Locate cursor?

I’ve searched the forums but can’t seem to find anything relating to an option to locate the cursor on the screen.

Nisus Writer Pro has the option of highlighting the line of text where the cursor is located (by presing Enter) and I wonder if something similar was possible in Scrivener. I seem to remember reading a posting on block cursor, but this still hard for me to find (believe it or not).

Ah, I probably should add that I have a particular problem finding the cursor in full screen mode (where I still have difficulties finding the cursor quickly). And while I could make the block cursor rather large, it then gets in the way of what I’m typing.

Thanks for any input.

There is no way of doing this at the moment, although the option will be available in 2.0.
All the best,

Ok, this is “dangerous”, for obvious reasons, but here goes.

  1. lose cursor
  2. Hold down the shift key
  3. Hit the right or left arrow
  4. Look for cursor
  5. If not found go to #3
  6. release the shift key and hit the OPPOSITE arrow that you hit in #3

Now here is the dangerous part. If you hit ANY THING OTHER THAN AN ARROW in #6 you will change the selected text. If you DO manage to alter your text do a cmmd-z to undo your change.

Use this at your own risk. I do this all the time, but some folks, like maybe vic-k†, may have issues with it.

†[size=75]Either you are ignoring us or something is up. Either way I figure you are still fair game. :stuck_out_tongue: [/size]

Another trick which is passive, and doesn’t require leaving the home-row, is Cmd-J. That will centre the screen on your cursor position reducing the area in which you need to look down to one line. This will even jump from several pages away, so it is a useful conclusion to a quick scan with PageUp/Down (which doesn’t move the cursor).

A non-passive thing I do when I know the cursor is somewhere nearby but for whatever reason always ducking out of sight is to type in capital 'X’s until I see the spot, then hit Cmd-Z to get rid of them.

Hope this helps some

These shortcuts can be used within all text areas in Cocoa applications.

option-left arrow move left one word
option-right arrow move right one word
option-delete back delete one word
shift-option-delete foward delete one word
option-up arrow move up one paragraph
option-down arrow move down one paragraph
control-left arrow move to start of current line
command-left arrow
control-right arrow move to end of current line
command-right arrow
shift + any of the above extend selection by appropriate amount
click then drag select text
double-click then drag select text, wrapping to word ends
triple-click then drag select text, wrapping to paragraph ends
shift-select text with mouse add to selection (contiguous)
command-select text with mouse add to selection (non-contiguous)
option-drag select rectangular area (non-contiguous)
command-option-drag add rectangular area to selection
drag selection move text
option-drag selection copy text
control-A move to start of current paragraph
control-B move left one character
control-D forwards delete
control-E move to end of current paragraph
control-F move right one character
control-H delete
control-K delete remainder of current paragraph
control-N move down one line
control-O insert new line after cursor
control-P move up one line
control-T transpose (swap) two surrounding character
control-V move to end, then left one character
control-Y paste text previously deleted with control-K

Thank you everyone for your suggestions as they all seem to be helping to find the cursor on those days I just can’t seem to. I particularly liked the list of shortcuts that Wock provided. Thanks.

I’m also excited about the prospect of the implementation that Keith mentions:



It’s 3.3 now. Is it available already? Where to find it?

And also an option for automatic highlighting, eg flashing for a second when scrivener gets focus would be great too.


There are three main text editing contexts that have this option:

  • Composition Mode
  • Quick Reference panels
  • The main editors

You will find their options all documented in the user manual PDF, under Appendix B.5, which covers options, and specifically the Appearance tab within options. You are looking for Highlight current line, and potentially also the colours tabs if you find the default too faint.

And also an option for automatic highlighting, eg flashing for a second when scrivener gets focus would be great too.

I have no knowledge of anything that works that way, could you point to an example?

On macOS there is an option to make the mouse cursor reveal itself when rapidly moving the mouse. System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Pointer then select “Shake mouse pointer to locate”. Whether there is a similar setting in Windows I have no idea.

Hi AmberV,

I don’t want to permanently highlight anything. That would be a distraction.
I just need to find the exact cursor position quickly when I eg. switch back to scrivener from another application or change text document in the binder.

Highlighting a whole line doesn’t show the exact cursor position.

By automatic highlighting I meant the cursor gets automatically lit up, pointed at, circled for a second when switching back to scrivener from another application or text document in the binder so that I can find it right away and get back to typing without delay.

Although it was requested and promised 14 years ago, I don’t think it was actually included. So the best would be to hand this new function to development so that they can include it in a future release.

Also would be great to add showing the cursor by a simple action or key combination like rapid mouse pointer movement or holding down a key like shift for 2 seconds.

Hi reepicheep,

This does not locate the cursor. It locates the mouse pointer.

To clarify, what was requested and implemented is a persistent line highlight, not a flashing highlight or circle or arrow pointing to the cursor. We’ve never discussed adding such a feature. I think perhaps that is probably something better for the OS to do, if you find locating the cursor difficult in general, then I would think this is not just a problem in Scrivener. There may be some accessibility options you can try.

There are other tips given above. If I can’t find the cursor for some reason (and I use the block cursor setting so this is often not a problem, but sometimes it is nearly off the screen or somewhere I’m just not looking) I just Shift-DownArrow which causes a whole huge selection to light up and LeftArrow brings me right back to where I started. Done and dusted, and it works everywhere, even right here in this browser window; no fancy features needed.

What I understand here is that the issue is present, more of us recognise the same problem we encounter more or less frequently and we just apply half measures, workarounds, tricks because the proper solution is missing.

This means an opportunity.

In the original request an example was taken from another software. It was implemented in Scrivener probably because it might be a solution to other problems but it’s not even close to the best solution to locate the cursor in an instant for the purpose of speeding up the writing process.
Scrivener can do better than copying others. You can implement something new, a better solution to improve.

I’d aim for that,

instead of ridiculing and blowing off ideas from users or calling them fancy features. I don’t even think it’s fancy. It’s pretty basic and not even resource consuming or too complicated to code. Neither Mac nor Windows has an os level function that locates the character cursor. Why would they? They are designed to use the mouse pointer. But writers type and we need to see where quickly.

Also if you move away to another document in the binder and then move back to the one you are working on, the editor jumps to the cursor position but it doesn’t show the cursor and you can’t start typing right away where you left off. You can’t even tell where you were. You have to click on the edit window to activate it and with that you also change the cursor position so you have to find where you were again. This is not really efficient and it very much breaks the workflow. The editor not becoming active might be intentional considering the complexity of the user interface but it would be a huge help if the cursor position would lit up to show where to click to start typing again.

When that happens, click on the handle of the scrollbar.
There is also Ctrl-J (perhaps not the default shortcut though – I might have changed it) that takes you to cursor position.) → Edit / Find / Jump to selection

As for the cursor itself, there are some options :


Or Scrivener’s options:

You can make it thicker and easier to spot.

Now we are talking.
Thank you very much Vincent_Vincent!!

A few additional info for the future generations:

On Mac(I have mac, but followed your clues), the scrollbar is not visible by default. Trying to click it activates the editor window but at the same time repositions the cursor, so it’s not the solution.

But, by following your clues, I found the real one.

If you jump away and back in the binder, Tab activates the editor window and reveals the now 2 pixel thick cursor, what is awesome by the way, thanks again.

Also I frequently move away from the cursor position in the same document so Jump to selection was another awesome shout. That’s Command-J by default on Mac.

I didn’t know about the “text cursor indicator” on windows so there might be something similar on Mac too that I couldn’t find today.

Now I can keep my pace. Thanks again Vincent!

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You are welcome.
P.S. You might want to fix your profile that says you use both Windows and Mac.

Additionally you can change the caret color (Scrivener → Settings… → Appearance → Textual Marks → Insertion Point + Scrivener → Settings… → Appearance → Composition Mode → Insertion Point).

I do have both but I use the Mac one recently. Good to realise the purpose of that option on the profile though. Thanks. :slight_smile:

This is very useful too. Thanks November_Sierra.

(Although the 2 pixel width was enough for me and now I lost the original greyish color that I loved. But don’t worry, I’ll find the way back somehow. :smiley: )

Plus Interesting to realise that nowhere it’s called cursor anymore. :slight_smile:

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