Seeking tips for better Scrivener performance and avoid the spinning beachball

I am new to Scrivener. I am experiencing occasional slow downs and have read many of the forum articles about the spinning beachball that other users encounter.

It is likely that this slow down is due to the fact that I am inserting screenshots into my active document. I am using SnagIt Pro to take the screenshots – an easy process from the system clipboard to Scrivener. The slowdowns worsen as I go, probably because the number of screenshots is increasing. If I temporarily move to a different document, the normal resonsiveness returns. This is most troublesome when I am taking notes during a live remote presentation hosted by Microsoft Teams or similar software. Scrivener will stop responding to keystrokes for about 5-10 seconds. I will be using this “screenshot workflow” for several more months because of the pandemic and working from home.

I know that inserting screenshots into an RTFD document does not have to create a performance problem because I was formerly doing it in DevonThink Pro without any slow down. But I would rather do this in Scrivener due to several advantages over DTP: the editor has better table features, handy image scaling, keyword application is easier, and the outliner view is awesome. Even when performing standard note taking and writing, I am heavily dependent on the insertion of screenshots to document scientific results. I am using Scrivener to document my research, not to write books or manuscripts. I haven’t thought deeply about the mechanics, but I think it is unlikely I would want to insert links to image files that are stored on disk. I could never do that in real time during a live presentation.

Is there anything I can do to avoid these slow downs? Are there any usage behaviors that will maximize memory or whatever it is that Scrivener needs to perform its background tasks more efficiently?


My setup:
MacBook Pro, 15", 2019
2.6 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7
110 GB disk space available
MacOS Catalina (can’t update OS until corporate IT approves it, usually takes months)
Scrivener project file: 646 MB

Scrivener is designed so that it only loads the document(s) that you are actively editing. This means that splitting large documents into smaller pieces and only editing the pieces you care about can often improve performance.

Another alternative might be to take notes in DTP, since you find it faster, and then import the resulting document into Scrivener for whatever post-presentation editing you want to do.