Selecting text is a pain in Scrivener

I’m not sure if this is how the Mac version works, but for Scrivener for Windows I find the text selection in the word processor and note cards to be very clunky. I’ll try to explain as best I can and if anyone has a fix (or if it could be fixed in an upcoming patch) I’d be very grateful.

In Word or other word processors and even in every web browser I’ve used, if you double click and hold down on a word, I can highlight it, then drag to select more of the sentence or paragraph. The selection then “jumps” to each additional word your pointer hovers over. With Scrivener, Double clicking only highlights a single word without the option of dragging to select more text. For that, you have to single click exactly where you want to highlight and then drag to select.

First, this can be a pain on a laptop when you don’t have the precision of a mouse. Second, the “normal” method of text selection is so much quicker and smoother. It allows you to more precisely select exactly what you want for deletion or cut/copy. It’s such a basic feature that I’m astounded a great piece of software like Scrivener doesn’t have it.

Maybe I’m being a little melodramatic and other people don’t feel the same frustration that I do, but for me, this big, glaring flaw is what keeps Scrivener from becoming my sole piece of novel writing software (I typically copy my first draft text over from Word).

On a more positive note, I’m very thankful that you’ve brought this software over to Windows. It has dramatically changed my writing for the better. If you ever make an Android Honeycomb app (and fix this pesky selection problem), I will become your number 1 fan. :smiley:

Huh. I never knew you could do that in Word (the double-click and hold and then move forward thing. Learn something new every day.

Of course, I generally do it by keyboard (using the shift/cntl keys to jump forward and highlight) or just drag the mouse anyway after a single-click to put it where it needs to be, especially on the netbook. It probably never once entered my awareness to do it that way since I generally don’t like Word auto-selecting entire words for me. (And now I wonder, has this always been a Word thing? Nobody tells me anything)

Of course, while I’d quibble with some of your wording (technically, the way Scriv does it now is “more precise” since it requires selection based on a letter by letter basis, “such a basic feature”/“big, glaring flaw” assumes that everyone works as you do and didn’t miss the handout (not that I’m bitter), and “melodramatic” means you aren’t having actual major issues with this lack of feature which you are :slight_smile: ), I say Scriv should have this feature. Because now that I know about it, I want it too.

You still have the option of selecting on a letter by letter basis with a single click. It’s just that a double click while holding down on the second click will select the whole word and dragging will select each word you move your pointer to.

You can demonstrate it on any text you find on a website if it’s not linked. It works with every major Windows browser. Yes, it might be a minor inconvenience, but I still find it a bit frustrating that every piece of software that I use has this basic method of selection, except where I would find it most useful: on my writing software.

But even with Word, or “every major Windows browser”, you don’t have to double-click to start selecting. You can single-click anywhere within the word, start dragging, and it selects the entire first word and everything after until you let go of the mouse. So, it sounds like you’re actually taking longer (one extra mouse click) to select text in Word than you could.

I suppose that because Scrivener doesn’t automatically select the entire first word that, yes, you must be more precise in your clicking, meaning you have to click at the beginning of words, rather than anywhere within them. I guess personally I’ve never really cared, simply because I’m used to putting the mouse cursor where I want it before clicking anyway.

I do think that selecting text when you’re in typewriter mode is a pain, though, if anyone would like to address that. I know that when I’m in typewriter mode and I click somewhere close to, but not in the line I’m working on and drag, the whole screen jumps around and I never know what’ll end up being selected. Maybe doing something outside of the single line goes against the aesthetic of typewriter mode, and I shouldn’t worry about it.

I don’t want to get caught up in any crazy drama (!) but I’ll just pop in to say that this has already been put on the future feature list.

Thank you, MM! This makes me a happy human. I’m glad to see that this issue is in your line of sight. I’m sure you will shoot it down without mercy. 8)

No drama was intended. This is, after all, a Feedback forum. Perhaps I should have added “I find that” at the beginning of my topic. I was only suggesting that Scrivener have the added selection capability that I enjoy on Word and the web.