Preset alternative toolbars/layouts for different writing and editing tasks

I was looking for help on a different question (toolbar button for Revision Mode) and AmberV commented that the toolbar is already very busy.
Maybe the solution is to offer different toolbars for different parts of the writing process. I often think that Scrivener is the writing equivalent of Photoshop or Indesign, and Adobe already does something similar with InDesign/Photoshop etc. You have the Essentials setup with one set of toolbars and menus, but there’s also a Photography setup or an Animation setup which bring different menus and toolbars etc to the fore.
Scrivener could have First Draft setup which is focused on pure writing, Non-Fiction setup with things like tables and reference tools, Editing setup with strikethrough and revision, a Proofing setup that includes preset regular expression, and maybe a Pre-Compile setup that focuses on things like text styles.
Could this be a way to overcome feature overload and help people find the features they need?

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Would saving layouts work for you?

This is not a feature I use often, so I don’t know how deep the layout can go, but it certainly works for saving the overall view of your working window - binder, editor, Inspector, split views etc.

Adobe is a mammoth company with an army of developers/coders; Scrivener for Mac is developed/coded by one man, KB (Scrivener for Windows by two).

The comparison doesn’t compute.



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I actually like this idea a lot. Why only a Main Toolbar and a Format Toolbar? If we could create a custom Toolbar that would also be interesting…

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It would be cool if the layout settings also captured the toolbars, so could have different tool sets for different layouts that serve different editing or writing functions.
I am not a programmer, but seems if can save the toolbar set up with preferences,(save options to a file) it might be possible to add to the layout “settings/preference” to create a unique enviornment of a specific layout and toolbar set up for a specific task.

It’s been a couple of years/updates since I last tried Layouts, but I remember not finding them very useful. Do they work well now? Do you use them frequently?

To stay on topic – I can see how being able to switch between pre-defined toolbars would be handy for some workflows. Early on, I did go through the trouble of setting up my toolbars to be “perfect”, but as I rely so heavily on shortcuts and menu options, these days I rarely click on a toolbar icon. For example, at some point I must have inadvertently disabled my formatting toolbar, but I didn’t even notice it was MIA until writing this post! :nerd_face:

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I have three set up for different Outline summaries, a Corkboard display of upcoming ideas–which I invariable tend not to use, such is the life of a pantser–and a back to Scrivenings default with the Binder and Inspector on their respective side. In Outlines, they tend to remember the level folders were open before and need to be adjusted with Alt+[ or Alt+] to expand or collapse levels. Not much trouble when you realise why some things look strange. Overall useful to display my post scene Synopsis and metadata.

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I rarely use layouts. I have a three monitor setup and use QRP’s a lot and use the toolbar rather than keyboard shortcuts. So being able to customize based on workflow would be great. To be honest with 27 inch monitor have room to put almost every toolbar icon I use on any regular basis.
Everyone gets their habits, but like to pay attention to picking up helpful tricks from others.


BlockquoteThe comparison doesn’t compute.

I’m aware that they’re vastly different enterprises but that doesn’t have anything to do with the idea (it just limits L&L’s resources to implement new ideas). I certainly wouldn’t wish for L&L to become a revenue-hungry behemoth like Adobe!

As far as I know, saved layouts don’t include the toolbar settings, or this would be a solution.

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I’m more interested in the Windows version of Scrivener dropping its squareness.
The Qt framework must have some commands to facilitate this, whether easily adaptable, I don’t know.
Windows 10 users might get upset, but that tech is nearing its end of support cycle by Microsoft in the next 18 months, which is by no means an indication that Scrivener 3 would stop functioning in its current state.

It’s called Themes. The Qt6 framework and Scrivener both support this. Creating a Windows Scrivener Theme you can give the Scrivener UI as much roundness as you like. Except for the Window itself. :wink:


I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the wish. But the thing is the feasibility of a single developer doing it.

It’s just that there are posts which say “Adobe have this” or “Word has this”, so “why doesn’t Scrivener have this?” But it comes down to feasability and man hours. Adobe, Microsoft, Apple can set a team of their developers to work on it, or even one developer out of their entire team… it has less impact on overall development. But if KB has to do it (and remember he’s also coder for Scrivener on Mac and iOS and for the new app, whatever that is, though I believe he might have someone helping with Scapple) all the rest stops.

For the Windows platform, there are fundamental facilities that we have on the Mac, mostly to do with Scrivenings like seamless editing across document boundaries and Page View (mentioned in a recent post) which the Windows guys haven’t yet solved. If I was a Windows-user, I’d want them to be working on those, rather than toolbar developments.

As Dogberry (Much Ado about Nothing) says: “Caparisons are odorous”. :grin:

But the wish is valid, and maybe it might be implemented in Scrivener 4, when KB and the others eventually get round to that.


Actually, anyone can do this himself, exactly as he wants. Every function that can be called up via a menu can be displayed in a “toolbar” that you create yourself and that is activated under certain conditions. This requires (for the mac) apps such as Keyboard Maestro or BetterTouchTool. :slightly_smiling_face:


@fto was too modest to link to their post doing this for Mac Scriv, so here it is. :innocent:

And here is my post, which provides something similar for Windows Scriv.