Option for having a list of recent projects when app opens

When opening Scrivener from scratch, you currently you have options for re-opening the last document you were working on, a dialog showing templates, or nothing. I’d like to request an option to show a list of recent projects when the app opens.

I don’t know how other people work, but I find it strange to assume that they are either A. starting new projects every single time, or B. always working on the same file. Personally I work on multiple files concurrently, and it would be nice not having to go down to the small drop down menu every time I open scrivener, and at the same time not seeing templates I never use.

Scrivener 3.3.1, macOS 13.5.1.

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Hi Thain and welcome back.

Like you, I’m in and out of multiple projects all the time. I have Scrivener set to open to the new projects template screen, rather than the last project I worked in.

And, I use the File > Add Project to Favorites command to create my own list of regularly accessed projects. That way, I can quickly reopen any/all as needed. And, when I close each project or Scrivener at the end of the day, I’m starting fresh the next morning.

Might that approach work for you?

Under Windows, if you pin Scrivener to the task bar (launch Scrivener, right click its icon in the task bar → pin), you can right click this icon and a list of recent projects will appear.
From there you may even pin any of those projects to the top of this list.

On the macOS, a similar option comes up if Scrivener’s been added to the Mac’s Dock.

On MacOS that is also a Recents menu item (as well as the in-my-opinion-more-useful Favorites menu item).

I may be missing something about this request, but isn’t this already a thing available to the New Project window? There is a button along the bottom for re-opening recent projects, that is linked to the main File ▸ Recent Projects... submenu.

On Windows this is a necessary thing (if you don’t like the re-open previous setting), on a Mac, not so much given how Mac software is perfectly fine loading without any active windows given the global menu bar. I.e. you can turn off re-open recent projects, and turn off the option to show the New Project window when nothing is open, so that when you launch Scrivener nothing at all happens except loading the menu—and from there you have the Recent Projects submenu, as well as the Favorite Projects submenu, for those things you always want available even they drop off recents.

That is exactly how I’ve used Scrivener for years on a Mac. In the Windows version I use the New Project window option because that’s all there is.

I.e. what would be the advantage to having another optional window that does what the main menu already does, or does what another window already does?

[quote=“AmberV, post:6, topic:135933, full:true”]
I may be missing something about this request, but isn’t this already a thing available to the New Project window? There is a button along the bottom for re-opening recent projects, that is linked to the main File ▸ Recent Projects... submenu.[/quote]
Yes, I also mention that in my post.

I hope it doesn’t sound snarky, but just because that’s how you been doing things for years on Mac, it does not mean that that has to be the only way of doing things.

Simply to make selection of what document I want to be working on faster, so I don’t have to go to a sub menu every single time I open Scrivener. You could use the same argument you have for the template chooser, yet that is for some reason prioritized over actively worked on documents, and could just as easily be delegated to a File → New → Choose template submenu. Why does that dialog have to be there, yet the one I suggest not? As I mention above, I really doubt people start new documents every single time they open Scrivener, so my solution would likely be used much more often.

This is a good point. I’ve had the Chooser thing switched off forever, because starting a new project is rarely what I want to be doing when I launch Scrivener.

A Chooser that offered Favorites, Recents and New (from template), would be more useful to have come up when Scrivener launched sans project.

It is not that this would be a huge savings for me or anything (I am always hitting the Favorites menu on launch), but it arguably makes a more sensible, functional Chooser design for the way Scrivener is actually used.

Not to diminish anyone’s fun here, but if it is only a matter of choosing which project to load without having Scrivener first (uselessly) load the previous project, why not simply dedicate a little corner of your desktop to shortcuts to these projects that you may double click ?
I have been doing it like that for years and have no reason to complain.

Under windows, for when you want to create a new project right off, Shift+clicking Scrivener’s icon on your desktop or taskbar takes you directly to the new project panel without loading the last opened project. (This panel also has a recent projects list.)
You need to hold the shift key down for a while for it to work. Don’t just Shift-click-release.

If you want Scrivener to load a specific project: either double click its icon on your desktop or use the OS built in recent list. (Or alternatively, take the longer route, Shift-Click Scrivener’s icon and use the new project’s panel’s recent projects list.)
If you want to create a new project: Shift-click Scrivener’s icon.
If you want to load the last project, launch Scrivener, do nothing else about it. (That’s a setting in the options. The very first option of them all. )

If you uncheck this option, you’ll get the new project panel (with its recent project list) every time…

So all this to say that every possible situations are already covered, imo.


Having said that, he proceeded to crush it, totally crush it. :dizzy_face:

[EDITed post-mortem to clarify intent, fwiw]


I am glad that that is how you work. But I don’t use my Desktop as a springboard for opening my often used files, as it would become a complete mess in a very short while. It also looks awful. My desktop is for short-term important things, that needs to go somewhere else within a few days.

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All of these options are slower than having your projects presented immediately. It also still doesn’t answer the question on why there’s a template chooser in the first place, when it is not really needed.

Yes, it is covered, but I don’t see it solving my problem from post 1 at all. This is not about wether you are able to do something. It is about saving time, and using the opening window for something actually useful.

I replied to this. (?)

And there is still simply this :

P.S. I have nothing against your idea. Just that it is already there.

Perhaps you should create a mockup of what you mean. It seems that we don’t understand.
The way I currently understand it, all this is to remove one click, one single click in the template chooser panel, to show the list of recent projects.

That’s true.

@Thain (if you don’t want to do it manually) pretty much can easily be done with an automation app. Whenever you open Scrivener, the recent project menu opens automatically, the mouse goes there too, so all you have to do is click on the project you want.

No app always works exactly the way you want it to. You just have to put up with that. But with inexpensive additional software (almost) everything can be customized. :man_shrugging:

I registered an account to start with, just so I could look through the forums for this very topic and respond if it was there.

I think this is a great idea. I start Scrivener, and after the first maybe 2 times running it, EVERY time I use the “open Recent” widget on the bottom of the screen, thus ignoring all the much prettier template stuff above. A “tab” for recent projects would make me happy.

When opening Scrivener, it would be really nice to be presented with a view of the recent projects like this:

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Or easier when in current project to have available recent choices and can set the number, I chose 10.

On the Mac, I’ve configured a smart folder in Finder.

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This is EXACTLY what I had I mind. Thank you for the mockup!

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