Split view control

I always mess up when using split view.

  • When I want a split, is there a short cut to open a document that I point at in the Binder. Something like if I hold the option key down as I click on the document in the Binder, the split is automatically created with the new document in one split and the previous one in the other.

  • When I close a split, I always seem to close the one I do not intend. Why can’t a split behave like a regular window with a close window button. Why do we have to distinguish between the primary and secondary split?

I don’t know of a shortcut of the sort you desire, but here is my procedure with splits:

First, I hit the split switch (right end of the header view) to split my current editor view. Both sides of the split will be showing my current document at this point.

Next, I observe which of the two resulting splits has the close box (i.e., is the secondary split) at the right end of its header view.

Then, I drag a document from the Binder into the header view of that side of the split. This opens my document in that split and it makes sure that the document I am going to want to dismiss in a minute is in the secondary side of the split.

There are no doubt other ways to split happily, but this is a way that keeps me from getting turned around.


Thank you GR, very well described! My thoughts FWIW is that you should not need to do all this, for such a simple task as looking at another document besides the current one. In your description you had to do four things (hit the split switch, observe the close box, drag, and finally dismiss the correct one).

I suggested that you should only do one thing, click on the document with alt key down, nothing more. Also if both splits had close box I could close which ever I wanted without having to look which is the primary one. And what if you do not want to keep the primary one but wanted to keep the secondary one? Then you need to swap the documents before you close.

Why do it complicated when there could be such a simple alternative? Knowing Keith to be a smart and wise person, he must have some reasons. And I would like to now these reasons.

Well, here’s a bit of good news anyway: Looks like the next version of Scrivener will let you close either side of the split:

That will resolve one of the issues you had mentioned at the outset.


As Greg pointed out, the next version will act in a much more intuitive fashion. Working in the top split and want to focus on just that? Pressing Cmd-’ will do just what you want.

There actually is a way to open splits in the editor you are not working in, from the Binder. However it is not as simple as pressing Option and clicking. In the next version, that specific combination will be reserved for opening a document in full screen if you have two monitors. Anyway, in the View menu there is a sub-menu called Binder Affects>. You can manually set it the Binder to only open documents in the top or bottom (left or right) splits, or the current editor which is the default behaviour.

Curious that there is not an option to always open in the alternate editor though. Hmm.

Thanks Greg and AV,
this clears up a few things, and now at least I feel that I have fairly good control of the situation. (Not a big issue but I still feel that things could be even more simple and more intuitive)