Spell check and Search Results Problem (Scrivener 2.2)

I’m not sure exactly what is causing the problems I’m reporting here so please understand I can’t give you a step by step.

What I’m noticing on my 16 GB Lion 10.7.2 iMac is that after writing for a while in Scrivener, two things seem to be happening:

  1. Spell check stops working. I can type in garbage and the word doesn’t get underlined or corrected.

  2. When I click on the left side with search results, the active page (I use the two vertical pages in Scrivener) doesn’t update to show the search result I’ve clicked on.

Restarting Scrivener fixes the problem so maybe it’s a memory leak?

In any case, I also am using the Composition mode and going back and forth so that may be a factor.

So far, I’ve typed in less than 20,000 words so this is a small manuscript. In my research folders, I have a few web pages and a PDF, but nothing that takes up much space. My entire .scriv file is only about 4 MB.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


– m

I’m not aware of any substantial memory leaks in Scrivener that would come about under ordinary usage. The software should be pretty robust while open for long durations. I regularly leave it open for whole months sometimes with no ill effects. But, you can check its memory usage with Activity monitor and see if anything looks suspicious. It should be somewhere around 70 to 150mb under typical usage. Memory usage will spike during large bulk operations. Say if you duplicated several hundred items, but it should fall back down once the operation is complete. Given the modest size of your project, you shouldn’t be running into memory problems. But like I say, if Activity Monitor suggests otherwise, try to think of something you might be doing on a regular basis that might be extra taxing, or involving a repetitive loop of actions. Surely there are unaccounted for leaks we haven’t found yet, the trick is finding them.

The spell checking thing seems to be some kind of Lion bug though, and so far has proved illusive. You aren’t the only one experiencing it, though it is a somewhat uncommon bug. There isn’t actually any code in Scrivener for spell checking. That whole sub-system is 100% Apple’s stuff. That doesn’t mean Scrivener might not be doing something in parallel that is tripping it up, but it does mean the bug is extremely hard to find and to date none of us have ever managed to get it to trigger, even if we load up every preference file and project file from the user and run down a precise checklist of steps. It seems to be machine configuration related.

On the search results problem, a few questions:

Have you noticed if this problem also happens with other collections? I’d make for yourself a saved search collection, using the project search magnifying glass menu, and then an arbitrary collection with a few items in. Next time you get the bug, load up those tabs as well and see if they are malfunctioning in a similar fashion.

What happens if you drag the search result from the list to the editor’s header bar?

Are you getting any console errors when clicking on the items in the sidebar list?

I’ll try experimenting with the collections as you asked. I’m still not quite sure what collections are and why I’d use them. My understanding is that they’re top level material I might want to use across multiple projects (commonly used text), but I’m not sure.

When clicking on the items in the left vertical area (after getting a search list there) they didn’t show the files on the right vertical window, but I didn’t get any errors. Actually, nothing happened. I clicked, and the Scrivener UI was responsive (the searched items became clicked), but nothing happened to display the file.

It may be related to the issue when I was going back and forth to the composition mode. Not sure.

Once composition mode took up the whole screen, but didn’t display the typing area.

Not sure.

Scrivener is a joy to use and I don’t for a minute regret my purchase. :slight_smile:


– m

Collections have two primary roles: one is to save searches for future use. They have a special magnifying glass icon on the side of the tab (like Search Results do). Second is to let you bring together items from the binder that might not otherwise be together, for any purpose you desire. An example might be editing. You need to edit twelve scenes, so you throw them all into a collection. As you proof each scene, you remove it from the collection—so it’s a bit of a checklist. They only exist within one project though. There is no way to view material from one project in another.

The reason I ask for the test is that the technical mechanics between clicking on search results and clicking on items in collections are the same. The assembly routine is different, but the action is the same, and so if the code is breaking in the action itself then collections should malfunction as well.

Something you could also try is download the software again and re-install it. Sometimes the interface files can get corrupted, and a full re-install should fix any weirdness that results from that. Doing so only replaces the software. Your settings and work will all remain.

Good information.


– m