MacOS Split Screen

Unless I’m missing something very obvious, it seems strange to me that Scrivener does not support MacOS split screen mode. I.e. I cannot make Scrivener fullscreen and then make that share a monitor with another fullscreen app. It would be very helpful to share a window with a browser, and I have a 27" monitor so I would have thought that would be possible.

Am I missing something obvious, or has this feature not been included on purpose?

It does work: see the attached screen shot (which is Full Screen, not just maximised windows).

[attachment=1]Scrivener split screen.jpg[/attachment]

What I did was go into Spaces Overview mode (ctrl-up), then drag Safari to the right of the existing spaces to create a new full screen space, then finally to drag Scrivener onto that new space, but that’s only one way to do it. Alternatively you can hover over the Zoom bullet (third from the left at the top left of a window) in Safari and choose Tile Window to Left of Screen, then select Scrivener from the view which appears on the right hand side of the screen.

It works the other way round, too:

[attachment=0]Screenshot 2021-03-05 at 11.27.56.jpg[/attachment]


Many thanks! The drag-and-drop mode of tiling does not work for me (Big Sur 11.3 Beta (20E5196f)), but the tile-to-right-of-screen option does for some reason. So that will work for now, but it’s a bit laborious.

Ah, I’m on Big Sur (11.2.2), but not the Beta. Perhaps that explains the difference?

To eliminate any general Big Sur compatibility issues, make sure you have Scrivener 3.2.2.


I do!

Do other applications split screen correctly? Positioning the window on the screen is mostly an operating system task, not something that Scrivener does directly.


Yes, every other app behaves as would be expected in terms of fullscreen :neutral_face:

The only other problem I have is that YouTube/Netflix fullscreen videos pull Vivaldi out of its Space when they are brought out of fullscreen, though that doesn’t seem connected.

I do use split-screen-mode with Scrivener daily. It works perfectly fine. (Big Sur 11.2.3)

It’s not a Scrivener feature, it’s a Mac feature. I think all Scrivener has to do is to display a valid window, which should never fail. Big Sur has a few problems, though.

Each app has a minimum horizontal pixel width for its window. If the total of the two apps’ minimum window widths is greater than the number of pixels on your screen, they won’t split the screen.

I’ve found that Scrivener’s minimum pixel width is variable. To drag-and-drop Scrivener in a screen split I’ve found I often need to

  1. Hide the Binder
  2. Hide the Inspector
  3. Sometimes remove the second editor split
  4. Sometimes drag the Scrivener window as narrow as possible after doing the first three

Once I’ve got the screen split, I can often re-display Binder, Inspector, and second editor.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks, that is very helpful and I can do that to put a window into split screen without the top-left buttons. Much obliged!

If anyone from L&L is read this however, this is quite the laborious way of doing something that should be much easier. I’m doing this on a 32" monitor with a browser (for example), so one might reasonably expect that this would ‘just work’. Could it be looked at for an upcoming update?

I think you mean, “If anyone from Apple is reading this … ”

No, I don’t think I do mean that. Every other programme I have plays nicely with fullscreen, so I take this to be a problem with Scrivener.

Ah, yes, more of that amazing L&L “read my mind and do what I really want” code.

Well, be an asshole if you want, but I politely outlined my problem in the feedback section, acknowledged the temporary solution and, again politely, asked that this might be considered by L&L. I don’t know where I’ve asked anyone to read my mind, nor where I’ve asked for anything unreasonable. Nor do I know who you are, or why you are wasting time trolling me? Either help out or jog on.

Saying that Scrivener should be able to do something because other programs do it misses one of the fundamental points behind Scrivener – that it doesn’t do things the way other programs do, because if it did, it probably wouldn’t exist.

I’m not trying to be a jerk, here. That “workaround” actually represents a core value in Scrivener – you set up things how you want them set up (in this case, your screen layout) and then Scrivener doesn’t change it for you in unexpected ways. A lot of time and energy is spent chasing down bugs that violate this core value.

If Scrivener were to start making decisions about how to alter the screen layout and de-activate specific areas of your screen in order to move into split mode, I promise you that whatever choices it automatically made would generate complaints. it would literally make nobody happy. A lot of users spend a lot of time and energy getting their screen set up exactly the way they like it. Such design compromises would generate a lot of support requests. So, instead, what you call a “workaround” is actually fairly representative of the L&L design philosophy – the user tells the program what alterations to make until the program can comply with the request.

If you still want to compare me to anatomy after that, feel free, but that’s on you, neighbor.

This issue has been raised before as being something that worked in previous versions of Scrivener but not in recent builds.

Silverdragon gave a clear explanation of what appears to be happening. Other users have explained that they don’t have the same issue. FWIW, I have experienced the issue on three Macs.

As Silverdragon pointed out, after resizing Scrivener by closing down panels such as the inspector it is possible to get the split to work and then reopen the panels. So the actual problem does not appear to be down to whether the OS can handle Scrivener’s multiple panels in split view but that Scrivener doesn’t respond to the user’s initial request (in some cases) to be resizable until the panels are closed.

As this is something that worked before, it might well be that L&L can tweak the current code in Scrivener to resolve matters. Useful, I think, for the OP to open up that dialogue. It might have potential. Bring a dividend.

The real thing here is that irrespective of whether this is down to the OS or Scrivener, MostlyHarmless raised the issue in an open and collaborative manner and politely postulated that L&L might want to take a look at this … there was absolutely no need for snarky comments, mud-slinging at Apple, or claims that Scrivener seemingly not working as expected should be seen as a feature rather than a potential problem.

I am grateful to the OP and to the users who have shared their ideas and experiences openly. But shutting down users by shouting loudly just because their experiences and opinions are different to yours does nothing for the community or the company.

If L&L come along and explain things or are actually able to tweak their code to make things work, we will have all benefited. And if they can’t, they can’t. Either way, can’t we be a community that rises above snark? Life is short. Much easier if we all pull in the same direction and greet each other with the kindness we would like to be greeted with ourselves.

But, hey, perhaps the foe list has a purpose after all… we can ignore people who continue to snark.


It seems that L&L were able to fix this issue in Scrivener 3.0.1, so perhaps it can be fixed again?

Perhaps not Apple’s fault?

A point well made by the OP, I think.


I am the only L&L employee who has posted in this thread. All other posters speak only for themselves.

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