Some menu rearrangement, perhaps?

I feel that as they stand now, though the commands they contain sparkle (aside from Find Annotations, whose window at the moment confuses me heavily), the menubar menus could stand to be shuffled a bit. Simply—I feel that some of them are too long, and some commands are not where they should be. Moving from the left:

I think ‘Empty Trash’ could go into the Scrivener menu itself. This would bring it in line with Finder (or in my case, Path Finder, which takes its cues from Finder), and would lighten the rather hefty Edit menu.

I also think ‘Convert format of docs’ could leave the Edit menu, and go into Text. This would also put it right next to the other convert menu item, which would reduce confusion—I think seeing the Convert menus next to each other, their functions contrasted, would provide greater understanding than if they were apart; especially since one of them provides no further explanation unless you go into the submenu. (However! See below.)

You could also make a case for the Split Documents commands to go into Reorganize. That would, I recognize, pretty much disembowl the Edit menu, but I would point out that the majority of Apple apps do in fact have nearly boilerplate Edit menus—paste, cut, insert, etc., with very little else; cf. TextEdit—and therefore for a new user (like me, several months younger), to have so many important functions in this menu is a bit odd and unintuitive. In the meantime, I think it’s fairly reasonable that Reorganize is for Binder/Document-level organization, and I categorize moving bits around in that bin, along with making one bit from two and two from one.

I feel like Project Settings and Statistics should definitely go into File, along with the statistics commands. Even using the app for as long as I have been, I never remember where the project- and document-specific stat and settings commands are. View, to me, is for shuffling around windows and frames and the like, and god knows there are enough to shuffle.

Dunno about Snapshots. I don’t actually use them much, myself, so I might be biased, but I feel like it’s a bit of a waste having the second-widest menu devoted solely to one feature. I don’t know where I’d put it, though. A submenu of File, I suppose—but that is making File rather large. Still. It’d clean up the menubar, a bit. One to mull over.

(Here’s ‘below’) One possibility is to actually make a new menu called Format, again a la TextEdit, and then put ‘convert format’ in there, as well as ‘spacing’ (which has always looked to me dreadfully out of place) and the default cocoa formatting controls, the Font through Writing Direction block. Then Text really could be about the letters, as opposed to any rich textness, especially given the clue-poor name of the menu.

Anyhow. I know that I have just proposed a total rearrangement of the menu system, which is likely to piss a lot of people off. It’d probably piss me off, if it wasn’t how I already thought. That said, I have always thought the menu system was a little cluttered, and could do with a bit more organization, given the number of features it has to fit in—and if there is a time to do it, it’s now, when it affects the early adopters, but still the minority of people who will end up using this software. So, consider some of my suggestions; luckily I think few of them rely on each other for implementation, so if you only think half are good ideas, it won’t be an issue.

let me know your thoughts.

What, exactly, confuses you there? It is rather straightforward. “Previous” and “Next” cycle through annotations in the project. The annotation that is found appears in the text box inside the panel, so that you can read it without having to get the panel out of the way of the main window. And you can limit annotations to those that contain only certain text using the checkbox and text field below. I don’t really see how this is confusing, or how it could be any simpler.

There may be a case for this. I believe I based this on the i-apps at the time, but looking now they seem to have changed.

Please take a moment to think about this. The functions of the items you would like to move are quite different. The ‘Convert Format of Docs’ actually can affect multiple items selected in the binder. Whilst there may be some argument for this being moved to the Text menu, the Text menu currently only operates on the text you are currently editing - ie. the editor. It has no effect over multiple documents.

The Reorganize menu is for outlining. Splitting documents does not come under this category.

View is for viewing stuff. Plain and simple. View > Project Settings and hey, you’re viewing the project settings. The File menu is for manipulating files.

Mull over it all you want. It won’t change. :slight_smile:

I actually combined all of the format in the Text menu, which makes for sense for a program like Scrivener.

Not least the developer. You do realise that I may, just possibly, have already spent a lot of time thinking about all of this? You may have a case for a couple of minor items here, but really, I do get a little, just a tiny bit, peeved when folk come on strong about how I should change this and that and the other because it’s cluttered and it’s going to confuse new users and imply that I haven’t already spent considerable time and effort on this.

Hmm, I’ll “mull” it over.

Hey, man. Sorry to piss you off. I was trying to be polite as possible; like I said, these were my thoughts in response to having used the app for a while. I’m sorry if I came on too strong. The reasons given weren’t condemnations of the software, or its developer; they were me explaining my request.

You make some interesting suggestions, cruxdestruct, but a tiny little bit less self-assurance would do you no harm. C’est le ton qui fait la musique.

cruxdestruct - no problem. :slight_smile: Scrivener is my “baby”, so sometimes I get a little over-defensive and take criticism too personally; I just found your post a little full-on.

Anyway, I have moved the Empty Trash… item to the File menu, as I do think you are right about that. And your post did prompt me to take a look at the menus again. But having gone through them, I still think they make sense. There are a lot of items, but that is the price you pay for having a lot of features. :slight_smile:

Now that I have cooled down, let me explain the rationale:

File - Stuff under this menu should affect files on disk, including the creation of documents in the binder - import, export, saving, loading and so on and so forth. Thus, you are right that Empty Trash belongs here, as that deletes files from the disk. I deliberated over renaming this menu “Project” when first embarking on Scrivener 1.0, as Blue-Tec has with Ulysses, because Scrivener really works with projects. Had I done so, then “Project Settings” would have belonged under this menu (as simply “Settings…”). But instead, I decided to retain the accustomed function of this menu and have it affect files in general. That is why “Project Settings” doesn’t belong there. “Project Settings” lets you edit stuff like labels, etc. So, the most obvious place to put this was under “View” - you go there when you want to view your project settings.

Edit - This is where you go when you want to make general changes, whether to documents in the binder or to text etc. So, on top of cut, copy and paste, you have “insert” (Edit is where “insert” usually goes). You can convert files to folders and vice versa here, because you are editing their state. The reason convert format… is here is because it can affect multiple documents in the binder - you are editing their format. And then you’ve got all of the split stuff. This cuts and moves your text around, so I really think this counts as an “edit”. Edit Scrivenings? Dunno whether Edit is the natual place for that, but then you are editing multiple files, so it seems logical enough.

View - You go here when you want to view something, or change the way a view is displayed.

Snapshots - Snapshots are actually quite an important feature if you are working with text. They allow you to save versions of any document on which you are working. I definitely think they are deserving of their own menu. Anywhere else and it would become an annoying submenu and be too hidden away. And I hate sub-sub-submenus, as they become difficult to navigate.

Find - Want to find something? This is the place to go. The only odd one here is Find Highlights, in that this panel also allows you to assign names to the highlights as well as find them. There is logic here, though, as the two are conceptually linked. If you want to give your highlights names, the chances are it’s because you want to give them semantic meaning, which will also mean that you want to find them.

Text - This is where you go to edit or change the text of the individual document on which you are working. It has a narrower scope than the Edit menu. I have deliberately flattened this out as I personally find the traditional Format menu, which separates things out into Font and Text, rather annoying, as I have to navigate to submenus for things that I want frequently. So I took a leaf out of TextWrangler’s book and laid things out flat where I could.

Reorganize - This is where stuff you might find in a traditional outliner is placed. It is much the same as the Reorganize menu in OmniOutliner or the old Hog Bay Notebook. It allows you to move whole documents around, to reorganize folders and to group and ungroup collections. It does not deal with chopping up documents because it does not “edit” anything - it just moves things.

Go - This menu navigates between documents, mainly. It offers alternatives to clicking the back and forwards buttons and using the Binder. If you want to “go” somewhere else in the project, this is where you go. The media file controls are also here, as they control where you “go” in a media file.

Window - Like any other Window menu. The only item of note is the Keywords HUD. This is where this item is placed in Aperture too. This is a separate, floating window, which is why it is in the Window menu rather than the View menu.

Help - Self-explanatory.

Incidentally, while we are on the subject of the menus, someone recently suggested that the actual order of them (View being next to Edit etc) could be improved, but these are laid down in the Apple HIG.

I hope that makes sense and helps you understand why I made the choices I did for these menus.

All the best,

Being new to both Scrivener and the forum it is with much trepidation that I wade into this somewhat contentious issue…but, here goes…

Keith, I absolutely love your program. Assuming that you do value suggestive feedback, though, I too find that some of the menu items/placements take a bit of getting used to. A suggestion follows that, if it is workable, I think might be helpful to some users. If it sucks or is unworkable, so be it, I just feel compelled to put it out there in case it’s of any use.

Suggestion: In Scrivener, the language in the File menu basically indicates that a File is a Project. Each Project contains both Folders and what are alternately referred to in the menus as either Files or Documents. If the naming convention was tweaked so that the both of these words were turfed in favour of the word Entries, then it creates the possibility of adding a new menu - Entries - which might subsume a couple of the others. For example, the Entries menu could go next to the View menu, and could possibly contain…
—Convert (Folder to Entry, Entry to Folder)
—Convert Format of Selected Entries
—Reorganize / Move
—and/or others

Basically it seems to me then, that the File menu would be the place to go to act on Projects (i.e. open a new one, back one up, change the settings, etc.)…the Edit menu would be the place to go to act ‘within’ the content of a selected Entry…and the Entries menu would be the place to go to act ‘on’ one or many Entries.

Anyway, I’ve only thought this through so far and it may be full of holes, so, for what It’s worth… And thanks again for Scrivener, your app is becoming of great help to me on a project that, with 50 or 60 word documents on the go, I’d completely become lost in.

Sincerely, Edmo.

I very much value feedback Edmo, don’t worry. :slight_smile:

The trouble is that I don’t really like the term “entries” - it doesn’t really mean anything in Scrivener. “Entries” to me are diary entries. The documents and groups can be scenes, chapters, articles, poems, anything. I just don’t see them as entries, really.

The thing is that any program trying to do something new-ish is going to take some getting used to. Everything that you find in other programs is in the menu you would normally find it, more or less (apart from how Text has been flattened out, but that is because in a program where text is paramount, I feel it should have a “Text” menu rather than a “Format” menu). Everything else hasn’t really got any precedent. Split at selection, Edit Scrivenings, Convert to Draft Format, all that stuff… No other program I really know of does any of that, so of course you are going to have to get used to where it is in Scrivener - there is no precedent and therefore all expectations will be individual expectaions rather than anything formed by familiarity.

Hope that makes sense.

All the best,

P.S. Of course, I do like the word “Scrivening”, but having a menu with that title would clash with the “Scrivener” menu… :slight_smile:

Thanks for your explanation, Keith. But to be true, it seems to me that cruxdestruct is right when saying that Project Settings should go into the File menu. And perhaps the same could be said of Statistics indeed.

Project Settings may not even exist in beta 4, as it will only contain Label and Status lists (minor changes to Export are in the works). I still disagree - how can anyone justify having this in the File menu? It makes zero sense to me. People coming from CopyWrite will look for Project Settings in the View menu, for a start; and I agree with CopyWrite on this one. What have labels and status got to do with File…?

And Statistics even less - it would be nuts to have Statistics in the File menu, completely anti-HIG. You want to view the statistics… Looking at the statistics does absolutely nothing to any file at all.

To be honest, I think this whole thread is splitting hairs. I am looking at the menus, and it is always useful to revisit these things, and edmo’s suggestion makes some sense, for sure. But really, the menus make quite a lot of sense as they stand, too. So… Dunno. I’m happy to hear more suggestions on the topic, but before posting, please do think about what each menu does. The File menu is always, in any Mac app, about manipulating files. Labels and statistics have nothing to do with files…

So, yeah, suggest away, but there are going to be a lot of "no"s in this thread, I can tell already. :slight_smile:

But the View menu is a menu with a series of items which are essentially about two things:

  • about how you want to view certain things (zoom etc.)
  • about which panel / window / view mode you want to view or use

But a label and a status have nothing to do with a way of viewing, nor with the choice of a panel or window. They are just markers of parts of the project. That’s why I think the View menu is not the right place for them.

View > Project Settings still makes sense, I think. However, if in beta 4 it becomes “Label & Status”, then it may move to the Edit menu (groan now).

Well, to groan a little more, if things really do get fractured off this way, it might make more sense to set up your status and labels precisely where you most often access them. I know you hate that, and I rather do like how clean the drop-downs are right now, too – but it is pretty close to a standard behaviour amongst this genre of applications.

Not sure what you mean… Do you mean actually in the label and status menus? This isn’t Ulysses, you know - the status and label menus occur in a number of places. I don’t like this idea at all. I just don’t see that it is a big deal, all this stuff.

Hell, I’m off to drink beer and enjoy what’s left of my Saturday night. :frowning:

EDIT: Uh, I mean Friday night - see what this thread has done to me?

See? Now look at what you guys did. :open_mouth: Keith is off getting drunk and he’ll probably never come back. :frowning: And then we’ll all be sitting around with our little scrivenings and no one to send feature requests to. We’ll be a featureless people without our leader. :cry: Keith, come back!!! :wink:

Ugh, this thread makes me groan a bit too. I’ve managed to stumble around just fine and things seem to be pretty much where I expect them to be, so I admit it, I’m pretty stumped about why this is such a big deal. I don’t really give a darn where the Project Settings are as long as we have them someplace and they are called something. I know I’m probably way to easy to please, but really, some of this can seem a little, well, er, I’ll just say it, silly from those looking in. Well, okay, maybe just to me, who knows? Though I know to those who feel so strongly about such things, it doesn’t seem silly at all. :slight_smile:

Keith, when you are off your bender, just let us know where you decide to put these settings and what you are calling them, and I’ll use them there. Please, just don’t get peeved enough to remove them altogether! :wink:


I don’t agree, Alexandria. Scrivener is still semi-clandestine; it’s still living in the catacombs. When it will get out and present itself to the world, it must be neatly dressed! Or else people will say: nice shirt, but you’re wearing it inside out! nice hat, but please, turn it around!

Then we can agree to disagree. :slight_smile: I think Scr.s presentation is just fine, better than fine, and I don’t have problems with the way the menus are arranged. I love the way it is dressed!

Can we still make minor improvements? Surely. But I do think we are talking minor suggestions, not massive overhauls of the menus, etc., at this point. Not that you were suggesting that, Timotheus.

RE project settings, I think ultimately new users will get used to them wherever they are, even if they are counter-intuitive to some. I myself don’t find them so, and since I’m also a user of Scr. at this point, I feel free to express that opinion.

But I definitely understand you don’t and I see your point too. I can also see the logic in having the settings in the Edit menu as Keith suggested could happen, since the settings are things that you go in and change, not just view. Like I said, Timotheus, I’m pretty easy about such things. Unless I’m not, and then I complain just as loudly as anyone else. :slight_smile: