Strange display slow-down behavior

I have a 30" rotating monitor.

When I have the monitor horizontal, run a “Compile Draft”, it is quite snappy: the dialogs drop down fast, the mouse tracks, fast, the progress bar moves fast, the work is done fast (4-5 seconds from start to done).

When I rotate the monitor to portrait/vertical, with Scrivener filling the screen, and run a “Compile Draft” on the same document, it runs several times slower. The dialogs drop down very slowly, mouse tracking is very slow and jerky, the progress bar moves very slow, and overall compilation takes 15-20 seconds from start to done. I cannot believe any of this is document computational difference, it must have to do with the display processing.

Re-starting Scrivener, and re-starting the Mac have no effect. The machine is well equipped.

Help, please. I don’t think I am doing anything wrong. Let me know what additional information I can provide, or things I can try.


(As an aside, the more I dig into Scrivener, the more delighted I am that I discovered it! )

Do you get similar behaviour in any other applications?

It sounds like a problem which would stem from the system level, rather than something directly under Scrivener’s control (in Cocoa applications, all of the window and sheet handling etc. are not written by the developer but instead handled by Apple).

If that is the case, I would expect to see the same problem present in other applications, with the same conditions.


I have not noticed slowdown in Finder, Firefox, Omnigraffle, or Cornerstone, which are my primary apps. I have not done any kind of exhaustive testing. What app might have the kind of modal drop-down that Scrivener’s “Compile Draft” uses?

I’m afraid this definitely sounds like something to do with OS X. All display processing is handled at the OS level. If it works fine in horizontal but slows in portrait, this is highly unlikely to be anything to do with Scrivener itself. I’ll try and think of some other apps that might have a similar sheet… I’ll also test on my own 24" rotating monitor and see what I find.

My guess: Video cards that can run 30" monitors sometimes barely do so, and then they are optimised to work within certain aspect ratio tolerances. When you tilt the screen, you are telling it to drawn an enormous number of pixels vertically, which it might not be optimised to do. Sluggish response is exactly the kind of glitching you’ll get with bandwidth and memory problems on a video card. It’s actually not too far different from a game that has had its settings pushed up beyond the limits of the card. Pretty much the entire visual aspect of the Mac OS is running through a real-time rendering engine like that.

I found a similar modal drop-down / sheet in the built-in Preview app, on Print. I do not notice any slow-down in that.

Preview hasn’t got a sheet as complicated as Scrivener’s. And, as Amber and I have said, the display processing is all handled by OS X, not by Scrivener. There are no custom views in the Compile sheet that require custom drawing, so there is nothing in Scrivener that handles drawing in that sheet.

OK, thanks for the explanation. Did you by chance see the same behavior on your rotating monitor?

Things can sometimes be a little sluggish when I rotate my 24" monitor, I just learned to live with it. It is being driven by a five year old computer though. When I plug it into my newer laptop it doesn’t have issues in either configuration. Granted the laptop can handle a 30", so even 24" rotated should be a breeze as it’s long length is not too far off of the 30" short length.