Navigation Highlighing

Hi. It would be helpful if the there was some sort of indication in the binder window of what sections of a paper were being displayed in the scrivenings windows. That is, while the binder shows what I’ve selected when I select an individual document or folder, it would be cool if it would also show me which of the documents I was currently viewing when the parent folder was selected. So, and not to beat this to death, when I work on a chapter, I like to be able to see roughly where I am so I get a sense of how far along in the chapter the part I’m working on is located (i.e. some information needs to be put up front, while other info needs to be hidden in the middle).

Anyway, I didn’t bother to read through all the other posts to see if this is something others have asked for…sorry…not enough time for that.

Cool product…thanks.


If you want to see where you are in the binder really quickly, just hit opt-cmd-R (View > Reveal in Binder). The interface works from right-to-left, and if it showed whatever you selected in the editor in the binder it would have to expand items that you might have deliberately collapsed, so this is a deliberate action you have to take.

Hope that helps!

All the best,

Just wanted to chime in here and say I for one would love this too. I’m always working in scrivenings mode, with the entire novel locked-in-place, so I can jump and browse freely to where I want.
But jumping and browsing in the scrivenings pane also means getting lost in the binder/outline, which will be highlighted where I clicked last — and not necessarily where the insertion point is actually at.

I’m aware of your left-to-right paradigm (and I know I’ve suggested it before) and you’re right some would probably have a problem with the binder auto-expanding as you walk about in the text.

But if it doesn’t take disproportional amounts of coding, could one wish for it but as an option?
Something like a “Binder updates to show active position in scrivening” checkbox?
So that we who don’t mind the binder auto-expanding could get a little right-to-left-sweetness, and those who do don’t have to? :slight_smile:

Just my two cents. Would be lovely.


Opt-Cmd-R - Reveal in Binder. :slight_smile:

I was thinking, you know, “automatically”.

Practise until there’s muscle memory? :smiling_imp: :wink:

I will plus one on this feature. I know about Opt-Cmd-R. It would be nice however, for example, the current scrivening to be highlighted in the binder (colour, background, indicator? whichever works best) rather than by pressing the key combination and changing the selection.

Agree with this suggestion.


There has been lengthy discussion(s) on why this is not automatic, before. If you wish to read up on it you can search the forums. The short answer is that it will likely never be that way for multiple reasons of a designed nature. The binder isn’t a status indicator but a work space.

Yet, it would be nice if you could add an option for automatic highlighting. I don’t know if there is something wrong with the way I work, but I end up always using the Cmd-Opt-R shortcut, since I’m lost without knowing where I am after searching for a keyword.

Here is what I do frequently, nearly simulating DevonThink’s various search options:

  1. Focus on a concept, represented by a particular word.
  2. Search for it throught the whole project, to see if the word can be a link to another section of the project.
  3. Type Cmd-Opt-R to highlight the document’s title in the Binder, and see what’s the general section the word is included into.

So, while the Binder is a work environment (a constantly-shown outline), it could also be effective as an indicator.


I agree, it could be nice. Sometimes i have multiple files open and i don’t realy know wich one i am working on.

Hit Opt-Cmd-R (Reveal in Binder).

It really wouldn’t work well as both at the same time, though.

Anyway, as has been lengthily discussed, this isn’t going to change, sorry (well, I’m not sorry at all, but you know what I mean :slight_smile: ).

All the best,

Oh, but we could continue to repeat it while you are asleep. I’m sure you will wake up, one day, howling: “How could I forget to make automatic highlighting in the Binder?”



Distinct names for your documents, plus the editor’s header will tell you which document you are editing (or just glancing over at the synopsis pane of the inspector). It’s not a structural indicator, but if you have a decent mental map of where in the story “The Killer kidnaps Fred” happens, then it should help a bit, and obviate some of the need for Opt-Cmd-R.

Well, Scrivener (at least in the use I do of it) comes before I have a clear mental map of my story/reasoning. I like to see the structure grow day after day, and I admit I need to be guided someway in this process. The outline shaping in the Binder is a powerful tool to form a mental map.


In the (remote) case live highlighting would be taken in consideration, I would suggest to use two different highlights in the Binder:

  • a solid one for the selection you did intentionally;
  • a light one for the current position in the text.

I used the Binder as a navigation index a lot while writing my dissertation, and I would have loved to have Scrivener do it automatically for me. Nisus Writer Pro did it, and I found it very confortable in such a long document.


I have nearly finished my trial of Scrivener, and the software is a true work of genius. The only problem, however, is that–when viewing multiple documents (“Scrivenings”?) at once–the Binder does not automatically show where I am/which document I am in. I know that I can hit a 3-key keyboard shortcut to reveal where I am, but it is tedious and distracting for me.

I suppose that this is an issue for me, but not for some writers, because of my particular way of writing. When I get to a difficult section of writing, I am in the habit of breaking it into many, very small pieces until I get through it. This means that, until I’m through that section, I’m constantly in need of seeing where I am. I could change my writing method to better work w/ the software, but the method has worked very well for me so far, and I’m reluctant to change.

It seems like–if the virtual binder were an actual, physical binder–I would have a constant sense of my location, but this is absent in Scrivener.

I’m assuming that coding this would be very difficult, or the option of automatic location highlighting would probably already be there. Unfortunately though, the lack of this one feature is the “deal-breaker” for me, and I’ll have to (reluctantly) stick w/ MS Word. It’s disappointing to reject software as elegant and perfectly-tailored as Scrivener on the basis of a single feature (or lack thereof), but this feature happens to be one that I really need. I hope that someday this feature might be incorporated.

There are a few planned features that will make this better in the future:

  • The header bar above the editor should declare, not only that you are working in Scrivenings, but the title of which piece you are currently editing.
  • The header bar menu icon has a “Go To” function. The currently edited piece of of the session should have a checkmark.
  • It is possible to turn on titles within the Scrivenings session, meaning that the names of the individual components are printed (and editable) right in the main text editor.

Without these three tools, the only indicators are [b]Ctrl-Shift-R[/b], which you’ve already indicated an allergy to using, and the Inspector that features the index card for the currently edited item, which includes the title of that item. Leaving the Inspector open is thus a pretty good way to keep track of where you are.

Anyway, I do agree that things are a bit claustrophobic in a Scrivenings session on Windows, but the answer isn’t to hijack the Binder and turn it into a status bar though. We’ve got other places where we can print status passively and without turning a crucial workspace, the Binder, into something you have no control over any more (just think, if you have splits open or the item you use history or anything else like a link, to jump around, the Binder will be flying all over the place, expanding folders as it goes, etc. It would completely disable its usefulness since any changes you make to it will be immediately lost, and it becomes a distraction with all of the toggling about).

Do know that it is the intention of Scrivener to make how you are working easier, than it is in a word processor. In a way, your way of working is precisely what it was designed for. So it’s a pity you don’t find it useful for that. I tried using Word’s tools that can be used to simulate how Scrivener works—master document outline and all that—it struck me as way over-complicated and fragile though. I hope that in the future you’ll find the software works better for you.

What a nice reply. Thank-you for the information about upcoming releases. I will anxiously be awaiting them.