Scrivener main window is always on top

I’m using Scrivener 3.2.3 (14869) on a 2014 Intel Macbook Pro running macOS Big Sur 11.7.2. My issue is that the main Scrivener window always stays on top of all other windows, both Scrivener and other applications. The About Scrivener window appears behind the main Scrivener window; it sits on top of other application windows; the only way I can see other windows on the main screen is to yellow-button minimize the Scrivener window, and then I can’t CMD-Tab back to it. I don’t see anyone else reporting this on this forum, so maybe it’s a MacOS issue? I’m not really a power MacOS user – I don’t like green-button maximizing because it creates a new space that you can’t get to by CMD-Tab, for example – so maybe I’ve just set something up wrong. Grateful for any ideas.


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That worked, thanks so much!

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Have you tried setting up separate desktops and assigning Scrivener to one and other important apps to others?

I have four desktops on my MBA (you can make as many as you like!) each with different desktop/wallpaper images. ForkLift is assigned to open Desktop 1, Scrivener is assigned to another, Brave and Transmit are assigned to a third, Airmail to the fourth, etc. Three-finger left/right swipe on the trackpad I have set to shift between them.

If you press F3 (if you haven’t changed the default settings of the F-keys), a separate menu-bar appears showing the available desktops; you’ll find a + button at one end of that bar (right in Ventura, left in most earlier OS versions). Clicking on that will create another desktop.

To assign an app to a particular desktop, move to the appropriate desktop, right-click on the app icon and choose “Options”. You’ll get options to open on “All” which does at it says, making the app-window open on all desktops; “None” which means it will open on whatever desktop you are looking at when you open it; and “This desktop” (though the wording might be different depending on your OS version). Choose “This desktop” and every time you open the app, you will automatically be taken to the desktop you have set for it.

HTH :smile:


Thanks Mark – this honestly makes me prefer even more strongly the Windows model where you just alt-tab between all open windows no matter where they are, instead of the Mac model where sometimes you CMD-Tab and sometimes you F3 and sometimes you CMD-~ and sometimes you three-finger swipe. But I’m stuck with a Mac for personal work, and I prefer the Mac in lots of ways, just not for window/space management, so I’ll make it work. Appreciate the detailed response though – thanks!

Those do several things, not just one.

Don’t know if this would do what you want but there is a small app called “Front and Center” available on the App Store which modifies the Window behaviour on the Mac.

AFAIK there is no charge so you won’t lose anything by giving it a try.

Front and Center app

There’s also