Scrivener 3.1 Accessibility

About the slow Scrivener startup times, it depends a lot on your initial layout upon opening Scrivener. Some users tend to load the complete Draft folder in Scrivenings mode. If you close and reopen your project, this results into loading ALL Draft files all at once upon startup. This is a very heavy operation. The power of Scrivener is that you can work in chunks. Switch to any other view Mode (Corkboard, Outliner) or simply select a sub-folder, and Scrivener will load much faster for you. Loading and always working with your Draft folder in Scrivenings mode is an overkill, which still works, but will cost you few seconds of extra loading time.

Very Big embedded images (sometimes I have seen embedded images being ~10 Mb and more) are also another main reason for slow loading times. Imagine having multiple very big images in the same document and this document needs to be loaded upon startup. This is definitely asking for slow startup times.

Check your project for some of these common reasons for a startup delay and you might get your project loading much faster.



This is something that I definitely did not know, and had never worked out. I am one of those who (almost) always closes and opens “the complete Draft folder in Scrivenings mode”. It had, to be frank, never occurred to me not to :slight_smile: I just experimented with the large project that I am currently working on. I switched to Outline vieww, closed it, then reopened it. It reopened immediately, just like @tito_d promised.

That’s several minutes of my working week reclaimed!



Thank you Tiho. I JUST figured this out, not 15 minutes before going back on the forum. Found a book on QT, and took a visit to the QT platform maker’s website.

Reading the QT file in Visual studio now as I speak.

So I fully understand. And also understand why a company would choose to store the files in a QT resource file. Speed being one.

Thank you for taking the time to answer. I really appreciate it.

So to others, if you want to make your own theme; do a save-as of the theme which has the closest look of dividing lines and icon colors you want, make sure your new XML file points to the same location of the style in resources (do not change the style element’s name property), edit your PAL file and your QSS in your favorite code editor, and you got yourself a theme.

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Again thank you so much Tiho.
I didn’t know this about how the various parts load. Definitely something to keep in mind.

I was mostly angry at the users who skewered the other person who said it loaded slow when I wrote that. My solution, if it gets any slower over time w-a big project loaded will be to give Scrivener priority in using Windows resources, through inclusion in gaming mode for starters.

For the rest of you who have different PC’s, W10 comes natively w-the tools to do this. TenForums are your friend in the how to’s.

And Tiho, I bitched about load times and I bitched about themes. And cried about some other things in other threads. At one time I mentioned I liked what’s under the hood.

So, since I have a Dev’s ear here; and people rarely say anything if something is nice…

You and your team have done an absolute bang up job with this app. And on two platforms. Scrivener has pretty hefty complexity for a single-purpose app, and even w-that complexity is rock-solid stable.

It does its thing and it does it well. Also kudos for the tome that is the support manual, and for including it locally. And thanks for making the program infinitely customizable.

Now that I got my OCD satisfied w-a customized theme I’m a happy camper.


Thank You for the kind words, BadScribbler! It took us much more than expected to release Scrivener for Windows v3, but I am happy to read that many users find the software stable and feature rich. For a software developer to read that the software is stable and functional is probably the greatest satisfaction.
Thank You and Enjoy!


At long last… drumroll… Here’s the theme, for those who might want it.

The layout’s name is Midnight, and it uses the package resources from the darkmode default layout.

One thing; the dividing lines are a little weird, as I could not get into the package files & change that. Cannot be done, as it is QT. But, I have gotten used to the grey colliding with the blue by now, so hopefully you (that want this theme) will too. The button color still trips my OCD, just a smidge too green when 3 colors are involved–hopefully not too weird.

The Theme is based on a free picture from Unsplash, which makes up the desktop background. I have attached the picture in the zip file.

Below are a couple of screenshots to help you decide.

Desktop Screenshot:

Options Window Screenshot

The Theme: (1.6 MB)

Open the zip-file to find the theme & desktop background photo.

PS: I would have compressed the zip file a lot harder, but I don’t think you take 7z, do you?


Very nice! I’ll give this a workout over the next couple of weeks, but so far I really like what I see.

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Uh … then do what?



More specifically, since it’s clear the .scrtheme file can be loaded directly from anywhere — I have a Scrivener Options directory for all that stuff — where does the image file go?

EDIT: Did some digging. Looks like the “standard” place for new themes may be:

c:/users/[USERNAME]/Local Settings/Application Data/LiteratureAndLatte/Scrivener/Themes

Should the two files in the zip file be dropped there?

Again, thanks.


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Hi Thomas,
You put the theme anywhere you like, and import it.
Window—>Themes—>Import Theme.
The picture, you place in the permanent location of your choice.

My directory: D:/Writing/Scrivener Themes. (Substitute drive letter for the drive where you keep your files).

After choosing “Import Theme” in Scrivener, open Window—>Themes again, and you will see Midnight located by itself below the standard themes that come w-Scrivener.

Select it, then close Scrivener completely, and reopen.

Scrivener will have moved the theme to the app data folder where it keeps them.

It will not have moved in the picture, as it is set to let you change those anytime you want.

To use the picture, open Options, main editor & go to the color tab. You will find an extra button to choose a pic. Select it, click OK.

I’m on a phone right now or I would give you the buttons name. It is right above the button where you choose your color.

Lastly; it has my preferences saved with it, and you may not like those. So please do go through the options tab and change things to your own liking.

If you happen to reset a color for an option, there’s a great free little app for Windows called Color cop, which will let you change it back via eye dropper.

I know—a pain, but in order to have the default be what the theme is; I would have needed the source code of Scrivener decompiled.

It is a really quick fix with Color Cop or similar eye dropper program though.

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Oh, missed something.
You open the zip file, you can do this via Windows explorer, and just drag the .scrtheme file to where you like, also the picture.

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Thank you Devin, I’m glad you like it.

@BadScribbler Hey, thanks for the cool theme! Very clean - I love it!


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@thomas.neuburger Files > Options > Appearance > Main Editor > Colors > Fixed Width Background > Choose Texture

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Thank you so much Jim, I’m glad you like it.

Thank you Jim for the path to the button for Thomas.

Excellent, really like it, so thanks very much!

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Thanks for working up and posting the theme. I’m vision impaired and the standard white or high intensity colors ‘bloom’ in my vision, preventing me from being able to read black or dark text on a white or high intensity background. I also suffer from runonsentenceitis.


You are welcome Tom.
I’ll confess, I made it for strictly egotistical reasons. My vision is shot after decades as a corporate drone, much of it spent w-fluorescent lighting and CRT screens.

The out-of-the-box themes were problematic for me, even zoomed in & w-a 20” monitor.

I am so happy others are finding use from my theme also.

Very glad you are enjoying it. :relaxed: