Screenplay mode doesn't stick?

Is there a reason for this, or am I doing something wrong, or is it a quirk in the program…?

Short version: When returning to Scrivener (I think I’m only seeing this when Scrivener has actually been closed and re-opened, but I’m not sure) I sometimes find that some documents (i.e. scenes) in my scripts are no longer set to screenplay mode as I start to write in them — this even though there is already text inside them, text that was previously entered in screenplay mode.

I don’t know if this is of interest, but I’m working with the entire script visible in the right pane, locked to its top parent so that I have the full length of it as a scrollable document.

Anyway it’s quite frustrating to find oneself going into a scene only to realize shortcuts and tab/enter won’t work — and that it’s because somehow the scene is suddenly a “normal” document again.
Is there any way I can make the screenplay mode stick to a document for good? Is this supposed to happen?


Individual documents should remember whether they are in script mode or not; if you are working in scrivenings mode, it will use whichever mode most of the documents in the session are using. Are most of the documents script documents (are their icons yellowish with three hole punches)?

All the best,

Interestingly: No. (Haven’t noticed, since I work with binder closed and no icons in outliner.) But here’s the thing: I really thought they should be.

Here’s why. I started structuring my script by adding documents in the outliner. Wrote synopsises (or whatever is the correct plural form) for them and rearranged them until reasonably happy.
Then I opened them all in the scrivenings window (meaning I opened their parent folder) and locked it in place to always have the full script visible in the scrivenings pane (this makes Scrivener work pretty much like any screenwriting program, as described in the post where I’d like a “right-to-left position indicator” in the outliner).

Anyways. With all the documents now open in the Scrivener window, I put my cursor in one of them and hit cmd+A to select all. Then I push the “Toggle Script Mode” button and get a green check mark. All OK.

This will have me happily working until I close the session. But you are right: When I now look at it, some document Icons are not yellow.
What’s strikes me as interesting now, however, is that some of these icons are documents that actually contain material already added in script form — and what’s more:
Right now, I can click one of those white icons and have its corresponding document open in the scrivener pane — but by now, it IS in fact still in screenplay mode, proven by the green checkmark in the menu…!

This is actually rather confusing, but I guess somewhere in the info above you’ll be able to track what’s going on. I’m attaching a screenshot to show you what I mean (sorry about the blurred text, but you know — don’t want to start the new year by having a network sue me…) :slight_smile:

Because scrivenings is a composite mode, turning on script mode for that has no effect on the documents that compose it (it would be a big assumption to convert all the constituent documents to one mode or the other just by toggling it there). New documents are created in script mode if the currently selected document is also a script document. But given that you created everything as an outline first, all the new text documents would not have been script documents.

For the future, you can easily get around this, though: create a blank script document and place it in the Templates folder (if you don’t have a Templates folder, create one - create a folder and use Set Selection as Templates Folder in the Project menu). Then, select the Draft folder and go to Documents > Default New Subdocument Type and choose the blank script document template you just created. This will cause any new documents created anywhere in the Draft folder to always be blank script documents.

All the best,

Hm. Okay. I think I see.

Two thoughts on this:
a. Do I understand it correctly that it is because multiple documents are selected that the toggle button won’t work? If so, wouldn’t it be good if the toggle button were greyed out if multiple documents are selected?
b. For arguments sake, though, is it really such a big assumption to expect the toggle button to work across many documents? I’m thinking how bold or italic or other toggles might work across multiple words or paragraphs or whatever, even if the selection spans some text that’s bold and some that isn’t. Most programs would toggle the entire selection based on the status of the first selected letter — i.e. if first letter is not bold, then all text turns bold regardless of previous state. Couldn’t that be a way to have the toggle button work across multiple documents?
c. Regardless, isn’t it strange, though, that in my screenshot the binder icon is non-script, and the toggle (and the behavior if writing in the document) is script?

Okay. That was really three thoughts. But the third one wasn’t quite about the same thing so it didn’t count. :slight_smile:

As always, thanks for listening and helping out.


The toggle button works, but it isn’t persistent. To explain: the toggle button switches between script and text modes, and whichever mode is selected is then remembered per-document. When you’re in a scrivenings session, though, that is really one big temporary document, which only exists while you are viewing it. So you can switch between modes for the entire session, but as that session is transient there is nowhere for the setting for the whole thing to be remembered.

I think so, although I admit there is room for debate here. The thing is that Scrivener is so flexible that it is impossible to guess the user’s intention, and so it’s always best to err on the side of caution and not change things that the user hasn’t asked to be changed. For instance, I know a number of scriptwriters like to include documents containing notes in their script sessions, and they would be annoyed if these notes documents were automatically switched to script documents just because they included them in a scrivenings session.

No - see (a). You have created the text in a scrivenings session switched to scriptwriting mode. This did not change the mode of the underlying documents. So when the scrivenings session was in scriptwriting mode, you were able to type a script, but when you switched out of scrivenings mode, the text document’s mode had been unaffected.

However, that may be the way forward - the solution to all of your points which wouldn’t cause unexpected behaviour. I could look into changing it so that, if scrivenings is in script mode, and you start typing a script element in a blank document that is a regular text document, then Scrivener switches that document to script mode. That would be a safe assumption to make - the user has started typing a script in a text document in Scrivenings mode, so it makes sense for Scrivener to switch that document to script mode. This one change should solve your problem without causing problems for those who like to have different types of documents in a scrivenings session.

All the best,