Linguistic Focus

I wanted to try the Writing Tools>Linguistic Focus to read through my dialog.

When I selected my first sheet in the binder, then using the mouse: Edit>Writing Tools>Linguistic Focus … it was highlighted and I was able to select “Direct Speech”.

Then I selected the next sheet, but this time, the Linguistic Focus option was greyed out. I checked the other sheets, and they were greyed out too, though they had dialog in them. I opened another project that had only one sheet in the manuscript and was able to launch Linguistic Focus.

Next, I reopened the first project and now the Linguistic Focus option was greyed out on all sheets!

Regrading the shortcut for launching Linguistic Focus, are the keyboard keys: SHIFT CMD L
When I tried that combo, it launched a Safari page!



I just tried it because I’m busy procrastinating over something else I should be doing. I had to highlight a document in the Editor before the Linguistic Focus wasn’t grayed out. However, since I didn’t look it up in the manual or anything, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to do. All I got was a little window where I could choose various word forms - noun, verb, preposition, etc., and “direct dialog” - and it then would tell me how many of those were in the highlighted section.

This is useful?

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This is how it’s supposed to look: … stic-focus

And yes, it is useful. Every feature in Scrivener is useful to someone.

I did read the manual, specifically, 20.2.2 Linguistic Focus. The manual didn’t specifically say that I should highlight a specific document (I call it a sheet), then Edit>Writing Tools>Linguistic Focus. I tried highlighting one sheet and multiple sheets.

The issue is that I highlighted the top document (sheet) in my top Folder within my Manuscript folder:
Binder>Manuscript>Act1>Document (sheet)

When I select Linguistic Focus the very first time after highlight the first level sheet, it worked. The next sheet didn’t work because the Linguistic Focus option was greyed out. I closed the document, reopened and repeated. Linguistic Focus always greyed out regardless of sheet or folder.

Shut down the MBA. Rebooted. Reopened Scrivener. Repeated above process. Linguistic Focus always greyed out.

This is an unintended behavior but I don’t know if I did something to create this condition or it’s an unintended Scrivener feature (Bug).

Note, the one time it worked, I selected the radio button next to Direct Speech.

I do believe the Linguistic Focus feature would be very handy!


In addition to choosing one in the Binder, did you make the document active (click into, etc.) before trying to enable Linguistic Focus (LF)? Simple thing to miss––I’ve done it more than once.

Edit to add :The keyboard shortcut––control + command + L––works for me.

[Side note: you can also use LF in a Scrivenings session.]

You aren’t using Mac OS Catalina (beta), are you? The latest release notes don’t mention that version, so there might be a minor compatibility update coming around the time of the official release, whenever that is. … s?os=macOS

Hi Everyone,

I wasn’t clicking on the sheet itself after clicking it in the binder! I decided to troubleshoot this morning while fresh and that’s the first thing I tried. Once I saw that it worked, I logged into the forum to find the same thing mentioned!

I’m not running Catalina Beta. I’ll wait for its official release. I have enough challenges keeping me from productive work!

One other thing, the Linguistic Focus is a very, very handy tool. At least for me.



I found this post insightful, thank you. But, I can’t even find the menu/sub-menu named Linguistic Focus!!
I have the latest version for Windows.
"… since I didn’t look it up in the manual or anything, "

That says something, since typing Linguistic Focus into the manual search bar gets zero results. I am assuming that aspects of the manual remain as such even as new features are added and menus changed (perplexed)

Isn’t that one of the features currently only available in Scrivener for macOS? :thinking:

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I think that on Windows it’s called “Dialog Focus”. “Linguistic Focus” is available on the Mac because it is provided by the MacOS system. I don’t think Qt, the programming environment used on Windows, provides it, so the devs have had to roll their own dialog focus.




Thank you, I found Edit>Writing Tools>Dialog Focus. It has only two options Names and Direct Speech. That’s fine for now. But, selecting either does nothing. The re-do circular arrow does nothing! The fade bar slider does not do any thing either!? I am at my wits’ end.

@xiamenese You are right:

20.3.2 Dialogue Focus

The Dialogue Focus panel can be brought up with the Edit ▸ Writing Tools ▸ Dialogue Focus… menu command (Win Ctrl L). This tool will fade out the text in the main editor, leaving onlydirect speech highlighted.

Adjust the amount of fade used to dim out unmatched text with the Fade slider, at the bottom of the Dialogue Focus panel.

When you are done analysing your text, close the panel to return the editor to its normal display.

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Nice. That’s what was shown by a youtuber. But those functions didn’t work for me. :upside_down_face:

You need to have opening quote marks.
If your dialog is formatted as
– Hey
it won’t detect anything.

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Thank you, yes I realize that.

I helped a user last week that was formatting his/her dialog the classic way :

" What’s up?
– Not much… You?
– Same."

Note that there is a quote mark only at the beginning and end.
Which is a problem… In this above example, you’d only get focus on the first line (the one that holds the opening quote mark), because dialog focus doesn’t look/wait for the closing quote mark to trigger the fade back. (It stops at the carriage return. It doesn’t span across paragraphs.)

Have scrivener auto replace – for "–
and the opposite at compile.

" What’s up?
" – Not much… You?
" – Same."

Basically, in that case you’d need to deactivate

and program a substitution [ - - for "– ] (same option panel / at the bottom) and add the correcting substitution [ "– for – ] to your compile format.

Use Project Replace if needed for whatever you have already typed in.

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Thank you kindly for the explicit and illustrated explanation.

It’s just that when I first read about all dialog standing out apart from other text, I wanted to try it. Scrolling through the manuscript manually looking for “quotes” is just a bit more cumbersome. But it can do it! Thanks for your contribution.

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