Options: close button = minimize (Win)

I would be very convenient to get an option, which would force the “Close” button to behave as a minimize.

Where are you trying to minimize that you can’t just use the standard minimize button to do this? It’s already on our list to look into allowing the New Project window to minimize to the task bar.

I can use and I do use it. But it would be much better for me to use “close” button for that purpose.

Scrivener is not a “open dozens of windows, whose average life is a few minutes” type of program. Scrivener is a “global program”, which is used fully, maximized and in only one or two instances at the time.

I am multitasking a lot. And I am very fast at using the computer. I am extremely efficient doing things (and that’s why I love Scrivener). Even a second’s inefficiency bothers me, especially if I must do it constantly.

Usage scenario: A lot of programs at the same time. Some are maximized (like Scrivener), some are taking only the strategic part of the screen. I jump between different programs, especially when doing research, adding new info, checking the information, browsing my files, checking the picture and video references, etc.

Optimally the usage would look like this: I do my thing while Scrivener is minimized. When needed I click a key-combination or the Scrivener task from the task bar. I do my thing in Scrivener, press key-combination or just throw the mouse cursor somewhere at the upper right corner and press the key without watching, minimizing Scrivener and returning to my other things.

Now I need to watch where my cursor lands and be careful of not closing the program. It takes two more seconds, which is kinda a lot if you do it constantly and if you know what it takes to make it more efficient.

Granted, it’s not a “great flaw” or anything. It’s only a minor thing, that wouldn’t harm anybody, and that would benefit some amount of people including myself. And that would be easy and fast to implement.

P.S. btw. here is another feature request: a system global key that would minimize Scrivener and bring ti back.

Ah, I see. I’d try using the access keys for this–Space+Alt will bring the system menu, and then N to minimize. Alt-Tab to cycle through the open programs and choose Scrivener, which will restore it if it’s been minimized. It’s not likely we’d ever change the behaviour of the close button, as that would be rather non-standard for the sort of window projects are, but with the above keyboard shortcuts you can skip around through different programs quite quickly, and the benefit is that since they’re Windows shortcuts, you can use them in any program rather than needing to memorise different sets for different programs.

I know about the shortcuts and I am using them as much as I can.

Alt-Space + N is inconvenient. That’s why I use my own combinations to maximize/minimize with the AutoHotkey program. But it doesn’t really fix the problem/inconvenience if I want to do something with mouse only. Now I can do it, but it takes a bit too much time. I wouldn’t bother writing my opinion for some other who-cares-software, but I really like Scrivener and your approach at doing things as efficiently and hassle-free as possible.

I am not asking to change the default behaviour. I am simply asking to add the option. And not some strange option only I want. There are a lot of programs that provide this kind of behaviour and there are a lot users that (would) use this kind of option.

There are three holy grails of Windows programs in terms of changing the Windows behaviour:

  • “Minimize to tray”
  • “Close button minimizes”
  • “Close button minimizes to tray”

Obviously, not all three are necessarily needed, especially if no tray functionality is there (yet). But it would be nice to have at least the “Close button minimizes” functionality.

I don’t know how actively you use Windows and how much attention you have paid to this issue, but I can assure you that this “programs have a way to modify close and minimize buttons’ standard behaviour” is much more wide-spread that you might think.

If interested, you can always google “Minimize To Tray”, “Close To Tray” and similar queries, to see how many millions of people are interested in such a functionality.

Of all the programs I use on the daily basis there are only a few that don’t support any kind of described functionality (either directly or via addons).

Here is a list of the programs that don’t have the support: Photoshop, Media Player Classic, LibreOffice, Scrivener.

Here is the list of programs that do have a support: Steam (all my games), Leadertask, µtorrent, Autohotkey, Skype, F-secure, Thunderbird (e-mail), Chrome (here I don’t use this functionality, but it’s still there if I need to).

So actually the majority of the applications I use, do have some kind of non-standard support.

And as a programmer myself I know, that the programming wouldn’t take much time:

  • the small code to enable/disable this option, which is even a more trivial task.

Please, really consider implementing this improvement! Pretty please, please!.. :mrgreen:

Thank you for consideration!


  • would benefit a lot of people
  • easy to implement
  • doesn’t hurt anybody (no need to change any default settings)

I think you are rather over-stating the case here. While it is true that this behaviour exists in some Windows programs, it is definitely not the norm you are attempting to portray it as - and it is definitely not the norm for programs that deal with documents. I’ve only ever seen this behaviour for programs that are intended to run in the background while other programs are the focus. Steam minimises to the system tray on close because it needs to remain open for any of your steam games to operate, torrent programs because they rarely require user interaction once the torrent is added and programs such as autohotkey and speed fan for configuration purposes and so that the processes can be ended. That is, it’s there for programs that actively run in the background.

Document based programs such as the Adobe suite, Word (and the entire Microsoft Office suite), Wordpad, Open Office, iTunes, VLC, Bryce, Daz 3d, Campaign Cartographer, et al. where the program is built around the idea of interaction with the interface while being the active program all follow the standard practice of the close button, y’know, closing the program. Scrivener falls into this category, as far as I can tell.

The only exception to this I’ve noticed is chat programs, where the close button on the contact list will minimise or minimise to tray to prevent you being signed out, but the close button functions normally on the actual chat windows themselves.

I can see close to minimise/minimise to system tray working for the scratch pad (which may be what you want to look into if you spend a lot of time switching between programs and often want to copy+paste back to Scriv or just jot down ideas) but it would very be a break from how Windows works for the actual main body of the Scriv program to behave this way.

Just my opinion as another Scriv user, of course, but then I also think that the .5 seconds to hit alt + tab is a lot faster than moving my mouse all the way up to the screen corner to hit the button (and then move it again to pick the next program I want to open). I can even do it without taking my hand off the mouse - my left hand is perfectly capable of hitting keys while my right holds the mouse. :wink:

Also, laughing at the idea that Jen doesn’t use Windows actively or pay attention to these issues. So much laughing. (Not at you, OP, since I don’t think you hang around these forums that much, just at the idea itself.)

I think it depends on your perspective. I gave the list on programs that I use on daily basis. The majority of them do support non-standard behaviour of the close/minimize buttons. It may very well be that you don’t use these programs. Or that this issue is not important to you and you don’t use it. But I can assure that that it’s important to me and many other people.

Not “I need this feature to operate, otherwise screw you guys, I’m going home to cry and I also demand my money back!” kind of important :unamused: , but pretty neat to have.

And just the opposite, I tried from the start not to over-state the importance of this issue. I mean, if I have to choose, I would definitely prefer to have “custom paste and match style” feature ( viewtopic.php?f=4&t=22192&start=0 ) than the feature(s) I describe in this topic. But these are not inter-dependent topics and the decision on their implementation (or lack of) is made separately. Additionally, this feature is very easy to do, has benefits (to me and other people) and has hardly any disadvantages. That’s why I think my case has a ground and I am here to explain my position. I wouldn’t spend this much time if I didn’t think it (both the feature and stating my case) is worth it. :slight_smile:

Let me state my case.

First of all, let’s make clear, that one wrong doesn’t make another wrong - right. In other words, the fact that some of the programs you mentioned don’t have the option, doesn’t mean it’s good. After all, Scrivener doesn’t have it neither, and I still claim it should have. The same thing applies to other programs.

Conversely, not all programs require this option. No program will become worse because of this option, but in some cases the benefit is not nearly as big as in others.

So let’s talk theoretically. Let’s try to figure out some kind of concept, some kind of rules which would help us to determine how important this option is for a particular program.

Some of the characteristics of the program that would benefit from the option (in random order):
1. Is best used when full-screen/maximized. :
a) Because of the time is spent in the program. The more complex the interface, the more attention the program needs etc.
b) Because of the increased speed. The amount of effort to locate and press minimize or close buttons on some non-maximized window is roughly the same. But if the program is maximixed, the close button is right there (just throw the accelerated mouse cursor somewhere in the upper right corner and press a button) and the minimize button is “far away” (needs fine motor skills :slight_smile: ). That’s the reason why the four corners of the screen are the most important ones in terms of usability. And that’s why at the time Microsoft did a very stupid mistake by moving Start-button a couple pixels away from the bottom left corner, just enough to not being able to access it by throwing the mouse cursor in the corner and clicking.
Unlike many other programs Scrivener should definitely be used maximized or in the full-screen mode.
2. Is opened and closed very rarely. Is minimized/returned/maximized much more often. This is probably the most important part. The close-button has the base place and is much easier to press. So it’s all about whether or not the user usually wants to close the program or to keep it minimized. It’s about the ratio between these wants. Obviously, even if the user minimizes the program twice as often as he closes it, it’s not worth it to change the default behaviour. But for me the ratio is at least 50-to-1. That is, I always keep Scrivener in the background and close it basically only by accident. And yeah, my computer is usually up and running without restarts for months at the time (so the number 50 is extremely downplayed).
3. Is used in conjunction with other programs, preferably with many programs and not only one.
4. Does something active constantly, even when minimized. In my opinion this is simply a knock-off of the number two on my list. I thing that it’s not really about the background activity of the program itself. It’s much more about whether or not the user wants to close the program or to keep it minimized.

Some real-world examples (FE = feature exists, meaning that it should be enabled by default ; FA = feature absent, doesn’t hurt to have it either, but definitely shouldn’t be enabled by default) with my opinions (based on how I use this software).

File folders should be FA because there is at least a few folders at the time (and files are constantly copied between them), they take only a small amount of space and they are opened and close far more often than they are minimized.

Notepad should be FA, because it’s usually used non-maximized, to see some file, to edit it fast, to copy some strings and such. But then again a software like Notepad++, which opens all files in the same window and uses tabs, should be FE.

Same goes with a .pdf reader. If all .pdf files are open separately, then it should be FA. If all files are open in the same window like in Foxit pdf reader, then it should be FE.

VLC and other video players should be FA, because they are hardly ever minimized - the whole point of using them disappears. At the same time, it truly bothers me that some of the music players are still not FE, even though it makes a lot of sense.

Bryce, Maya, 3D Studio Max - FA, because one starts these programs and just starts working, without doing much switching.

Photoshop. Kinda depends on the person and the usage. Probably FA.

Browser. When there were no tabs, the answer was easy - FA. Now, with many tabs, it’s probably FE. Again, depends on how one uses the browser.

Open Office/Libre Office. Kinda depends on the person and the usage. For example I use text editor in window mode, but spreadsheet and presentation-maker in full-screen. There is definitely a need for this option, but I wouldn’t enable it by default.

I don’t know how you use Scrivener, but based on my usage, Scrivener really screams to me FE. And I am not even suggesting to enable this feature by default. I simply would really like to have the possibility to enable it separately.

Did I make a good enough case? :slight_smile:

The information I paste into Scrivener is totally different (in meaning, in size, in context, in form), so the Scratch Pad is not good enough. Also if I see something interesting and relevant I want to add to Scrivener, I prefer to do the initial categorization from the very beginning. Some is going straight to some old chapter, some are used as a base for a new chapter, some is going as a reference article to the research folder, some is pasted into old article (e.g. “random ideas”, “smart remarks”, “possible video references”), some is going in the document as a comment, footnote, etc. I also prefer to do the initial editing as soon as possible (preferably at the same time I paste the info), which is why I need Scrivener to be maximized.

I don’t think you realize how my workflow works. :wink: It’s not the issue of switching between two programs. If that would be the case, then Alt-Tab or simple click on the non-active program would indeed be quite enough.

It’s the issue of many programs (browser, another simple text editor, directories open and copying files, filemanagers, skype, videos playing, photos, etc) carefully and strategically placed on one screen. And Scrivener being alone on the screen, fully maximized. So if I switch from Scrivener to another program, then I really need to click every other program to see them on screen. Or I could simply minimize Scrivener, which is a much easier solution. But if I want to switch back to Scrivener, I can’t simply Alt-Tab my way back in 0.5sec. Because Alt-Tab would switch me between all the programs I have been using recently. So I either click Scrivener on the bottom of the screen or I press Alt and click Tab as many times as I need to go back.

There is also the issue of “requiring both mouse and keyboard to do stuff efficiently” vs “you can do stuff pretty efficiently even if you use only a keyboard or only a mouse”. Obviously one (as a program developer) should strive for the latter. I believe that this suggestion improves the program.
Also, laughing at the idea that Jen doesn’t use Windows actively or pay attention to these issues. So much laughing. (Not at you, OP, since I don’t think you hang around these forums that much, just at the idea itself.)
Scrivener started as a Mac program and I am not aware of how much team knows about Windows (especially because I have read that the team has only one Windows developer and I am not sure that MimeticMouton is the one). And even if they do use Windows constantly, it doesn’t mean that they use it in the same way as I do. “Ordinary people” (and even people with the same background as I have) use Windows very differently compared to how I use it.