I’m as much of a newbie as it’s possible to be with Scrivener, having just starting playing with the software today. I have spent some time writing, though, and longstanding habits mean that straight away a question has popped up for me about enhancing the way I can move about within Scrivener.
Specifically: is there any way to move and select by sentence, screen, etc.?
Here’s what I mean (and why). A huge part of writing for me is re-writing. And a huge part of that is navigating through my text, word by word and sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph, shuffling things about. Sometimes I might re-write a given chunk of text 20 times or more before it’s finished, and all of that will have occurred while navigating piece by piece through the document.
The one thing that has kept me glued to Word since version 4 in 1990 or so is that I can – using only the keyboard – move or select or extend a selection a word at a time, a sentence at a time, a line at a time, a paragraph at a time, or a screen at a time. Even better, I don’t have to use the built-in shortcuts for these processes, which are all linked to the numeric keypad (miles off to the right); I can, instead, re-map them all to use modifier keys and a rectangular set of keys which sits directly under my right hand.
Yes, a subset of those functions already exists with modifier keys applied to the arrow keys. For example, in Cocoa apps I can move a word at a time with option-left-or-right-arrow, or a paragraph at a time with option-up-or-down-arrow, etc. These tricks also work with the arrow keys embedded in a non-num-locked numeric keypad. Unfortunately, nothing that is built-in seems to emulate Word’s movement and selection by sentence or screen. And, of course, it’s still all tied to the arrow keys and numeric keypad.
So something that would help me leap into Scrivener with open arms would be the capability of moving and selecting by sentence or screen, in addition to the OS-provided word and paragraph. Something that would help me leap into Scrivener with open arms while hollering from the hilltops would be the capability to assign all those moving and selecting functions to my own favourite keys so I don’t have to run over to the arrows or the numeric keypad whenever I want to edit something.
I’ve checked with Keith, and my understanding is that because Scrivener relies on the OS’s own text system, there isn’t much that can be done to add this sort of capability directly (short of writing a whole new text system, which seems mildly zany). But at his suggestion, I thought I’d post the question here as well, just in case someone out there might be able to recommend a route toward my text movement Holy Grail.
BTW, I’m already a user of Keyboard Maestro and ControllerMate, but at first glance it would seem pretty darned fiddly to make this work using either of those (the latter is likely the better option of the two for this sort of thing, but my first feeble attempts this afternoon quickly ran me into a wall of complication that I won’t explain unless someone is really interested in programming USB device functionality).
Many thanks in advance for any thoughts!
All the best,