Please add "prevent editing" ability

I use Scrivener extensively, and have some very large projects on the go with masses of reference material all stored within Scrivener.

I often get frustrated when referring to finished material I have already created … it’s too easy to inadvertently cut or edit something that you now want to lock in stone. TextEdit has a command to prevent editing that overcomes that problem. DevonThink has the ability to “lock” or “unlock” the page to prevent editing and accidental delation. And very useful it is too.

I have long wished for something similar in Scrivener. I can’t imagine it would be a major task to add it. Any chance, Keith?

Can’t you just use “Take Snapshot”? That will lock a version of the text in stone, so that you can return to that version at any time.
All the best,

Actually I think this is a good idea. The idea is that the piece is “finished”, hence frozen, but you don’t want to make and changes of any nature to it. Think read only variable. My first thought was 'just print as PDF" but then you can’t include the piece in the drafts section for later export.

So maybe we can have a “locked” option over there -> in the inspector? Please? :wink:

You see a feature; I see support queries along the lines of “WHY CAN’T I EDIT MY DOCUMENT?!”. :slight_smile: I think it’s potentially confusing when working in a multi-document environment. I may reconsider post-2.0, though, who knows.

All the best,

Never underestimate the ability of vic-k to get confused. I hear you there.

Just as a “nearly impossible to code” implementation idea (notice I make no assumption about the ease of this), might it be possible to tint the background a tad to indicate that the document is locked? That would lesson the ambiguity and allow idiots like me to provide a bit of user relief.

And certainly NOT a 1.x feature. Just a suggestion about a possible nicety.

That would definitely be possible. Snapshot backgrounds get tinted in 2.0 when they are displayed in the main editor, and they are uneditable. So I may consider it for the future, but I don’t know - given that Scrivener is about first drafts, locking documents seems a little antithetical to its philosophy, and as I say, you can effectively lock a document already by taking a snapshot of it.


Is the locked snapshot visible in edit scrivenings?

Here is the workflow I envision where this is useful.

I work on a bunch of stuff. I get a couple of docs “perfect” relative to the current vision. There are a few other scenes, maybe dialog, that needs worked. The “prefect” stuff is sandwiched between 2 sections that need work. In an effort to keep the flow of the overall scene working I want to work in an edit screenings session.

In this scenario, having the middle doc locked will allow me to focus on the sections that I want to edit as well as protect the area that I feel is “prefect”. If I later determine that I want to edit the no longer “perfect” section I need to unlock it (I envision a checkbox in the inspector).

Again, just an idea. Feel free to lock me out of the forums for a day or so.

No, you can’t view the snapshot in Edit Scrivenings. In fact, Edit Scrivenings is a good reason for not adding the locked feature, because it would make things even less obvious. The best way of locking a document is just to set the text view to be uneditable. But in E.S., some texts would be editable and others wouldn’t. You can prevent editing by intercepting typing - easy enough and supported, and that is what I do when the user tries to edit an E.S. boundary - but I don’t think it would be pretty. I’d just be setting myself up for support requests…


Consider me chastised.

Eh? Chastised? Was my tone wrong or something because I certainly didn’t mean it that way!

No. Just being me. I like to keep you on your toes.

“The best way to lock a document is to set the text view to be uneditable.”

Unless I’m misreading this, are you saying this is an option currently available? If so, how do you set a text view to be uneditable? I can’t seem to figure this out, but I’m not sure if you’re talking about a not yet implemented imaginary feature…

He was talking about the best way to implement that sort of feature from a coding standpoint, and why that wouldn’t work well for Scrivenings.

The way to do this is with snapshots, as Keith said. You can load snapshots into the editor by dragging the snapshot title from the inspector pane to the editor header, and they are read-only. (But they’re still not visible as part of a Scrivenings mode.)

OK, that’s what I thought.

While I hate to make a tired request for a feature that has already been rejected as unworkable, I too would love to be able to lock documents, at least in the research folder. I throw a bunch of documents in there (in my case, legal opinions) and I don’t want to change them. But as I move deftly and not so deftly among the various panes in Scrivener, I sometimes make changes in document A, when I meant to make them in document B.

As it is, each time I put a court case in research, I try to take a snapshot of it, in case I inadvertently modify it… I guess that’s the only way to handle this.

ah, well, just thinking aloud.

Thanks for your answer.

Not to beat a dead horse but I’d love to see a version of this feature, for an entirely different purpose.

When I write, I am often tempted to scroll up and edit the previous day’s work, tweaking wording and playing the perfectionist when I should be churning out new manuscript. One method of writing that has helped is to write by posts on a private forum thread, because when I’m working on a ‘reply’ to what I wrote the day before, I can’t edit what I wrote before (without deliberately leaving the reply I am typing and clicking ‘Edit Post’).

So a feature where you could either lock individual documents within your manuscript or select text within a document and ‘lock it from editing’, would be immensely appreciated in Scrivener. It could be disabled by default, so that those not specifically wishing to use it would never accidentally lock text. And I agree that shading the background behind locked text as a visual indicator would be very useful.

I don’t know how much coding this would take or if you think it would be worth it–but hey, it can’t hurt to ask, right? :smiley:

I’d like to join with Unhinged Scribe in my reasons for wishing to see the same feature.

When I write by hand (yes, with an old-fashioned notebook and pen) I can do very little in the way of editing and just get on with writing the story. I find things flow much better and when I spend time thinking I think constructively and then carry on writing. When I type - and get to a natural pause and need to think - it is much easier to go back over what I have just written and before I know it I am editing instead of writing. One of the distractions we writers suffer along with surfing the internet or doing the ironing instead of writing.

I guess the same could be said of using a typewriter - you can’t do much editing on one and just carry on bashing away at the keys and getting on with your story. So productivity is the key here (see what I did?). An inability to edit equals more words on the page.

Perhaps if there was the choice to ‘lock’ the document and only be able to edit once you have typed a chosen number of words (say, 1500 or 500 - the choice would be mine) I could get on with writing with less distractions. This mode would be much appreciated.

I’m not sure I’m putting myself across very well but I hope you get the jist of what I’m trying to say.

Scrivener is a wonderful tool and I love using it for all sorts of reasons. I wouldn’t change it for the world - apart from this one little request :smiley: