lock text

Is there a way to “lock” particular parts of a document (scrivenings) to prevent accidental changes in the text or even accidental deletion (which is particularly annoying when working with large projects and lots of stuff in the trash because it gives you a hard time finding the accidentally deleted text among all the other files in the trash)?

Not as such, but there are a few ways to avoid messing up the text of individual documents and having documents go missing from their rightful place in the binder.

For protecting text, while you can’t make it un-editable, you can use the Snapshots function to make sure that your current text cannot be lost due to an injudicious keystroke in the editor. There’s also a Preferences setting in General, I believe, that makes File->Save (or CMD-S) actually do something useful, which is to make snapshots of all of your changed documents. I’m not at my Mac, but I think it’s mid-way down the General section of Preferences.

To protect the order, if you don’t need to see the structure of your documents, create a collection of whatever files in your binder that you want to work with. Accidentally deleting a file from a collection just removes it’s reference there, but leaves the document where it is in the binder.

Thank you very much, all very good ideas!

Would it be worth a feature request though to have an actual function to lock individual documents?

I’ve seen the feature requested, but there were reasons that the designer gave for not wanting to implement it (lots of support requests about not being able to edit documents due to user confusion may have been near the top of the list). If you can find the subject being discussed in the forum, it might be worth taking a gander at that first, but it can’t hurt. Keith considers requests like this carefully, and has been known to re-consider on occasion.

That’s correct it has been rejected in the past, several times. The preferred way to “lock” text is to take a snapshot of it. That creates a hidden duplicate that can never be altered, and it avoids confusing and awkward situations where pressing the down-arrow in Scrivenings mode suddenly results in an unresponsive application.

wouldn’t this be solvable easily by having a dialogue popup whenever people try to edit a locked individual document asking them whether they would like to unlock?

Could you point me at the discussion(s) about this in the forum? I wasn’t able to find them anywhere…

Personally I think that would be more annoying than a text editor that seemingly doesn’t work when you try to use it (as is the typical way of handling this problem in database oriented software that features locking). Fact is: Scrivener’s approach is closer to a word processor than a document archive, and you don’t see any word processors that let you lock a paragraph. It has features for global format modification, search and replace and presentation features which all assume you are using a text editor, not looking at static and self-contained documents behind a glass box. You could make glass boxes by throwing errors and warnings and requests for permission to do this or that, but that is just turning a schoolhouse into a jailhouse (given the substantial similarities). You can do it, but it’s a better idea to use a jailhouse to store your criminals if you can. :mrgreen:

Hey AmberV,

thanks for your answer. The way I see it, Scrivener is mostly about offering a lot of features to make writing productive in your own personal way. The fact that you would be able to lock a document does not mean that you have to use the feature.

Never mind…