Option-Drag link from binder to text

Is there a way to “freeze” the text-area while I option-click a Binder item I want to link to?

I often use Option-drag to link an item (“reference A”, say) in the Binder to the main text area “text B”. This is very handy, but often, before I can drag (reference A) from the Binder, my click on it changes the main text area to the linked item (A) away from Text B, so I can’t drop it where I want to drop it. I have to quickly click and drag, and it’s not predictable.

Can Option Clicks not change the focus to the binder-item maybe?


You can lock the editor: opt-cmd-L, View>Editor>Lock in Place, or click the icon to the left of the title in the editor header and choose Lock in Place. :slight_smile:

The trick with click and drag is to click with the mouse before hitting the option key and to not lift the mouse button until you drop, which means you may click in the binder without seeing any change–the selection indicator won’t jump to where you click.


Yes, MM’s advice is sound here - there’s a bit of a technique to it. Basically, with all OS X outlines and lists, if you click on an item, it doesn’t get selected until you let go of the mouse usually - that is, the selection occurs on mouse-up rather than on mouse-down. However, if you hold a modifier key down (such as the Option key), the selection happens straight away. This isn’t particular to Scrivener, it’s just an OS X thing - try it in the Finder and you’ll see the same thing happens, click on a file and it won’t be selected until you release the mouse button, but if you hold the Option key as you click, it gets selected straight away.

It’s that selection that causes the document in Scrivener’s editor to swap. However, because the Option key has other meanings, it’s not desirable to prevent the selection just because the user is holding the Option key - for instance, Option limits the drag options in the binder, too.

So the trick is just to drag without holding the Option key, and only hold the Option key down when you drop the file into the text area. Essentially the Option key in this instance has no effect on the binder behaviour - it only has an effect on the editor. It tells the editor to interpret the dropped data as a link instead of reading the actual text from the pasteboard.

All the best,

I’ve been resorting to the Lock-in-Place method because I couldn’t quite figure this technique out. I’m glad you asked this question, Accordion Noir! Thanks for enlightening us, Keith.