Prompt before deleting an item?

First, I apologize if this has been amply covered. I searched and couldn’t find it.

Second, I’m sure I’m using the wrong nomenclature. I’m just starting to heavily use Scrivener for the first time. Very cool app.

I had a sub-topic item listed in my binding area. Had just about finished writing it up then used my mouse to click on another item in the binding to view it, then clicked back on the item I was working on. Thought I had clicked back within the body of the document where I wanted to delete an entry of text and hit delete and to my mortification saw the entire document get deleted. When to undo the delete, no such functionality.

I was surprised and most disappointed that it would delete an entire document like this without prompting if it was OK, and that there is no undo function for it. It appears I’ve lost all that work. So I went to preferences thinking there must be a way to ask the app to prompt before deleting an entry from the binding panel. Couldn’t find that, either.

So now I’m paranoid that I’m going to put hours of work into something and with one errant keystroke, blow it away.

I must be missing something. This app is too well thought out for such an apparently glaring defect. Would appreciate any advice on how to approach this issue, thanks.

No worries! It just got moved to the trash. Just move it back to your binder and you’re good to go.
It’s all covered in the manual/faq/video. :smiley:


Deleted documents are moved to the Scrivener Trash (at the bottom of the Binder list). You must explicitly Empty the Trash to delete them permanently. You can drag a document out of the Trash back to the Draft folder.


thanks guys.

But isn’t there some way to modify this behavior? This seems like a navigation design defect. Before blowing away a document I should at least have the option of requesting a confirmation prompt. This is pretty standard behavior in virtually every other app I use.

To have neither the option for a prompt nor an Edit/Undo command seems to be a shortcoming that should be remedied.

I’m pretty happy with things as they are. I know the Trash safety net is there. So I know I’m not in danger of taking a final step that I can’t undo.



Because this gets a surprising number of reasons (none of whom seem to have noticed the parts drawing your attention to this in the tutorial, Help file and FAQ :slight_smile: ), the next version changes the shortcut to cmd-delete, the same as in the Finder, so it is less easy to do by mistake. There certainly isn’t going to be a confirmation panel, though, as that would be most annoying in my view, especially seeing as the document isn’t actually deleted. Hopefully the keyboard shortcut change should resolve the issue for the majority of cases (though I personally find the new keyboard shortcut more annoying than just hitting delete…).

As for whether it has been covered elsewhere:

A quick forum search on “delete” brings up the following topics on just the first couple of pages:

Are you sure you want to delete?

Un Delete?

Also, in the very first step of the Tutorial project, “Part 1: Basics”, “Step 1: Beginnings”, it says the following quite clearly:

(That sentence is emboldened in the original tutorial.)

The Help file says the same under the description of the Trash folder (which can be found if you search for “delete” in the Help file:

And finally, the FAQ, both in the Help file inside Scrivener and in the FAQ & Tips & Tricks section of the forum, has the answer to this question, too:

All of those are good sources to go to in order to find the answers to such questions - not that I mind answering them here too, mind, it’s just that this one comes up a lot more than I ever would have expected (hence the shortcut change). :slight_smile:

All the best,

Thanks Keith, and to all who posted.

I did go through the tutorial but there is so much information it’s impossible to take it all in.

I think Keith’s proposed alternative is OK, though I think it would be better handled by keeping the delete functionality the same but adding a preference setting to allow the user to keep it exactly as it is now or to be prompted before sending the document to the trash.

Just my 2 cents. Great application, have recommended it to literally hundreds of people.

I’d like to see the single-keystroke delete retained as well, as I cannot recall having ever accidentally deleted anything under the current system. But the added modifier key will not kill me, and is already somewhat of an unofficial standard on the Mac. Having a preference for confirmation dialogue boxes though—well that is a bit much for an application that already has so many choices. Put it this way: I’d rather a universal modifier key addition than yet another preference.

i just read of the command + delete to delete a document, but i cannot find a way to implement this.

i am working on v1.54. the reason that i bring this up is that i just discovered that my 10 month old son, who is obsessed with banging on dad’s keyboard, has deleted files in my book with out dad knowing about it and i have no idea when it was done. im sure i will discover other missing docs along the way. thank GOD i make weekly backups and was able to ‘recapture it.’

i would LOVE a prompt before deleting a file OR perhaps someone can tell me how to make the command + delete option work.

many thanks,


This discussion is pertaining to the next version of Scrivener. The current version still uses the single-key method to move items to the Trash.

Stress on that last phrase. :slight_smile:

The application never deleted files with a single keystroke. It always moved them to the Trash, which is no more destructive than moving it anywhere else in the Binder. You have to very intentionally empty the trash. So unless you did that, your files should still be in there.