Apologies that you’ve been experiencing a lot of lag with the program. As mentioned up thread, Lee is working on various optimizations in the code which should help a lot with these problems. He’ll also be working over the next several months to rewrite a lot of the code for loading Scrivenings sessions, as the latest update to the framework Scrivener uses now allows for a much speedier rendering of the text, and this will help significantly with viewing a host of files as a Scrivenings session. Our goal is certainly that Scrivener be reliable and snappy working with large projects as well as smaller ones.
In the meantime, here are a few basic things to try which may increase the speed of working in your project. They may not all be relevant to you or possible with your work method, but if you can, give them a try:
First, working from a project stored on a networked or external drive, or even on a partition separate from where Scrivener is installed, can cause a bit of delay, especially on larger projects. If this applies to you, try moving the project (when it’s closed in Scrivener) to your local drive for working.
Second, you can go to Tools > Options… and click the “General” tab to try increasing the auto-save interval—by default autosave runs every two seconds of inactivity, but this might be just the right period for it to kick in just as you start typing after a moment’s pause. You can play with this a bit to see what helps—10 might be plenty. Just remember that this is seconds of inactivity, rather than every x seconds regardless, so if you bump it to 60 seconds, for instance, you’d need to not be working in the program for a full minute before Scrivener autosaved. If you do set a higher number, make sure that you’re keeping an eye on the asterisk in the header bar (indicating unsaved changes) and using Ctrl+S (File > Save) as necessary to keep your project saved regularly. (Autosave will always run when you close the project, regardless of the interval set here.)
Third, it may help to work in smaller sections at a time. Loading a large Scrivenings session or a lot of index cards on the corkboard can cause some slowdown right now, so if that’s something you’re seeing, you can reduce this a bit by further grouping your documents in the binder, so that selected containers have fewer documents in them, or by using Ctrl-Click in the binder to select fewer items to view at a time. This may not be possible depending on how you’re working, but if you can group the items in your Draft or Research into further subcategories (at least temporarily), that could help reduce the strain when Scrivener tries to load them all in a group view mode.
Finally, if you’re having problems with start up and your project is set to auto-load, you can turn this option off by going into Tools > Options… and deselecting “Open recent projects on program launch”; this will speed up Scrivener’s opening time, if it’s the strain of opening your project that’s slowing it. Opening the project will also take longer if you’ve left the editor displaying a lot of files in a group view, so trying to close with just a single text document open or the like will help speed up the load time when you come back.
As I said, these aren’t meant to be “the way it is” in Scrivener but temporary workarounds for the lag problem while Lee works to get that sorted out. Thanks for the praise of Scrivener even in the face of these setbacks and your support of the program helping get things shipshape!