Proper way to Select an Editor Window Without Losing Previous Selection

Assume I have two editors open in split mode side-by-side. I select text in the left editor, then click inside the right editor to make some changes. The selected text in the left editor remains highlighted. However, when I click back inside the left editor, the cursor goes to wherever I click and my selected text is no longer selected.

Perhaps I’m doing something wrong. How can I return to the previous editor while retaining the selected text (preferably with a mouse)?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer.


if the scrollbar is visible (meaning that your text is long enough to justify it being present), you can click on its handle.
Or right click anywhere in the text + esc.
You could also make the paragraph numbers visible (Alt+Shft+E) and click there instead.

If you prefer the shortcuts :
(I never use those shortcuts. I much prefer to do it the way I just described – same result, but all mouse, nothing to be memorized.)

Thanks for the quick feedback V_V;

The scrollbar solution does not work for me. Clicking anywhere in the scrollbar for the left editor (in my example) does not move the cursor from the right editor.

The right-click+esc works. It’s kludgy, but it works. I’m lazy and that seems like a lot of effort just to bounce back and forth between editors.

Thanks for KB shortcuts. I use Ctrl-[ and Ctrl-] for moving backward and forward between docs in an editor. The Win version will be easy to remember. That means I have to drop the mouse, however, since my fingers can’t quite stretch from Win to the square brackets. Ah, well… I guess it won’t hurt me to burn another 0.07 calories.

I’d love to see a different KB shortcut using Ctrl-Tab and Shift-Ctrl-Tab to switch between windows like certain browsers (and a few other apps). Or any shortcut that can be performed easily with only the left hand (and configurable for the right hand for left-doms).

Best Regards,

Scrivener’s shortcuts are reconfigurable.
You can make them be what you want them to be.


. . . . . . . . . . .

Are you clicking the scrollbar handle of the destination editor ?

Re: scrollbar… It doesn’t matter where I click in the destination editor scrollbar. It doesn’t move the cursor. I can scroll up and down in the left window, but the focus remains in the right window. Does it work that way for you? What happens when you type after you’ve clicked on the scrollbar?

Re: shortcuts… Yeah I thought about that. My vision is to be able to switch between all elements of the Scrivener interface, from Binder to Editors to Inspector then to Binder, back and forth. I haven’t seen an option for that. It’s not critical, but would be convenient.


The focus moves to the editor of which I clicked the scrollbar handle. The cursor being where I left it, or the selection of text being preserved.
I can type normally (or do whatever I want), as if I had never switched editors in the first place.

Well, this is interesting…

For me, I can click on the scroll bar of the binder and the inspector and the focus goes to those elements.

However, clicking on the scrollbar of either editor does not place the focus in that window. It doesn’t matter whether I’m trying to move from one editor to the other, or from the binder or inspector to an editor. The scroll bars on the editors do not affect focus.

I’m on Scriv version (1463331) 64-bit and have all current Win10 Home updates for 21H1. 21H2 is available. I’m wondering if it’s something related to that.


Can I please see a screenshot with your split editors ?
Doesn’t need to contain text.

However, clicking on the scrollbar of either editor does not place the focus in that window. It doesn’t matter whether I’m trying to move from one editor to the other, or from the binder or inspector to an editor. The scroll bars on the editors do not affect focus.

I find the same thing. When in Editor A, clicking in editor B’s scroll bar (either in the track or on the handle) will let you change the scroll position of B, but it does not change the actual focus – Editor A remains in focus, and still receives typed text.

Here is what I get :

Then I click the scrollbar handle of editor #2

…and just type away.

Works in both directions.

Here are my screenshots…
UPPERCASE text in Scene 1

Move to (click in) Scene 2 and type lowercase text

Click on vertical scroll bar between them (for Scene 1) and type in UPPERCASE

Text appears in Scene 2.

Note that previous discussions were referencing a Scriv for Win V1 document that was converted to V3. This is an entirely new document, in case the problem was related to vestiges from the older version.

The folder with the new doc is attached below. Perhaps this works different on your machine. (726.6 KB)

Thanks for your patience and interest in this issue.

Best Regards,

Also, note that Scene 2 is still selected (title bar highighted) after clicking on the toolbar in the third screenshot.

Also, the first screenshot was taken after I clicked in Scene 2. That’s why the title bar is highlighted incorrectly there.


First thing I notice from your screenshots is that your “unsplit” icon is wrong :
It should have been this :

Perhaps the alt key is involved in you taking a screenshot ? Otherwise, it shouldn’t be this icon.

Secondly, I can see that your scrollbars have no handles. Probably you have a setting ticked somewhere to always show the scrollbar, and then perhaps it is unresponsive, in this case the text being too short to justify it, and therefor the scrollbar being only visually represented – a proxy ?
→ It is obvious, by your third screenshot, that the focus never went back to the left editor.

See how a short document doesn’t get to have a scrollbar on my end :

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hit Alt+Shft+E, and try using the vertical bar that should appear on the left side of your editors instead… (You can see it in the above screenshot, with the numbering – left side of the editors.)

→ Does that work ?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Or, ultimately, you could just resort on using right click +esc. It is not that complicated, and it has the advantage of working even when the text is too short to have a scrollbar…

→ A precision (in case you or someone else is wondering) :
The blue document’s title header is not focus… it is to which editor a binder selection will be opened to. The focus indicator is the darker blue line at the bottom of the editor’s header.
You can see them clearly apart from one another here :
Focus is on the right editor ; binder selection will show in the left editor.

1 Like

Sorry if this has already been mentioned upthread, as I’ve only been skimming this thread–

Continually pressing Win+Alt+E will continually navigate between Binder to L Editor to R Editor to Binder, etc. If your fingers aren’t too large, you should be able to do this all with left hand, so right hand shouldn’t have to leave the mouse. :smiley: This shortcut is found under Navigate > Move Focus To.

Win+Alt+I will navigate to the Inspector Synopsis. Additional Inspector shortcuts are found under Navigate > Inspector.



Oddly named in the menu (not really descriptive of this cycling behavior), but a good solution here nonetheless. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info on Win-Alt-E. I can twist my fingers around and get to that. Win-Alt-I is out of the question for one hand. Also thanks for the info on the blue shading vs blue line for focus.

The unsplit icon switches to the upper-lower split when you press Alt. That shows that if I click on it, the split wiil switch to upper-lower. If it’s upper-lower and I press Alt, it changes to a side-by-side icon. You’re right, when I do the Alt-Prtscrn that changes it.

I think we’re good here. I’ll work with the Win-Alt-E and try to get used to that. I may change it to Ctrl-Tab, which is both easier and quasi-standardized.

Thanks for all your time and expertise.


I also change that shortcut to Ctrl+Tab, by the way, as I find Win-Alt-E to be way too cumbersome for something I do many dozens of times per day (especially with how it is a bit buggy about keeping focus in the place you left it when doing certain things, like history Back/Forward). Ctrl-Tab is very natural, makes sense, and is how a lot of other split-pane style software works. Honestly I don’t know why they changed it from that, as that was the default in v1.


What a great idea!

While the menu item is not explicit, it will change based on where Scivener’s focus is at the moment. So if focus is in the binder, the Move Focus To item will read “Left Editor”. If focus is in left Editor, the item will read “Right Editor”, etc. So the cycling is implied, if you happen to notice that the menu item is changing. :nerd_face:

File > Options > Keyboard calls this option Move Focus To > “Supporting Editor”, which I guess is also misleadingly vague and a missed opportunity to call out the cycling aspect. In v1.9 the option was called “Focus Next Major Element”–to me that was a more revealing name.


Yes, the documentation refers to this command as “Rotate through main views”, and is described as:

This menu command rotates through the three most common areas of desired focus: the two editor splits and the binder. It will cycle between these three going left to right, and the label of this menu item will be changed to indicate where the next target will be.

I could see an argument for this not being the best place to use a dynamic menu label. It does make a lot more sense in cases like Navigate ▸ Move Focus to ▸ Left Editor or to Top Editor as the case may be, or with Navigate ▸ Open ▸ in Left Editor (where before I think it used generic “Supporting Editor” vs “Main Editor”, which required you to know what that concept means, in a program that doesn’t really even distinguish between the two splits in any functional way that would credit one as being “supporting” to another.

Why not simply name it something the like of “cycle focus to binder - editor(s)”