Scrivener is very slow to toggle in the binder

After I updated to Scrivener 3, It became very slow to toggle in the binder, and I usually have to wait several seconds before the content appear, could you tell me how to fix this problem?

Sorry to hear you’ve been running into performance issues with the new version. Could you please describe what you mean by “toggle in the binder”? I can’t think of any behaviour that might fit that description.

In the meanwhile, use the View/Outline/Show Subdocument Counts in Binder menu command. Using the numbers provided there, roughly how many documents would you say are in this project?

I have a similar problem - when I click the cursor in a new place, I get the beachball spinning for a couple of seconds - both when selecting an element in the binder, or just clicking somewhere in a text I’m writing. No such problem with Scrivener 2 - only in 3.

The question I posted above would be the same for you.

And with all performance issues it is good to run a baseline test. If you create a new blank project with nothing in it and add a few empty binder items, do you still have issues? If so, it’s unlikely the software alone that is causing problems. Possible, but unlikely.

If there are no performance issues, then the goal is to incrementally make that blank project more like the one that is performing slowly. Dragging in groups of items one folder at a time, for example, and restarting the software with the slow project closed to ensure the problem hasn’t spread.

it’s also slow elsewhere, as in switching layouts in which the shift is almost interminable. I have no other performace issues and have never experienced this with Scrivner as a charter user and advocate from the beginning.

I have rebooted, there is plenty of available RAM and memory but nothing seems to cure it.

I was hoping to find a “rebuild” function, but I don’t see it, as that function seems to help in some apps.

Any suggestions?

I would suspect those that need a “rebuild” are the types of programs that use a lot of temporary files and caching to speed things up. Scrivener mainly just works straight off of the disk with simple files directly, which negates the need for that kind of stuff. There is very little to rebuild.

The search index would be one thing that could be rebuilt—if for some reason significant changes were made that were not registered internally and it ended up with a few hundred megabytes of old data, it might slow some functions down. You can rebuild that by holding down the Option key on the File menu and using the “Save and Rebuild Search Indexes” command.

Of course, with a blank project there wouldn’t be anything to rebuild even in theory.

There is also the command to wipe out your project’s UI settings, which you’ll also see when holding down Option. You’ll want to save your current settings to a layout first. And on that, if you’re layouts are brought forward from 2.x, it probably wouldn’t hurt to recreate them.

I have the same issues witth a new, empty project. There are no such issues when I run Scrivener 2.

I would give this a try in a test Mac account—just make an account on your Mac with standard settings—run Scrivener in there, create a tutorial with it on the same disk you normally work on, and see if the situation improves. That would at least narrow down whether the problem is hardware or configuration related.

Seems to work OK in a new user account. Any idea of what kind of apps that might be interfering?

Well that’s a good sign. It means you file system isn’t about to collapse (extreme slowness loading and saving thing is a red flag of a drive in need of repair), and there probably aren’t any hardware issues to worry about either.

But before getting too carried away with trying to figure out if there is a problem in the user folder, I would verify that there are no immediate contextual settings that will cause the problem to appear in the test account. Best way to look for that:

  • In your main account, use the Manage... button in Scrivener’s preference pane to export all settings to a file: put that in your /Users/Shared folder.
  • From your main project that you’re working on, use File/Back Up/Back Up To... and drop a .zip compressed copy in the same folder. You want Zip because when you copy that into the test account’s folder and unzip it, the permissions will be reset to the test account’s ownership.

And then log in and first import your preferences and then do as suggested—just unzip it in ~/Documents and make sure the problem doesn’t return with a similar Scrivener working environment