My workaround for fullscreen issue. Improvements?


I may be alone with this one, but I’m still finding the changes to how Scrivener (2.0.1) deals with fullscreen a small stumbling block to my workflow. I’ve got a solution, but I wonder if there is a better trick I’m missing.

I usually write fullscreen with Scrivener on my main screen, and the OSX dictionary open on my 2nd screen (Actually my laptop on a raised stand). I tend to look up words and subjects in the OSX dictionary every once in a while, and write full screen with dark paper and a black background.

In the old skool 1.5 I could cmd-D a word and look it up in the dictionary or wiki easily without losing my fullscreen. (cmd-d is a keyboard short cut I’ve set up in keyboard preferences). For me this was the perfect solution.

In 2.0 and the couple of updates I downloaded after that. If I cmd-D’d out I lost full screen, but scrivener would remain on the front of my window stack. I didn’t like my main window suddenly becoming bright (My binder etc are pretty default) bit was a simple alt-cmd-f to get fullscreen back.

In 2.0.1 if I cmd-d out, Scrivener hides (as I know it now should). This then shows my my desktop and back windows, which are usually a lot brighter than my fullscreen view and my scrivener view and I find the losing of my dark fullscreen a distraction (and I have enough of those when trying to write with pre-school twins in the house LOL). Plus I have to then “re-open” scrivener from the dock.

My workaround is to use “Spark” to setup a keyboard shortcut (cmd-K) that sends an activate “Bring front all windows” and “send a reopen event” to Scrivener, this does the trick and brings back full screen even if I’ve got more than one instance of scrivener open. So now I can cmd-d cmd-k to open dictionary and bring back my fullscreen without finding finding scrivener in the dock.

So it’s working, but it feels like a kludge and I still prefer the 1.x UI to the way it’s working for me now. So my question is…

Is there a better way? Any way for an applescript to be used instead of two shortcuts? Something that would allow the dictionary app to “refresh” on monitor2 but for Scrivener on monitor1 to not disappear on me?

Or (as usual) am I missing something basic?

Yes, there is a better way.

Dashboard. It comes with a Dictionary widget that has the same exact content as the program. You can drag it out to be bigger. Dashboard is an overlay that does not disrupt the applications beneath it, so it can be called up whenever you want it.

You can find a wide variety of widget for referencing, such as Wikipedia portals and such.

That sounds like a promising option and one I hadn’t even thought about. I do have that widget on my dashboard but never use it or the dashboard for that matter.

So can I get scrivener to use this widget for it’s “Look up in dictionary and thesaurus” option? If not then yes it would keep my scrivener window (good) but I’d have to type my search submit it etc (not so good as a replacement to hitting cmd-d cmd-k)

Also as I understand your suggestion; I would need an additional widget to look something up in wikipedia (Where I can currently cmd-d a word and then hit cmd-5), and I guess that couldn’t be tied into the same “look up in…” workflow?

Hmmm also another issue, you can’t keep the dashboard open. So where currently I can have a wiki page open in the dictionary on monitor 2, using the dashboard I can’t do that.

I guess what I’m asking for is a way to return of the original behaviour, where scrivener would open up an external application but leave it’s own windows intact. Not close. Not hide. Not minimise.

My cmd-d cmd-k will do that, I’d just prefer it in one action.

No widgets don’t communicate with applications so you can’t send it anything with a shortcut. I’d never noticed that because I always just type in search queries myself; it’s usually faster than highlighting it and all that—for me anyway.

You can keep widgets open and floating over everything on the screen, which is useful for full screen. You’ll need to use a tool like Onyx or MacPilot that lets you activate hidden preferences on your system easily, and enable Developer mode for dashboard. This mode was designed so widget developers didn’t have to keep calling up Dashboard while testing their widget, but you can use it to bring a widget into the “regular space”. To do so, just click on the widget and hold, while pressing the dashboard key. This will transfer the widget to your desktop (and back when you are done with it).

I find the new behaviour extremely irritating and I don’t understand what is should be good for. I love writing in full screen mode, but sometimes I have to look up something in Wikipedia every few paragraphs. Up to now, I simply switched to another Space, did my research, switched back and wrote on. Now I return into an empty space. Makes full screen mode almost unusable for me.

What was wrong with how it was before??? :open_mouth:

I think I read something from Keith that it was due to something technical. But I’m a little glad I’m not the only one who hugely prefer the original behaviour. Maybe someone will come up with a better solution than my hack - maybe even something Keith can use to reinstate his original user experience.

I think part of the problem here is that I don’t think Keith uses it this way, I don’t use it this way either (which is why it never bothered either of through the whole development phase) and full screen really was never designed to be used this way. :slight_smile: The whole point of it is distraction free writing. That means no surfing Wikipedia every other paragraph or clicking on the dictionary twenty times an hour. That means sitting down and writing non-stop and doing nothing else. All questions and matters of uncertainty should be noted as you write for later reference. Little annotations here and there; whatever method you prefer. Focussed writing; zero editing. That’s the design intent.

Now, of course, that doesn’t mean everyone Must Follow The Rules. Of course, everyone is different. And in 1.x it was easier to break the rules because of how it worked, and it’s fine if you don’t subscribe to the theory that focussed writing is advantageous. Maybe standard mode is a better place for you if your preferred way of writing involves constantly switching out of Scrivener. Maybe this feature will get altered, again, to something else, I don’t know—that is up to Keith----but in the meantime please do realise you are using a toothbrush for a pipe cleaner if you are jumping out of full screen more than once an hour. I never allow myself to do that. When full screen is on, the only way I leave it is to press Esc when the timer goes off. I don’t break that rule for anything; when full screen is up; that’s writing time, not research time or fiddle with the prose time. There is of course a time for that, but not in full screen.

I understand your disciplined approach, but I can say from my experience that the full screen mode has its merits even if you’re not that disciplined. Having only the text before me leads my attention to details I would not have realized with all the framing around it - it’s that simple. And it’s not that I always hop away to look up something. It just happens sometimes.

And another thing: You mention your alarm clock. Well, I use an application for this - the beautiful timer “Minuteur”. But now, once the timer rings, it takes the focus for a moment, and WHOOSH - Scrivener disappears …

Anyway - I still don’t understand Scriveners new behaviour. I would understand if it would switch back to normal mode once you go into another space, but what the benefit is of having it hide away itself is a complete mystery to me. (Is it designed as a kind of tiny punishment? Stick with the text, don’t go away, otherwise …!?)

I keep feeling like this is just a me and my Mac issue, because it’s in the change log as a feature (“When switching to another application from full screen mode, Scrivener now hides rather than closing full screen mode”), and really a feature that people were requesting when so many voices went into uproar over the change from 1.54 to 2.0 with losing full screen when switching applications. I have the problem of accidentally not closing FS when I’m moving to another space and then coming back and finding Scrivener gone. I’ll probably get used to this in a few days and just smarten up my habits by exiting FS first, but since it’s presented as a feature I have to ask in my Mac-ignorance: what’s the expected user behavior here to restore Scrivener? Just cmd-tab-shift (since it moves to the end of the stack)? Or is there some secret key combo to reopen a hidden program that I have yet to stumble on because I never hide anything? (That’s what spaces are for, bwaha!)

Cmd-tab, cursor left, cursor left will do it too, as will Cmd-tab tilde, tilde (in both cases holding down the Cmd key throughout).
On the new behaviour, i.e. hiding when a shift is made to another application while Scriv is in fullscreen mode: that’s what Keynote does if you Cmd-tab to another application while a presentation is playing (effectively a fullscreen mode). Perhaps that’s where Keith got the idea from?

Ioa’s disciplined approach is admirable, but I’m sure that there are lots of writers who need to use a dictionary or a bibliography application, even when writing in full flow. Often in my use of full screen I flip to Bookends to check references, and the Scriv 1.x behaviour was considerably more convenient for that scenario.

OK, but WHY, for god’s sake?? Once again: What is this good for? What disadvantage did one have with a full screen open while switching to another application or space? What was the problem that the new behaviour is solving? I just don’t get it.

Actually, I believe full screen mode is unusable this way. For example, a few minutes ago I was in full screen mode (without any intention to go elsewhere!!) when an iCal alarm came up. Boom – gone was the screen.

Sorry, but I don’t get it.

Here is the related thread and post by KB.

I love Scrivener because of it’s flexibility, but am really hating the hidden fullscreen feature. To have to use a third party tool to keep Scrivener open just seems so wrong and against everything I love about the mac and scrivener the whole “It just works” thing.

I’m not going step up and say Scrivener is “Broken” like this, but it’s “Broken for how I use Scrivener”. There isn’t a single productivity application I’ve ever used that by selecting a menu option (Other than something like hide or minimise), or quitting fullscreen puts the application into stealth mode.

Presentation tools are a different beast, as when you’re in “show and tell” mode it looks better to break out to your company branded desktop than it is to show your editable presentation (Which may contain sensitive info). Scrivener full screen isn’t for presentations it’s for working, so I don’t feel it should match keynote behaviour. I would compare it more to fullscreen edit views in photoshop, lightroom etc, allowing you to “focus in” and cut out the clutter. When you exit fullscreen mode in this sort of productivity app you don’t lose sight of the main app, or when you jump to another app (by any means) the original app doesn’t go all shy on you.

For me and how I use fullscreen on my setup the current behaviour is illogical and wrong. I don’t want an application to disappear unless I tell it too. Looking up a word in the dictionary should not hide my work. I use the dictionary to sometimes check my usage of an obscure (to me) word, so I really want to see my text and the dictionary app together.

For me, using the dictionary app isn’t breaking the “no distractions” rule, as I’m still actively writing one block of text. Losing all visibility to Scrivener and showing me my desktop or email client sitting there, is a distraction which is why I don’t want to be forced to leave Scrivener. Don’t make me go!

Keith, is there any chance the 1.x behaviour may make a return at some point in the future? Or is the consensus among users they didn’t like that experience? If there is strong difference of opinion. Could it be a user preferences option in some way? Between the two I preferred the 2.0 behaviour to 2.0.1 as at least Scrivener didn’t go AWOL even if I did lose the lovely full screen.

I totally agree with Jenny on this one. Although I too agree with Ioa in that fullscreen should be involved with nothing besides writing (even dictionaries), but I do think this should be a user preference, in the case that someone wants to look up a quick word. Or, at least, let the behavior continue as it had in 2.0, where fullscreen mode would just pop off and into regular editing mode. Because isn’t that what one is doing when they go to another application (i.e., editing?); it only makes sense to fall back to the main editor view–not have it hide altogether!

Dat, dear friends, is my opinion. :smiley:



Have you noticed that with a custom layout and one of the simple background blankets – I use Isolator <> – you can come very close to the Full Screen view? Big difference is that with the custom layout, Scrivener stays put if you open another app, while in Full Screen, you are (gently) locked into a serious, no-distraction writing mode.


From that thread I understand that the new behaviour of Scrivener’s full screen is not a feature, but has to be implemented due to some technical necessity.

So, it’s not a feature (the long and urgently awaited “full-screen-auto-hide-feature”), but a problem to solve.

Am I right?

In the meantime, I probably won’t use the full screen mode. Having my calendar alarms active is more important. I’ll try as a workaround to use a layout that closes the binder and the inspector and centers the text in page view. (Is it possible to switch between layouts using keyboard shortcuts?)


You can change layouts from the keyboard with SHIFT-COMMAND-), UP-DOWN, RETURN.

Another PseudoFS.jpg

The custom layout technique, and if it works for you that’s great, but it won’t work for me unless I change the way I have my mac configured by changing my dock etc. I also don’t like the idea of having to use another app to hide other stuff behind. And (another and) I don’t like having the top grey OSX menu bar always visible.

But when it comes down to it, the SHIFT-COMMAND-), UP-DOWN, RETURN. shortcut is not really an efficient replacement for my CMD-K shortcut I’ve hacked up myself and I’d lose the “proper” fullscreen view which I like (And I know Keith has worked damn hard on).

I think I’m beating on about this because I like writing in Scrivener, and now I’ve hit this “wall” that for me just makes me think “Oh I wish it didn’t do this” every time I CMD-K scrivener back into visibility. I guess I’m so used to loving Scrivener (I really should say that more) that even the smallest black mark feels strange.

Thanks for the hint! :smiley:

Of course I will be missing the real full screen. But knowing it will disappear under my fingers by the slightest disturbance (having it plopp away when iCal reminded me “don’t forget to put the garbage out” was a real shock) makes writing there rather uncomfortable.

I really would like to understand what made this changement necessary. Because in Scriv 1.x, it still works, and nothing has changed about the operating system.

To be clear; I’m not sure if anyone took it this way, but I read my post again and wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming off as derisive of any other methods than my own. I wouldn’t say using full screen for zero distractions means “I am more disciplined than you”. Everyone has their own way of working and getting things done. My main point was to reiterate what this feature was originally designed for. And you can get word definitions in FS without leaving the interface; there is the Dictionary dashboard widget and the little hover box you can access with Ctrl-Cmd-D. I don’t think the latter is even a “violation” of the ethic of putting absolutely everything aside, and while it isn’t as large and full-featured as the main program, it certainly does address the desire to check up on a word for its proper usage.