Pages go blank

I have been Scrivener for some years now and I think I have a minor bug to report:

Occasionally, and it is occasional, I will click on a chapter folder in the binder or the manuscript folder for the novel I am working on with many full pages and the editing screen will appear as a single blank page. To get my typed text pages back I used to restart the program and everything would then appear as expected. Recently, I figured out that if that happens again what I need to do is click on the Group Mode button and the page in whatever mode clicked on is then activated.

So it would seem that the problem is that for some reason the program occasionally slips out of all 3 modes completely (moves into an alternate reality of no modes) and has to be clicked back into one of the three modes.

It is not a big problem as nothing is lost, just disconcerting to suddenly find that you cannot get back into your novel.


There is no “alternate reality” here. When viewing a folder, there are four modes, not three:

  1. Scrivenings mode (view the folder and its subdocuments all as one long text): left button on.
  2. Corkboard mode (view the folder’s subdocuments on the corkboard): middle button on.
  3. Outliner mode (view the folder’s subdocuments on the outliner): right button on.
  4. Editor mode (view the folder’s text on its own in the editor): no buttons on.

To me, it just sounds as though you have turned one of the buttons off to switch to editor mode. That would look blank if your folder has no text in it. Remember that folders are just text documents, but with a different icon and opening in “Group Mode” by default. (This is all covered in “Step 7” of the interactive tutorial.)

Hope that helps.

All the best,

The manuscript folder has 95,000 words in it divided into chapter folders with roughly 5 to 6,000 words each. I have no folders with no text.

I was working with a split view with the text I was editing in the lefthand window and then wanted to check something in another chapter and view it in the righthand window which already showed a document in page mode. I clicked the chapter folder in the binder and it appeared blank (as previously described) then I clicked on the manuscript folder to see if I could access the text that way, but that also showed up blank. I did not click on anything other than the folders to cause a change in mode.

When the blank page appeared it did not show as one endlessly scrolling sheet, but as a single page with a black margin as it does for page by page mode, but with the single page as blank. I could not scroll down to text or go beyond the one blank page.

If nobody else has had that experience then I guess it is not an issue as it is easily solved with no text lost. But it is not the first time it has happened to me, though only very occasionally before.

The view mode for single documents and for group documents is saved separately. So, if you were viewing a single document in the left-hand window, and then clicked on a folder, and some time before that you had switched to single editor mode for the group mode (or caught the keyboard shortcut by mistake), then when you switched to group view you would be in single document mode.

Hmm, to me, it still sounds as though you haven’t quite understood the nature of the four view modes. To repeat: a folder is just a special type of text document. What is the folder’s icon like? Is it just a blue folder? If so, that indicates it is a folder with no textual content. In that case, when viewed in single document mode, it would indeed be a blank page, because it has got nothing in it. It may have subdocuments that have text in them (which you see in scrivenings mode, or as cards or rows in corkboard or outliner mode), but it has no text of its own. So, in scrivenings mode, you see all the text of its subdocuments. In single document mode (when nothing is selected in the Group Mode toolbar control), it will appear blank. You could click into it and type (in which case the icon would change to show that the folder itself has some text associated with it.

You can freely convert between text and folder documents (Documents > Convert), because they are exactly the same thing. Folders can contain text in exactly the same ways as text documents. Text documents can have subdocuments in the same way as folders. The only difference is their icons, and the mode they open in by default. Again, I recommend refreshing your memory of the tutorial here.

If there is a bug here, then it is only that, somehow, the view mode has changed without you expecting it to. I’d need more information on that, so, next time it happens, please see if you can find any steps that cause it to happen every time and let me know.