Support native screen splitting when in composition mode

Feature request: in composition mode, support native full-screen so it can be split with another app. I like the clean layout of comp mode, but also want to use the screen for non-Scrivener reference/apps.

In the screenshot, Scrivener is in its normal editing mode, split with Apple’s notes app (red) on the right. It would be really useful (and consistent) to be able to do this in composition mode too

I don’t know if that would be considered an overall improvement, given it is meant to be something you can use on top of that condition, to blot out even that greatly simplified condition of only have two programs available at once. If it just filled the left side, as in your screenshot, it wouldn’t really achieve all that much.

Meanwhile though, you can already get pretty close to that look if this is what you want. Have you tried using a Full Screen layout that is set to default, to achieve a cleaner look?

  1. Enter full screen in a project.
  2. Close the other split and remove the editor header and footer bars via View ▸ Editor Layout, as necessary.
  3. Close the binder and inspector if necessary.

At this point you should have something that looks a great deal like Composition mode, particularly if you use the fixed width text editor option.

  1. Open Window ▸ Layouts ▸ Manage Layouts...
  2. Click + to create a layout.
  3. Click the ••• button in the footer of this window, and set Use selected layout when entering full screen.

That will now trigger both when you go into full screen normally, or when splitting the display with another tool. Or if you do use full screen more seamlessly and wouldn’t want to lose all of your UI every time you do so, then the Layout can certainly remain an optional thing you use now and then. Layouts saved from within Full Screen can all be switched to freely while in full screen mode. You will know they are of that kind by the full screen icon to the left of the layout name, in the main Layouts menu.


Interesting. Gets most of the way there, but also appears to be bugged. I followed your instructions as suggested, including the hiding of the editor header and footer. Switching back to Default doesn’t restore this state. Once on default, if I turn the headers and footers back on, then go to own layout, they are turned off again (as expected). But once again, if I go to default, they remain ‘off’. Strange!


My custom

Default, when switched back (should both go back to ‘hide’)

I’m not super familiar with using the “Default” preset, to be honest. It doesn’t do what I want of a default window layout, so I’ve always just had my own setup that I revert to. I do know it isn’t quite a normal layout, and is rather pre-programmed behaviour that works in a more narrow way than layouts do (as is the case with all the built-in “layouts”). So my guess is it wasn’t programmed to anticipate that anyone would turn these bars off. :slight_smile:

Are you mainly trying to switch between “composition” and normal layouts while in full screen mode? Because one thing that should be happening if you do use a certain Layout as a default for full screen mode is that it will remember your regular window setup when out of full screen mode, so you don’t have to revert to a previous layout normally. But again, that is only if you use full screen more purely as a pseudo-composition mode that can host splits, rather than living in it most of the time and wanting additional layouts.

I usually have Scrivener in full-screen mode and jump into composition mode when drafting a scene. However, I’m deeply into an edit where I need reference elements and composition simultaneously, which is what triggered the ask. I think I have enough to achieve the layout that’ll work for me, though. The bug (?) isn’t a big issue as I could create another layout to toggle between, as you suggest. I only just learned of these save layouts (look, I’ve only been using Scrivener for 12 years…)


Yeah, I’m not sure if I would go so far as to call it a bug, more like it doesn’t have the entirety of what is possible with project window settings programmed into it (otherwise it might as well just be a real layout at that point). I think it’s safe to say it works as intended when using the stock layouts only, but once you get into the wild variety of everything a project window can do, it is, as I say, a bit ‘narrow’ in its implementation.

But glad you got things sorted out. Swapping between your own layouts is definitely a lot nicer since you can do whatever you want with them. Since they are hosted in the Window menu, you can also throw keyboard shortcuts on the ones you use the most.

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Yep, yep. Minor UX thing, not a bug. Meanwhile, I’ve given layouts a good run and, bar one small thing (being unable to set the page width the same way you can in composition mode), I’m good to go. Thanks for your help, appreciated.

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You can change the fixed-width setting in Appearance: Main Editor, but that does impact all main editors, and it’s not as easy to do as moving the slider around.

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Well, look at that. You solved all my issues. Don’t suppose you can fix plot holes too…? :sweat_smile:

(thanks again!)


Welcome to the club! I use Layouts, but I never paid attention to this full screen option. This opens a whole new world of possibilities.