rich ratzan's compiled wish list


I just spent a lovely morning and part of the afternoon reviewing S with your more than adequate tutorial (while listening to Talking Heads with a cigar and a glass of wine - painful I assure you but someone had to do this much-needed work :slight_smile:) . am very sorry i bothered you with some of my questions, not having read it, but i did not see it, having just dived (?dove) in right away

various suggestions/wish list items (i apologize if some of this has been mentioned in forum but i did not see that it has):

I would make clear that Edit Scrivenings is NOT the binder/editing view - which aparently does not have a separate button or even name, which I suggest you do - both: i would put a Editor button next to outliner and corkboard (and make it a keyboard shortcut, which you have for outliner and corkboard) And maybe make Edit Scrivenings another View option (so that there would be four: Editor (or some such name); Outliner, Corkboard, and Edit Scrivenings. It currently is fairly confusing - for me at least - how to get back to main editing window after leaving it via Search, or Outliner, or Corkboard. If I am doing something wrong, please tell me. I understand that one can navigate around somewhat with header bar but i would try to make it simpler with the goal to be minimal keystrokes.

is there a simple way to check non-contiguous files for Edit Scrivenings (ES hereafter)? i am sure one can re-arrange the files one wants to see in ES and then hit ES and later re-arrange back but that’s cumbersome. can you have the “Include in Export” also refer to inclusion in Edit Scrivenings group view? i have a feeling i am doing this wrong.

in conjunction with last item, is there a way to add a simple sort function on binder files and/or corkboard cards? that way, if one were able to number them in a non-permanent way, and then re-number them, one could sort rather than dragging. then hit ES and you’re off to a re-arranged text file. i once wrote a novel, decided i wanted to re-arrange chapters and, to save myself some trouble, cut and pasted them into large text field boxes in FileMaker, renumbered them and sorted. not fun but very efficient when one wants to rearrange multiple components of a greater text whole.

step 6: i’d make clear within this step that meta-data is bottom of Inspector

can one add a reference by manually cutting and pasting a text string, e.g., an url?

i could not get dragged and dropped url address icon to work

can you increase functionality of Add button to include an added Note with a prolonged hold on it?

Make an icon for sound file in corkboard, e.g., a treble clef

“Click on any document in the binder, and it will be shown in the document view that currently has the focus”
GOD BLESS YOU! this is wonderful!! SG and Ulysses already had split views but it was always problematic which file went where when you highlighted it. and dragging it to header bar works fine, but this is even better. since simpler.

can you tie Annotation feature to text-anchored Notes???

a tall list and i hope already answered or done, and i am sure some features, even if admittedly desirable, are a programmer’s nightmare to add now, but it is a wish list!!

have to use S more before deciding i prefer it to SG, which i have come to love, but am glad i took the time to give S a fair trial. it is so far superior to every other competitor that it is laughable, frankly.

i would humbly suggest you consider the option of going the route of the SubEthaEdit folks (i agree the line of products is not quite comparable): why not continue to work on SG, keeping original version free but charging for updates? i certainly would buy it (and S)

thanks again for all this work

for the first time in a long time, i get excited, not by writing, which i always did, but writing with the particular tool i am using.


Hi Richard,

Thanks for your feedback! Sounds like you had a pleasant morning…

A few users have made the same suggestion and have also complained that they find this set up confusing. However, I am loathe to change it because, although I admit that it has a learning curve and may confuse at first, I believe that once you are used to it this set up actually makes the most sense. Why? Well, consider:

If you have a separate Editor button, this will actually do nothing when the editor is visible. And having a toolbar item that does nothing when it is clicked on is both confusing and a waste of toolbar space. Currently, you turn the corkboard and outliner on by clicking on their icons, and clicking on the items again turns them off - the same way displaying the inspector works.

An alternative is to have the corkboard icon, for instance, turn into the editor icon when the corkboard is visible. But I have tried this and it is hideous. The editor icon could be in two different places - where the corkboard icon is or where the outliner icon is - depending on what mode you are in. Moreover, because the icons take up different widths, the toolbar jiggles around rather distractingly when switching between modes.

For these reasons I went with the current set up. You just have to get used to the idea that rather than going into editing mode, you are coming out of the mode you are in, so you just click the toggle button for that mode (or the shortcut to deactivate it).

If you select multiple and non-contiguous documents in the binder and click on the Edit Scrivenings icon, those non-contiguous documents can be viewed. Hold on the icon for half a second and a menu appears (also available via the View menu) which allows you to choose various options. For instance, you can click on a folder full of documents and choose only to edit scrivenings that are set to “Include in Export” (or not). Note that this option is only available when you click on a folder, as it makes no sense if you have a multiple selection where you would expect them all to appear.

A couple of options… If you want to sort permanently, there is a sort ascending and descending feature available in the Reorganise menu (operates only on a single level, though - ie. on the children of a selected group but not on any of their children). Or, you can run a search, sort the results, select what you want and call Edit Scrivenings. Note that you can’t sort outline views as that is very difficult to do in Cocoa because of all the subdocuments (whereas sorting a table view is a cinch).

I need to rewrite the tutorial, with pictures and all the bells and whistles, once I’m ready to launch Scrivener properly anyway. Thanks for the pointer, though.

Huh. No there isn’t - which was an oversight. For now, just create a dummy reference and then double-click and edit the URL manually. I’ve added the ability to add and type/paste a URL to the list of things to do.

This is a known bug in beta 1 which is fixed for beta 2.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you hold down the Add button, a menu appears that lets you choose whether to add a group, a document or a web page etc. Or do you mean the references add button? Could you explain a little more, please?

Sound files just get opened in QuickTime - so they have QuickTime icons in Scrivener. They are just recognised as QuickTime file types, in fact.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Not really sure what you mean by this. Probably not, though. :slight_smile:

Sorry, but this one is a definite “not gonna happen”, I’m afraid. :frowning: The SubEthaEdit folks are a whole team whereas I am just a lone gun (I like the sound of that, it makes it sound a lot more romantic than “geek with no team”). There is no way I can put development time into anything else at the moment. Moreover, to me, SG is dead - it is old-fashioned and S1 does (mostly) everything it did but better.

Anyway, thanks for all your kinds words about Scrivener, and taking the time to post your thoughts.

All the best,

I am definitely a fan of the new model. The quad-modal method used in SG was, for me, just a shade awkward at times, especially when it all got out of sync. I like how the new methods effect elements within the view, rather than replace the view with an entirely new interface.

Further, I have thought of the Corkboard and Outliner views as being overlays which temporarily obscure the editor. The toggled nature of them both is probably what seeded that. Perhaps, in the distant future, if this continues to be a problem for a percentage of people to readily conceptualise, some visual element could be introduced to reinforce the concept that the editor is a foundation, not a mode. Something like a page peel in the bottom right corner; or an animated effect that shows the toggled view wrapping down like a sheet of paper, and then back up when you are done.

This is exactly how I visualised it. And indeed, it would be nice to have the corkboard or outliner slide quickly into place over the editor, although that will be more of a 2.0 thing as it is visual rather than functional. I’ll wait until Leopard is out there and there are plenty examples of using Core Image. But this is exactly the way I think of these modes and why I like them as they are.


thanks for answers

caveat first: i am away from scrivener for weekend but here goes from memory (only 24 hours ago, but at 60 1/2, that could be 24 months ago!)

RMR Quote:
can you increase functionality of Add button to include an added Note with a prolonged hold on it?

I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you hold down the Add button, a menu appears that lets you choose whether to add a group, a document or a web page etc. Or do you mean the references add button? Could you explain a little more, please?


Sorry it wasn’t clear. When you hold the Add button down in prolonged mode, a drop down menu asks what you want to add. Can you add (sorry for unintended pun) “Note” to Add features? That would be great after having just annotated something.

RMR Quote:
can you tie Annotation feature to text-anchored Notes???

Not really sure what you mean by this. Probably not, though.

It would be great, as in Jer’s Novel Writer (I think; maybe Z-Writer??) to have text-anchored notes that stay connected, like a bookmark with text, to the site in the text file that prompted the note. I think you have addressed that in past but if not, it would be wonderful and wonderful-er (neologism - please note!) to tie Annotation feature to the textually anchored note. Sorry if still not clear.

Third: note of confusion:

I’ll have to investigate the toggle feature you and Amber mention. I am not aware of it. I hope that solves what for is the biggest drawback for me in S, i.e., how to get back to my text file in the document window after doing a search, using corkboard, outliner, et cet. There were moments yesterday when I honestly could not figure out how to do this and thought of closing and re-opening! So i truly hope it’s a simple as it sounds and I just missed this menu switch.

However, :slight_smile:, at this point I think we have to realize that, once I have S mastered, I still may prefer SG to S, which is why “de gustibus non disputandum est” exists in Latin. I realize S has more features including some I truly like, e.g., incredible export options, breath-taking full screen mode, and now state-of-art split screen modalities. On the other hand, since I am not a big synopsis/corkboard guy - and most of my outlining gets done once, before writing, and more for discursive academic writng, whereas I am now doing more fiction, with less underlining - some of S’s improvements don’t hold any attractions for me. However … we’ll see. Am eager to see where toggle feature is when I get back home.

thanks again


ADDENDUM: I think that I just got it. I don’t know whether that’s a Eureka moment, a Martin Gardner Aha! moment, or just a Homer Simpson Duh! realization of user-blindness: You are saying that once IN Corkboard mode, OR Outliner mode, you hit those respective buttons to get back out. (I know what toggling is, but it is a little counter-intuitive and not the “customary” way to go from A to B, where B is not just non-A but a different mode. At any rate, I think (again, I am nowhere near S now) that is what you and Amber have meant. If so, I would humbly suggest the following, since I appear to be not alone in misunderstanding this and we are “dedicated” beta testers:

  1. I would emphasize that point in tutorial. (Maybe you did and I missed it after too much cigar smoke and wine)
  2. I would consider making the Corkboard and Outliner buttons the kind that look slightly different when in toggle mode, e.g., slightly grayed out, dimmer, et cet.), to be a visual clue that depressing them again will return to the view you had when they were in “normal” undepressed mode. Just a thought.

once again, thanks for everything. i agree with someone else (?gmw) about your responsiveness. and the ability to read others’ posts makes me want to return to S to try out what they like and don’t like.

Margin notes! Yes, that method of displaying data was dismissed for practical reasons. It works well for Jer’s style of writing, which he explains in his tutorial. If you use comments for anything more intensive than quick reminders, the visual metaphor can get broken quickly. Longer comments can cause space issues, where the note is visually displayed several paragraphs or even pages away from its source marker. The idea behind Scrivener’s comment system is that the actual position of the note itself becomes the marker. You can place the note right into the text it is meant to reference. If you need further clarification, highlighters come in handy. SG also utilised this philosophy, by making the annotation a tool-tip of a highlight, but caused problems in that commentation then became impossible to skim read, as you could only see one at a time.

Precisely! It is a way of thinking about these features, rather than a feature itself. There is no “edit mode” really, there are these other features overlaying edit mode temporarily until you are done with them. You’ve got it. Think of it like Exposé, or Dashboard. When you are done with Dashboard, you are not going back into Finder Mode, you are dismissing Dashboard, which is an overlay over the system.

Just to save Keith some time, this has been discussed in several threads, and a summation of his response can be found here.

Best suggestion I’ve heard about the whole issue! Making the overlay concept visually clear would really crack that knot of confusion people are having. And yeah, I’d keep it simple – some of those whacky Keynote transitions can get a bit overbaked :slight_smile:

I know the Margin Notes notion has been done to death, but for fiction writing the in-line annotations are, ime, distracting and interrupt the flow of the narrative. Margin Notes, on the other hand, are, well, in the margin, outside the flow of the narrative where they don’t distract, confuse, interrupt, etc.

All imo, of course. :smiley:

For years, using in-line notes to myself has been the only way for me to work within Word (after once losing ‘comments’). Jers Novel Writer had me dancing when I first found it because of the Margin Notes, but that euphoria faded after I tried working within a structure that I don’t naturally write in. :frowning:

Like a lot of others here, I’m always searching for the program that is as invisible as possible for creation while at the same time giving me as many options as I need (and leaving out the ones I don’t). I can hope. S comes very close, though!

On the Outliner and Corkboards buttons being a little non-intuitive at first, now I understand what to do. In lieu of really cool graphics capabilities which may be possible in Leopard, how about a small graphical indicator on the two icons, to show they are “on”. The inspector buttons which these seem to be modeled on are indeed not doing this, but, there are examples of this sort of icon-shape-changing elsewhere in the Apple world it seems.

For me, I have just become used to using the Edit Scrivenings button to get out of the Outline or Corkboard modes…

Just a thought.

Kind regards,