If someone doesn’t want to do that, then Scrivener is clearly not for them and they should go back to using the software they were using before.



Several threads seem to incorporate this same attitude: “Scrivener does not work as I think it should, or as other software I’ve used does; the logical and perhaps necessary course is for the developer to re-think, re-organize, and re-program it to make me happy.”

Please, people, calm down. Grow up. Neither Scrivener nor any other feature of your world is going to function precisely as you now think you want it to.

Adapt. Adjust. Learn.


Well, I don’t know. I don’t think we can ignore the lessons of evolutionary biology as easily as you pretend.

All those millennia when our ancestors ranged the Savanna, never knowing when they’d have to fight off a sabre-tooth tiger or an unexpected auto-save process; when they could be trampled by a mammoth one moment, and face a slightly different way of looking at file organisation the next; when (and the soul weeps to think of it) text may not have appeared in white on blue?

Surely such instincts can’t be cast aside so easily?

As I said on another thread that deals with this topic – I agree with Mark and PJS. Adapt! Literally thousands of other users seem to have done this successfully. There are about five thousand members of this forum, and who knows how many other users who are not members. How many of them are putting this forward as a problem? And just think of how much adapting you would have to do every day of your life if you were left handed.


Edit: I see I mis-remembered – there are nearly TEN thousand members of the forum. And I still think we are seeing evidence of the False Consensus Effect.

I couldn’t agree more. Though I’ve written only in Scrivener for five years, I almost go fetal when it refuses my WordStar dot commands.