Next version needs integration with TextEdit.app

Hi! Thanks for creating an amazing research/writing tool for writers everywhere.

Nonetheless, the text editor part feels like an afterthought. Wouldn’t it work better incorporating a TextEdit.app window in Scrivener (like webpages work currently), so the TextEditor & styles could be much better managed ? The current editor requires too much labor to switch styles manually all the time, and seems pretty weak, when it should shine in a complete Writing package like Scrivener.

If it was up to me, I would merge Ommwriter in Scrivener (Compose Mode), the result would send shockwaves across the entire writing community :slight_smile:

So my main issue is about the text editor, which requires a major upgrade asap.

P.S. Bonus points for adding the ability to highlight text in saved webpages, and maybe even link them more tightly as web links embedded in the text. They could appear automatically in a “Citations” folder in the Binder.

Could you clarify what you mean by TextEdit.app? The only such thing I am aware of is a free editor for the Mac which is merely a very simple implementation on top of the core text editing engine for the Mac. Scrivener is already using that engine, though a better way of putting it is that both TextEdit.app and Scrivener.app integrate with the same underlying toolkit. Scrivener actually adds a lot of stuff on top of the engine. You won’t find TextEdit loading an industry standard RTF with inline images intact, or even footnotes for that matter. It also lacks any form of stylesheets. Switching your formatting around is, in my opinion, superior in Scrivener than it is in TextEdit. If you could explain what it is you are struggling to do that would help. Maybe you aren’t aware of Scrivener’s formatting presets? That’s worth looking up if you are doing all of your formatting by hand.

None of that has any relevance on Windows (which is what your forum tag states) by the way, this is all fundamental Mac technology. The only way to get it is to use Mac OS X (which, I’m assuming you are, but your forum tag says “Windows”, hence confusion).

Anyway, regardless of the specifics, a form of stylesheet support will be coming to Scrivener in the future. This is not something you can just do, it has been years in the making at this point, on both platforms. :slight_smile: It is quite complex when a “document”, as Scrivener defines it, can be comprised of thousands of literal files on the disk. When you change a style in Word, a grand total of one single .docx file gets changed. In Scrivener, 99% of the files making up your draft may not even be technically open.

What does that provide that Composition does not, that you are looking for? I’m speaking from ignorance, I haven’t tried that thing since maybe 2007. Generally speaking though, you can’t just “merge” different programs together.

Speaking of Mac toolkits, guess what we use to display web pages. :slight_smile: There are things that would take years or even decades for one programmer to make. Programs like Scrivener can only exist as they do because these things are easy to snap together into larger programs. You could try changing your import options from WebArchive to editable text. That’s my preference anyway, especially today where sites are often 80% ads, tracking devices, security flaws and gratuitous scripting vs. 20% content. Text important just brings in the content, which is all I want. :slight_smile: As with Ommwriter, your mileage may vary!

Hi AmberV I’m not sure wether you are with Scrivener team, but I think my suggestions didn’t go through. I run Scrivener on Mac. It’s my writing software of choice, make no mistake, so forgive me for suggesting features that I believe would turn Scrivener from excellent to amazing! I’ve done software in a past life, so I understand what’s doable and what’s impossible.

By the way, thanks for the suggested switching the “import option from WebArchive to editable text”. It worked wonders on a webpage in my research 8) I can now highlight what I want, which is way more useful than the ‘static’ webpage I had bookmarked earlier.

Having said all that, I still believe the text editor is exceedingly basic. I understand it deals with some complex scenarios you described, better than TextEdit.app, but I was setting the bar really low for code feasibility purposes.

When I’m typing, as a user, right now, it’s really inconvenient to manage styles, to customize them, and to even understand what’s the selected style, as the Formatting styles for some reason doesn’t display the current style, and don’t follow the convention set by the next 3 pull-down menus for fonts.
Perhaps a better visual example for styles is the latest MS Word processor.

The gist of it is: when I type a Title, then press Enter twice, the text should go into Body style, instead of staying on as Title (maybe allowing to go into subtitle if Enter is pressed only once).
That alone would work wonders to free writers from getting distracted by manually formating at the peak of creative writing!

I think the whole formatting bar needs an overhaul, to make the editor look more finished. The highlight button should be more visually explicit on its function. Scrivener should adopt the Highlight tool user experience as it works currently in Apple’s Preview.app. Including listing highlighted strings of text (with context) in a sidebar/binder list. It would be really neat to allow highlights and notes in webpages, but “imports as text” options could be given extra proeminence, in a clear way, so the writer better understands he/she’s able to do so.

I believe Scrivener already has most of the functionality underneath, it’s just a matter of becoming more user friendly, on top of the underlying complexity.

My suggestion regarding Ommwriter was to license its editing experience somehow, or to recreate their superb user experience altogether. I managed to imitate it basicly in Compose mode by using the color picker to define both foreground and background but I couldn’t recreate their involved background graphics. I also can’t get their key typewriter noise as I type (even though Scrivener has a typewriter option). Or the soothing music by David Ummmo that really gets the user into the writing “zone”, in a “flow” state.
Their user experience is really good as it tears down the walls between the writer and his story, by hiding every complexity, leaving only the paper on screen and keyboard serving the writer. The sounds are really important too when writing, because the writer may look only in one way, or close his/her eyes, but can never stop listening sound.

So here are my constructive suggestions, which I believe should be in Scrivener 3, for the entire community enjoyment.

Best regards.

You might like to look at

https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/named-styles-vs-embeded-styles/33364/9

particularly Keith’s contribution to the thread!

:slight_smile:

Mr X

I just wanted to note that though you are using a Mac, your user profile (to the right of your posts) says your “platform” is Windows. You can change that by scrolling to the top of this page and clicking on “User Control Panel”, then on the “Profile” tab. Making that information accurate will aid both the “official” folks and other users like me when (or if) you ask any questions that depend on the operating system/Scrivener version you are using.

Thank you both!

Granted, terms like “distracted” and “peak” and “creative” will not be used or understood exactly the same by all those who write. So these observations refer only to a single writer.

Me.

Most of the time when I am writing my primary concerns are to translate images and ideas into words and to get those words down, on the screen or on the page. Secondary concerns are editing, revising and rewriting. Tertiary concerns — re-thinking structure, and repeat of secondary concerns.

Only then, in almost all instances, does formatting become a concern.

Obviously, YMMV.

ps

Scrivener does not currently have true styles in the sense that Word does. The formatting you see is all there is: there’s nothing telling Scrivener that “this particular formatting means a title.”

I’m with PJS, at the “peak of creative writing,” formatting is the last thing on my mind. That’s part of why I love Scrivener so much.

Katherine

I would hope this could become a meme.
(It’s actually quite a nifty advertising slogan) …

It works the other way around, the style sets the formatting, the formatting doesn’t set any style.

You would think clear explicit formatting styles would improve Scrivener’s basic editor, not detract from fine writing.

I’m proposing features to improve the workflow of all Scrivener’s customers, something you can’t go wrong with. If it doesn’t apply to your single situation, well, then it doesn’t apply to you alone. I don’t see a reason to voice any concern to prevent Scrivener from improving.

Just for the record, stylesheets are coming. It’s not that they don’t make sense, it’s that there is no foundation at all for them to exist in the base text engine, so all of that had to be built from scratch. If anything stylesheets fit in perfectly with Scrivener’s philosophy, since they make it easy to redesign all assigned text on the fly according to what is needed—that’s the principle the compiler is based upon.

Thank you.