letters are slowing down

Hej there!

First of all, sorry if this has been discussed before, I don’t really know what to look for since I don’t exactly know how to put my problem into words.
The thing is that when I’m typing the letters don’t show up immediately, I have to wait two, three seconds until they do. So when I’m typing at my normal pace I have always to stop and wait for the sentence to appear on the screen. And it’s only on my recent project. I made a new project and started typing there and it worked perfectly fine.

So… what did I do wrong? :frowning: I’m grateful for any hints!

When I had that problem on a different piece of software (haven’t encountered in in Scrivener yet), I discovered that word-count-as-you-type can become very processing intensive for larger documents, and my document had gotten large enough so it’s attempt to re-calculate the word-count every time I pressed a key was slowing things to a crawl.

I’m new to Scrivener, so I don’t know if there’s a way to turn off the word-count-as-you-type (if so, I haven’t found it.)

Breaking sections up into different documents/texts/cards/whatever-they-are-called-in-Scrivener might help?

Don’t know if this is any help…

I had a similar problem when I imported large document (95000 word novel) and broke it down into individual scenes, ie a folder structure of DRAFT/SCENES. (I did this because I wanted to completely re-structure something that I wrote some time ago.) My workaround, was to reassign the scenes to chapters, ie a folder structure of DRAFT/CHAPTER/SCENES. I suspect the problem is that the program finds it difficult to cope with such a large number of documents at the same level.

Of course, there is always the possibility that something is running in the background causing the slowdown (antivirus, windows update, back up software)

I experienced something similar in beta 26. However, my situation might be a little different as it didn’t just affect text speed but also the response speed of the mouse (meaning, I would click on something and it could take a couple of seconds for the response).

In my case, the only times it happened were when I was working on my project file remotely from my laptop, over a high-speed (N-wireless) network (i.e., file stored on desktop PC hard drive but working on it from laptop 30 feet away). I ruled out a computer- or network-specific problem because, each time it happened, no other program or Windows interface speed was affected in the least. While not problematic, it was a little distracting to watch the computer responding so far behind.

My current project is not that large yet (approximately 15,000) and is broken into many chapters/scenes, so I do not think doc size is an issue in my particular case. However, LindaJeanne’s thought about word count could explain it, particularly if performing continuously over a network, however that does not explain the mouse moving so slowly.

I have not tried working remotely from my laptop with beta 29 yet. I will update if still happening.

Thank you for all the help!

So, I had my manuscript in the Draftsection in the folder Chapter. In there I had 13 Documents all of them containing another two document: one empty, one with about 100-500 words. And that worked fine until now, when I started writing in the other document which is much larger than the previous.
So I tried breaking it down a little more. I made for each chapter a separate folder, but that didn’t work. And then I tried moving the still To-Do Chapters to the Researchsection so that I could concentrate on the Draftsection. But that didn’t work either so I went so far that I took all the To-Do Chapters and put them in a whole new project to store them while I’m working chapter for chapter.

I’m just wondering now if the program can’t handle a large document (and I don’t think that my manuscript is really large now.) or is it my system that can’t handle it. I’m working on a Netbook so maybe it’s just to… small, I don’t know if that’s even an issue.

It definitely sounds like some performance issues here. There is some slowdown in larger documents that shouldn’t be there (although usually in much larger documents than you seem to be dealing with) and when using Scrivenings to view many large documents at once there can be a bit of a wait while everything loads. Lee is working to optimize that, since Scrivener ought to be able to handle large documents without slowing down, so any additional details you can give about your computer set up would be great for me to forward on to him. And as I said, normally this only happens with significantly larger documents, so the fact that you’re having such slowdown when working with documents only about 500 words is definitely abnormal. I’m talking about this being an issue more in the realm of 50,000 or up. Have you been leaving Scrivener open for long stretches (overnight, etc.) while working? If that’s the case, you might try closing the program and restarting. Someone else reported that Scrivener slowed down a lot after it had been open a while but that restarting it sped everything up again; Lee’s looking into that, but in the meantime it’s certainly worth you trying if you’re seeing increased lag the longer the program is open.

Here’s Lee’s list for reporting performance issues–any answers to the following that you can provide will help as he works to optimize Scrivener:

  1. State exactly what you were doing when the performance issue occurred.

  2. Approximately how many documents, folders, and words does your entire project contain? If you’re working in a single editor at the time, please provide a word count for the specific editor document as well.

  3. When did you last re-boot Scrivener (i.e. full close and open)? This could be important information if a trend occurs here.

  4. What sort of machine are you running Scrivener on (i.e. Operating System, type and speed of processor and RAM size)?

  5. OPTIONAL: Anything else that might give us clues i.e. for the technically minded Windows Task Manager Performance specs/spikes when performing specific tasks in Scrivener. Also, any details regarding any auto-correction, substitution features you may have enabled or analysis of those features turned on and then off and the resultant performance change if any.

Something else to check for is if you’re using any third-party services that might be coming between your text input and Scrivener–global spell-check or auto-correct programs, text expanders, etc. These can sometimes cause text lag. If you are running anything like that, you might need to turn it off and log out and back into your account to test it completely, as sometimes they don’t completely turn off and clear up until you’ve restarted the account. You could first just try booting in safe mode (hold F8 while going through the boot sequence) and typing in Scrivener then to see if it’s up to speed; if that makes a difference, you can start narrowing down which of your log-in items might be causing the interference.

I’m definitely having lag tonight: up to several seconds before typed letters show up on the screen. Here are my stats as requested.

  1. I was looking at manuscript in outline view, did a split screen, selected a document, removed the split screen, and started to type. This is the second day using this beta version. Last night using it it was fine. Last night I did not use a split screen. This is the first time using it in this beta. Note though that I did not type while it was in split screen.

  2. 27k words, 13 folders, 42 documents. Word count for single edited document: 200.

  3. Scrivener had been open all day as I went on and off the computer (mostly off). I rebooted it twice before writing this bug. Same behavior occurred.

  4. Windows Vista 64-bit Business, 2.53Ghz, 4MB RAM

  5. I have no external auto-correctors installed.

Hope this helps! Right now it’s pretty unusable.

Edited to add: as a whim I tried turning off all spelling and autocorrect. Now it types fine, no lag. I turned them back on and it’s still fine. I had noticed something odd last night: in fullscreen mode it was indicating spelling errors before I’d finished typing. Now it’s not doing that, either.

Sorry, have been busy lately. I tried restarting scrivener but it is still lagging. It only stops when I remove some parts of my manuscript.

  1. I was working on a document in the manuscriptsection in a folder with one more document in it. I was working with split screen, so I could see both documents in the folder.

  2. 80’000 Characters, ca. 13’00 Words, 14 folders and 30 documents, single editor wordcount was 333

  3. I turned it on right after my computer booted and tried it. It was already lagging.

  4. I’m using a Asus Eee PC Netbook with Windows 7 Starter 32Bit, Intel Atom Pineview-M N450, SO-DIMM 1GB DDR2

  5. I’m not using autocorrect and I disabled all the additional features that I didn’t need.

What’s your autosave interval? I’m on the Mac, but found that making it just a little bit longer helped tremendously: at least for me, when the save interval was less than 10 seconds or so it was saving when I wasn’t really idle.


From my observations so far, this is caused by Scrivener’s frequent autosave interval. I have found that it uses a surprising amount of disk activity compared to software such as OpenOffice.org or even the 500lbs gorilla that is MS Office. This was fairly noticeable if my files were on a SD or flash drive, and trying to use it over a network share was an exercise in madness. I adjusted mine from the default of 2 seconds to 60 seconds, and it became much more usable. I can live with loosing a minute worth of work if something goes wrong.

Not arguing the point at all–adjusting the auto-save interval, especially when using external drives, can be a great help–but I just want to clarify that the auto-save kicks in after that many seconds of inactivity, not every sixty seconds continually. So if you type consistently for an hour without pausing for longer than a minute at any point, auto-save won’t run at all during that time. You can always use Ctrl-S to force a save, of course, and then have more control over when you want to take a brief pause to do that.

Just to add another voice: I was suffering from this as well, and bumping the autosave interval up to 30s from 2s got rid of it.

I’m not someone who types constantly, so I was probably pausing for 2s every 10s, triggering a save and slowing the whole thing down.

Not sure how you could address this in the final release, though - saving a large project is going to hammer the disk no matter what. Perhaps some coding to only save the work that has changed since the last save marker?

I was having the typing lag problem this morning and posted a notice somewhere (duh!) but can’t find it now. Anyway, I found this: I was accidentally accessing my files from an external source (i.e. SSD card). When I switched back to accessing from my computer all was fine once again. Hope this helps someone.

This is how autosave works already: Scrivener only loads files into memory as you need them, and so the files you haven’t used aren’t in the memory image that needs to be saved. Backup, Snapshots, wholesale outline reorganization and things like that might involve the whole project, but routine writing and editing don’t.

If save times are becoming a problem, two things that can help are

  • avoiding large Scrivenings sessions
  • keeping images separate from the main text