Panes not updating as I'd expect -- a little confused

I’m having a little trouble getting Scrivener to update different panes the way I’d like – not sure if I’m doing something wrong, or if what I’d like to happen isn’t something Scrivener does. Maybe I don’t have my preferences set up properly. Any thoughts are appreciated. I’m using Scrivener 2.2 on Mac OSX Lion 10.7.2.

I use a 4-column approach: Binder, Left Editor, Right Editor, Inspector (to see Synopsis card). I find that the Right Editor’s contents don’t update as I’d expect. I have my project under Drafts organized as a set of Folders, with each folder having a few text documents. The Left Editor is in Outline View, the Right Editor is in “text” view. The Left Editor has “automatically open selection in other editor” selected.

When I select a Folder (under Drafts), the Left editor displays all the text documents in that folder in outline view (what I’d expect). The particular document selected in the Left Editor is the last one I visited in that folder, which also has its Synopsis displayed in the Inspector. But the document in the Right Editor doesn’t change to match the document selected in the Left Editor. I have to switch to another document in the Left Editor, and then back to the one that was originally selected to get the text document to appear in the right editor.

Question: When I select a folder (underneath Drafts) in the binder (causing its text documents to display in the left editor in outline view), is there a way to get the right editor to always show the text for the document that’s selected in the left editor (when the left editor has “automatically open…” selected)? Essentially, I’d like the right editor to [always] show the document that’s selected in the left editor, and the synopsis in the inspector to show that document’s synopsis. If there is nothing selected in the left editor, then I’d like the right editor and the synopsis to apply to the folder whose documents are shown in the left editor (i.e., what’s selected in the binder).

Perhaps another way to put this – Is there a way to get the right editor and the Inspector’s synopsis to apply to the same thing, all the time? The synopsis tracks the way I’d expect; the right editor doesn’t.

Thanks, much.


No, the editor will only change documents when you manually select something - this is intended behaviour, as it could be annoying otherwise. For instance, suppose you have a document open in the right editor and then flick through folders in the binder to open things in the left editor, looking for something you want to refer to. As it is, you can do that and keep the document on the right open, and then return to the original outline once you’ve looked something up.

I admit, it’s a bit of an arbitrary decision, and in “selection affects” mode there are arguments both ways. I think in general, however, that it’s better for the selection to have to be manual, as this way user intention is guaranteed.

All the best,

I see. I think I misunderstood the behavior of the “automatically open selection…” setting. I thought it meant that whatever item was highlighted (selected) in one editor was opened in the other editor, when it’s actually triggered by the user making a selection. This was confusing to me (I think the intention is that “selection” is a verb and I was thinking it was a noun). I have several folders with text documents named the same thing (like “Introduction”), and I’ve actually made mistakes because I thought the “Introduction” document in the right editor was a document in the folder being displayed in outline mode in the left editor – but in fact, it was the “Introduction” document from the folder I was visiting previously. I think you can see why I got confused.

May I suggest a future feature that adds a third state to the “automatically open selection in other editor” setting: (1) Don’t affect the other editor; (2) Load the other editor when the user makes a selection in the current editor; (3) Load the other editor based on the highlighted item in the current editor-- however that item comes to be highlighted. I think the only difference in behavior between 2 & 3 would be what happens when the contents of the left editor are loaded based on a user action that takes place outside that editor (as in a selection in the binder).

Or, perhaps change the behavior of “automatically open…” to be like #3, and provide a way to lock the editor to avoid any updates due to navigation or browsing.

In any event, I now understand how things work, so that solves the mystery for me. Thanks.

You might want to try the View>Editor>Lock in Place command. I’m not sure it does what you want, but worth a look.


Thanks, Katherine. But actually, I was looking for a way to make the updating in the [right] editor be more aggressive, so that the [right] editor always updates based on what’s highlighted in the [left] editor (not just based on a user action in the [left] editor). I think what you’re suggesting accomplishes what Keith mentioned, regarding being able to browse without having the editor’s contents update.

I think I can accomplish what I was wanting to do with a couple extra clicks when I change to a different folder in the binder. I just need to be more careful when I want to edit a document that doesn’t have a unique name.