Recommended Rules for New Version

Here are a few simple rules that I recommend you follow for the next version:

1. Make all functions available from the menu. Here’s an example of how not following this rule made me waste an hour:

I remembered that I could adjust the width of the index cards, but I couldn’t remember how to do it. That should have been in the Tools/Options dialog, but it was not (see rule 2). I went through every menu option, but couldn’t find it. I searched the manual for resize, but found nothing relevant.

Some Googling told me there was a Corkboard Options dialog for doing this, but I couldn’t find it. View/Corkboard Options did not display that dialog.

Imagine my frustration. I finally found a post somewhere that told me to click the tiny button at the lower right of the corkboard window, which is not always available.

Why make new users and even experienced users go through this. This is why S gets the reputation of being hard to use. Imagine if Tools/Options got the user to the correct place.

2. Put ALL option in Tools/Options. Seems obvious, but some are hidden in the View menu, the Documents window, the Format menu, and even the Window menu.

3. Make all functions available through the keyboard. That means that all dialog boxes should have a shortcut key associated with each control. This is important because it allows advanced users to fix deficiencies in Scrivener by writing a keyboard macro.

For example, I have a “Find” macro that moves the find dialog over the side rather than leaving it in the center where it’s likely to cover the text it finds. However, my macro fails sometimes because it can’t reliably move between the controls via the keyboard.

4. Have a help system for which searching works, or at least have a highly-granular index. I’d have saved a lot of time if a search such as “Resize cards” had been productive in suggestion one.

Those suggestions shouldn’t be difficult to implement, and could result in fewer new users giving up and going back to Microsoft Word.