Split window focus

The use of split windows is somewhat confusing as I can’t easily tell which window has the focus. Is there a way to make the window with the focus stand out more? The approach taken by the Finder would be adequate (e.g., making the header text dim in the none focus window and making the window borders stand out more for the window with focus.)

A non-blinking cursor would do, too. And I hate blinking cursors anyway. :slight_smile:

But yes, hacking system core functions, n`mind!

Hmm, I really see this as a bit of a non-issue, as the active split is just the one you are working on. If you aren’t working in one of the splits, it doesn’t really matter.

That said, this has been asked before. The problem is that there is no really sensible way to implement it. Should the header view change colour to indicate this? If so, what about when the header view is hidden? I certainly don’t want to change the thickness or colour of the whole border around the view, as I hate that kind of effect because I find it rather ugly. So, if anyone has any suggstions of a subtle but obvious (uh, oxymoron) way of indicating the currently focussed split, I will certainly consider them.

All the best,


I have thought about it a lot, but I just don’t think there is anything that would work really well… But like I say, suggest away.

Don’t know if this is possible, but how about graying out the colour of the scollbar, the way selecting another window does. The current split could remain blue.

Well, I use the Graphite colour theme, so it would be a greyer grey for me.

Still, the difference is clear. Love that you’re spelling colour correctly. :wink:

Not possible. The appearance of a scrollbar is internal to Cocoa and cannot be defined by developers. Moreover, this would almost certainly fly in the face of the Apple HIG (or the tatters thereof), given that a greyed-out scrollbar is always an indicator of an unfocussed window, and never of a view. Another consideration is that not all document views even have scrollbars. What if you have an image open in one view that isn’t scaled large enough to show any scrollbars, for instance?

Damn, I hoped I might actually be contributing something useful.

Hi all,

I’m new in here (just found out about Scrivener about an hour ago or so) so I am sorry, if this has already been suggested. But what about changing the background of the non-active window to a light grey or something? You could also make it a preference, so the user could choose a color for the active and one for the non-active window. And, another idea, related split windows: A shortcut to jump from one to another would be nice (something in conjunction with TAB would be best, I guess).

And one question, though this might not be the right place: Is it possible to display two pages of one document at once? I mean, not like split windows (separate from each other) but in way that you have one window in which you write and if you scroll up or down the other window scrolls in the same direction. I am just asking because this would make it possible to see a bigger portion of the text you are editing at the moment. The reason I ask is because I am writing short stories and sometimes when I edit an already written part I am reading through the next few paragraphs to see how the change could be done. And I hate it to have to scroll down, read, and scroll back to the place where I am editing text at the moment. :slight_smile:

If this could be done as a preference (one or two pages visible, also in full screen mode, at best) this would fit everybodies needs, maybe.

Greenie, I think what you are basically asking for is a column view, like a newspaper? This concept was briefly played with a long time ago, as an option for full screen – the concept exhibited some awkward moments though, when editing – so the idea was scrapped. It is a very nice way to read a long document, though. It is something I really wished to have, too.

In the split window, you can have the same document open in both, scrolled to different points in the document, can’t you? Would that do what you want?

Nay, they are asking more for something along the lines of a book, where you can see two pages at once. If you turn the page on one side, both pages turn at once. Well, there are no “pages” in Scrivener, so the obvious metaphor would be columns such as in the application Tofu, where when you scroll horizontally, the columns of text go by. A vertical split is not linked. Scrolling one does not effect the other.

Hello all,
I just discovered Scrivener. Looks like a great application. I also like the tone of this forum. Thoughtful, friendly.

I’d also like some indication of the focus in a split pane. I easily get confused by split panes, especially if I am not working systematically, but trying out different approaches to solve some problem.

KB wrote:

One simple answer is that anyone to whom the focus indicator is important would keep headers visible. It would give a choice where there is none now. I would use it.

John Robert

Yep, Amber is right. A columns view would be what I was thinking about. And the fullscreen-view would probably the best place to have it. It would just be great.

AmberV, what awkward moments would appear then?

Something else about the focus problem. This might sound weird, but how about placing some kind of sign (like a watermark) behind the text of the non-focused window? This should not scroll but should stay in the same place within the window certainly. It could also be a sign that only appears in one corner.

Another idea: why not recreating the visual metaphor that Apple uses for its windows (in the upper left corner) combined with the not-moving watermark idea? So you could place a small circle in the upper left corner of the editing window itself. If it is greyed out, the windows doesn’t have focus, if it is red (or whatever) it has the focus.

To address both issues:

More than one column of text: this won’t happen, I’m afraid. Download the multi column text example on the Free Stuff page of the site and try it out for a while. Tofu is a lovely application - for reading documents. I thought this might work for editing documents, too, but after trying it, I found it horrible. Columns make text a lot more stable for the eyes while reading, but not when writing. When writing, your text will suddenly be whisked to a completely different part of the screen and everything will move over - it is really disconcerting. I found it horrible, and scrapped it. Moreover, it is a false economy - the idea that you would be able to see more text this way is erroneous. You would actually be able to see less text. Given the same font and zoom value, it doesn’t matter how the words are arranged on the page, you will still see as many of them. Except that when you have two columns, you also need a gap between those columns, which takes space away from the text. You might argue that this isn’t true, because you can make the window bigger, and the window is already bigger in full screen. This is true. But the main issue remains that editing text in multiple columns is not a pleasant experience. So… The answer is a resounding “no” on this one, sorry. :slight_smile:

As for an indicator of split view focus, I think I have a rather simple solution. Yes, it should be in the header view, I think. (Incidentally, I don’t like the idea of a watermark behind the text, as you will most likely want to read that text without any distraction.) The most obvious, subtle but clear, indicator, would simply be if the title text was darker in the header view of the focussed document. So that is what I am going to do.

All the best,

I was about to suggest underscoring the focussed document, but darkness would work just as well.

Oh, I quite like the underscore idea… I’ll check it is supported in text fields (should be).