Scrivener - slows dramatically & hogs computer

I use Scrivener on a MacBook Pro using Lion and run ALL my important projects in Scrivener - for which many thanks as Scrivener is far better than anything else, but occasionally Scrivener slows dramatically, e.g. there is a long pause and the spinning wheel of death appears for quite a while just to insert a full stop. Using Activity Monitor I can see that Scrivener takes 100% of the CPU during this time.

I have only been able to get rid of the condition by restarting my computer. It only happens in Scrivener.

Any thoughts?

Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and regards, Jack

Hi Jack,

Could you please tell me more about your project - how large is it (is it gigabytes in size, for instance), do you have lots of images inside the text, lots of research files, movie files or suchlike? Also, how long has Scrivener been open by the time slowdown happens? Are you on the latest version (Scrivener 2.1)?

Thanks and all the best,


The file is 19.8 MB and has many - maybe 20 small graphics, , mainly PNG files. How long open - about 1.5 hours.

I wondered about Spell Catcher, but that problem went away when I reset SC to minimise the interaction with Scrivener.

Thanks and regards, Jack

Hi Jack,

You certainly shouldn’t be seeing slowdown at all with a project like that. My first guess would indeed be a third-party program cutting in somehow. What problem went away when you reset Spell Catcher to minimise interaction?

All the best,


It was: Spell Catcher: in the Preferences - in Typing, turn off ‘Make replacements directly…’ and then everything was fast and fine.

But now it is slow again. Now I’ve also turned Off Interactive features in SC just for Scrivener and will see if that works. My problem is that the two programmes I use most and completely rely on are Scrivener and Spell Catcher.

Thanks for the help. Regards, Jack

For what it’s worth – my experience with another spelling-correcting-snippet-inserting application in another programme (not Scrivener) was that it wasn’t enough to disable parts of it or to simply pause it – so entangled with process of getting words on to the screen was it, that it had to be turned off entirely and the computer rebooted to lose its influence on typing flow.


My problem is that I have been using Spell Catcher, which in its own way is as good as Scrivener, for ever and have so many Shorthand expansions that they are ‘the way I work/write’. Turning off the Interactive features in SC seems to have worked … so far. It makes sense that is what slows down Scrivener - I think and hope.

Regards, Jack