Meaning of ellipsis

In the outline window, the ellipsis is a non-destructive act that permits you to choose the display columns. Ellipsis in a menu means a non-destructive act where you will have a choice to choose or cancel. But in the Synopsis pane, the ellipsis clears the existing synopsis (or something similar). No choice is given. I find this annoying. I suggest you change the behavior so a dialog pops up with the proposed new synopsis and you get to to cancel or accept it.

Or, how about changing the icon so it is not suggestive of a column selection menu? I’d hate to have to bang on “yes I really mean that” buttons just to do something I really meant to do. It seems to me, the problem is in the iconography, and how the new user interacts with it. Once you know what the button does, do you really think it is a non-destructive column selector every time? No, so the warning would be a waste of time. I say just change the source of confusion; after all, it is undo-able.

Suggestion for a new icon? Though I do have to question, exactly how many times do you make this mistake? Once ever, I would imagine.

I personally don’t have a problem with the ellipsis, but if the icon were changed, it wouldn’t have to be anything fancy, I would think. Just something that isn’t readily identified with something else. A simple wavey line, maybe? Or just one bigger dot? Or a stamp tool similar to the one in Photoshop (implying that it makes a copy of what’s already in the text)?

Once is certainly all it took for me! It was fairly traumatic at the time, but I’m fully recovered now and definitely won’t ever do it again :slight_smile:

Seriously, though, I do think that changing the icon would be worth thinking about, because I sort of expect an ellipsis to lead to a selection of options. Actually, I also like the idea of a confirmation message if you are about to overwrite existing contents (not if it’s empty).

As far as icons go… I’m sorry, I’m useless at visual things, but is there room for something like the word “Auto”? That’s self-explanatory once you know what the button does - but if you don’t know what the button does, it is sufficiently ominous-sounding to make you realise there is something you might want to look up in the help text before you click.

Perhaps a magic wand?

Urgh. Images of MS’s “wizards”.

The stamp seems reasonable to me. There may be something better, but I’m not really a visual thinker. A stamp and the index card icon? (you’re putting something premade on the index card) Not sure if that’s getting too complicated for an itty bitty picture.

I was thinking something more like Photoshop’s wand selection tool. It has been over a decade since I’ve had to endure a Microsoft Wizard. I thought they actually had a cartoon wizard clip-art type thing! Anyway.

A curved arrow, somewhat hinting at “refresh,” but not as circular as the stereotypical browser refresh arrow. This could invoke the wrong connotation though. It makes sense to me.

Carbon paper and onion skins, har har.

A simple rubber stamp by itself is probably the best. Anything more would be too complicated. cf. the bottom row buttons in the interface.

Fair enough; can’t say I’ve used photoshop at all, so I would never have thought of that meaning. I think the MS wizard thing had a pointy hat and a wand. Or maybe I’m just imagining things. Or maybe some applications used that icon and others didn’t. I’ve been trying to avoid and forget MS as much as possible; kind of hard when I use it every day at work though.

Tell you what: if someone wants to create a new icon and post it here, and I like it, I’ll use it. I hate making icons, so this will be a looooooooow (i.e 4.0) priority unless someone else gives me an icon I like. :slight_smile:

Here is the original icon: … arDots.tif

All you have to do is download it and Photoshop it to something better.


Yes, without warning you loose your synopsis to get it replaced by the first sentences of the actual text.

I’d prefer to have an option in the preferences where I could allow or disallow this behaviour. (I would disallow it. As a rule of thumb, a writer’s software should NEVER EVER purge something one has written.)

Another possibility: The replacement only takes place when there IS no synopsis. (Empty card or the default -No Synopsis- text.)

Once again.


Yes, it might be traumatic that first time, but seriously, a lot of people use this feature constantly. Crippling it with warnings or making it non-functional unless the contents are empty would be really annoying. It might annoy you once, but it would annoy me and others thousands of times.

This is the best I could come up with:

And here are some weaker icon ideas based on the conversation in this thread.

Download PSD

The rubber stamp feels a little heavy in the interface, not horribly. Making it a bit lighter helps.

Thanks, AmberV. I particularly like the flashing one - maybe that should be used up until it is pressed for the first time, and then there should be a dialogue box saying, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you…”, and then, “Are you sure?” and then, “Completely?”… :slight_smile:

Another use, Antony Johnston, sent me an icon today that I really like, so I’m going to use that one. I’ll keep it under wraps until the all-singing, all-dancing 1.04 (which should probably be called 1.5… Well, nearly).

All best,

Oh no! [color=red]PLEASE [color=darkred]no [color=blue]flashing [color=green]icon[color=olive]!!


I like the 3rd one in the lower row. The first gives the idea that there is an exchange, the second looks like Darth Vader, so you think “Hu??”, but the third is good.

Now that I found out how the Undo-function works… I lost a synopsis because I wanted to know what happens when I click on the tree points there… and when I tried to undo it, I didn’t realize that another pane had the focus meanwhile, so it didn’t work! Or seemed not to work. But now I know you have to click into the synopsis card first and then press cmd-z (or undo). That’s okay.

Couldn’t agree more … I think that flashing icon is not only looks highly distracting, it is very un-Scrivener-ish in that it is so “in-yer-face”, whereas Scrivener helps you do the writing without shouting “Hey look at me!”
I too like the third one in the lower row best, but we’ll have to see what Keith is keeping up his sleeve for 1.04.


What is wrong with that? I would like it flashing, and perhaps nice bell ringing. Followed by a dialog with yellow sign: Do you really want to change the content of your synopses? (Then we need a 420 character explanation about the implications of writing and deleting synopses and three buttons: Explain in depth…, Yes, OK. No Cancel-button please!)


Lol, I think some people have had their irony detector removed. :slight_smile: AmberV was clearly being sarcastic with the flashing icon, as was I (and Maria). No, the new icon says in small, quite illegible lettering, “Don’t press me”. :slight_smile:

Interesting to see that the unexpected deletion of new users’ synopses gives rise to so much merriment for the old hands :wink: If there is any other way I can entertain you, please let me know; I have just transferred every last scrap of ongoing writing, notes, random musings etc into Scrivener, so I am sure I can find something suicidally traumatic and time-consuming with which to amuse you :slight_smile:

There is clearly no malice intended here, and besides which, there is never any such deletion. Undo works if you place the focus in the index card. Perhaps that is a little unintuitive at first, but if you hit Undo and find it doesn’t work, all you have to do is use the extensive Help file. Search for “Undo”, and you will end up at the description of Undo and Redo, which clearly states:

So, when pressing that little button, here are Scrivener’s safeguards:

  1. It is a button. You have to press it in the first place. Scrivener isn’t holding a gun to your head.
  2. When you press it, if you realise you didn’t want to do that, you can undo it.
  3. If you find that undo doesn’t seem to work because the main text has the focus, you can search the Help file for “undo” and easily discover this just be reading up on how undo and redo works in Scrivener.

So, short of offering flashing buttons and giant neon warning signs, I’m not sure what else I, as a developer, can do. Frankly, if you press a button in an application when you don’t know what that button will do to a file that is valuable to you, or even if you click it by mistake, I don’t understand how the application or the developer can be blamed.

And if your worst of your troubles is an icon, then you have had a much better week than I have. :slight_smile:

Best regards,