Minor suggestions to avoid confusion

Hi, Keith et al.

2 very small suggestions to avert confusion that I myself have experience in 2.0.

First, perhaps it would be good to have different words for different menu items? Both ‘template’ and ‘convert’ appear in more than one place in the menus, meaning different things in each spot. I have tripped over this several times while adjusting to 2.0.

Second, I’d love a pop-up warning when current intentions collide with previous settings of the Binder. I have fumbled a lot lately with docs that “won’t open” because, for instance, I lock the top editor to my draft, change focus to the bottom, and go to open another doc there – and nothing happens. Because I have told the Binder to open in “other” editor, and, when my focus is on the bottom, other=top, which is locked. I don’t expect Scrivener to lead me out of the maze, but I’d love a simple reminder, along the lines of “This Document Needs to Open in a Window Currently Locked Elsewhere” or some such. In the heat of writing, I don’t remember what I’ve done and the doc that dare not speak its name is a thing that brings me up short.

Anyone else think this might be desirable? Or am I a bit denser and more distracted than the rest of you?


Not to be obnoxiously contrary, and certainly not to imply you’re distracted or dense, but I disagree about the menu. I don’t think they “mean different things”–template still means template, convert still means convert–it’s just the context that has changed, and that’s clear from the menu header (Document, Format, etc.). I’d think it’d be more confusing to try to come up with other (yet synonymous?) terms to identify these options.

As for the binder issue, I suppose if you could turn off the warning then I wouldn’t care much either way, but it could get irritating very quickly to have a box pop up every time you accidentally click the wrong thing. Perhaps what would help you more is just adjusting the “locked in place behavior” of the navigation preference settings so that the binder selection will open in the other editor as you expect when the default one is locked.

Well, for 30 mins I was utterly perplexed about templates as in project template versus templates WITHIN a project, but I suppose that’s me. “Convert,” I grant you, isn’t so confusing.

As for the Binder, I have a hard time imagining that kind of accident happening very often, but I suppose there’s a presumption against adding more doodads to a nice trim application.

I will try changing “locked in place” behavior as you suggest. That’s a good point. Thanks!


Actually, this doesn’t help, because the option is “Binder Selection Affects Other Editor When FOCUSSED Editor Is Locked” (my emphasis). So while normal behavior is to expect that a doc will open where I am focussed, when I am in locked state, I have to remember to expect the opposite (that, in this one case, the Binder will open in the non-focus window).

My point isn’t that there is anything wrong with these complexities. It’s just that in the course of working, they are easy to lose track of. Hence my (minor) wish for an explanation when a doc has no place to open.


Well, maybe rather than “accident” I meant that I would probably click the same way you’re doing, but after having made that mistake and corrected it a dozen times, I would (I like to think) realize the problem when I clicked and nothing happened and just have that forehead-slap moment where I mutter at myself for doing the same thing again, and then I’d fix it. Whereas if a warning pops up every time I do that, not only is it there mocking me about something I already know I did, but I have to click out of that first before I can fix the problem.

This might just be me and my combatant relationship with pop-up dialogues. :wink:

On the other hand, if it only popped up the first time and you can check the box to “never show this warning again,” then it wouldn’t really matter, and I concede it could be helpful the first time you do that, since you may not realize what you’d done.

On the third hand, a user might do this purposefully, too. There are a lot of times I specifically lock an editor or arrange the set-up just so that my clicking around in the binder will have no effect. How would Scrivener know whether I meant it or not?

Whoops. My mistake, sorry.

Also, I apologize if I’m coming off antagonistic. I don’t mean to be at all; I completely see that the complexity can be overwhelming and mind-boggling. I’m just tossing around the devil’s advocate ideas, I guess, and pointing out that to some extent because of the complexity, there’s not always a single way to do something, which means it’s harder for the program to know when you’re doing something “wrong” or not. Anyway, it’s all up to Keith, of course. :slight_smile:

No apologies necessary! We’re hsving a civil discussion about our Scrivener experience. I always find your posts very helpful, actually.

Good point about the behavior; I could see setting it up that way, with 2 stable docs, using Quikref windows to dip into others. Hadn’t thought of that…



I’m afraid I don’t like the idea of warnings like this - it seems very Windows-ish to throw up big alert messages whenever the user does something that leads to no action. On the other hand, perhaps there could be some visual reminder somewhere about which editor the binder is set up to affect, so that you could tell at-a-glance what the issue is. For instance, perhaps an icon in the binder footer bar that looks much like the split button you see in the right of the editor header bar, but with one half shaded in to show which editor will be affected by binder selections. (The only problem might be that users think it is some sort of button that does nothing.)

Although I see what you mean about the use of the word “Template”, there really isn’t a better word for it. Both features are templates - one at the project level and one at the file level. You can have document templates within a project, or you can have project templates. Likewise, “Convert” - although there are two menus with this name, one converts documents, and one converts formatting. But I’m happy to consider any alternatives you have in mind.

All the best,

I think something like this would be an excellent idea.


Perhaps “Project Template” could be substituted for just “Template.” A little bit wordy, but it would help to distinguish it from the document/folder templates without making their menu items cumbersome. Since (presumably) document templates are more frequently accessed (when a person uses both), and since they operate at a smaller scale, the relative succinctness would make sense to users new to Scrivener and/or document-level templates.

For me, I’m fine with templates as implemented, and this may just be one of those minor adjustments one must make when using Scrivener 2.

I think this is a great idea – unobtrusive to those who don’t need it. But handy to others. Also, it would be characteristically Scrivenerish in its flexibility. I might use to see which window I would open in, but someone else might use to be sure that neither window would open, maybe to use the Binder for Quickref hopping.

You and MM certainly have talked me out of the Microsofty pop-up notion.



I don’t need the warning to pop up as I haven’t had the issue, but how about an audible “bonk” sound when you call up an action that cannot be completed? (Or is that already there?). Or a window flash or something visible but that doesn’t require the user to cancel. I hate those “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that” dialogues that pop up all the time in other apps.

Oh, and don’t ever use another word for a template. Project templates and Document templates are both templates. (Stating the bleeding obvious is my specialised subject)

Hmm, I don’t know about a beep. Consider that the editor lock feature has a very important purpose, and that not loading stuff is its defined and extremely useful state. One of the main reasons to lock the editor is so you can explore in the binder with impunity. If the computer bonked every time you did that, you’d probably throw it out the window. :slight_smile:

Having it talk like HAL is another matter altogether. I would have all computers talk like HAL all of the time, no matter what. Just ramble on about differential equations and how they are worrying about the temperature readings on the Graphical Processing Unit.

I’d have them talk like Marvin, the paranoid android. Cheer you up no end!

Best, Martin.


Oh, yes, I would like to have a sound snippet from this scene – with HAL talking in its “I’m your psychiatrist”-tone –, I would put it in OS X’s alarm sounds folder and use it whenever suitable!!