Time for tabs? Some suggestions for GUI improvements.

Hi Scrivener team,

Time for tabs … ?
I am handling a pretty large project with Scrivener, more than 50 novels in one project file, which works fine. I am also very happy with all the GUI functions so far, so there a are just a very few “wishes” I have regarding the interface. Having so many collections stored and a very long binder structure, I sometimes wish we had a tab-option to switch between “binder only” and “collections”. Just to take off some overload from the left sidebar.

Format bar on the right … ?
Second wish is with reference to the text formatting options in the editor. Most of the new Mac-Apps do support a format pane on the right, which sometimes offers options that are available for the task currently performed. So when I do edit or write a text, it shows the text format options. When I do other stuff, if changes to whats available then …

Changing “Keywords” to “Tags” …?
Most Apps using tags to refer to keywords in the text. Although I have no issues using keywords, it would be a more modern way to set references.

Allowing to save Presets for collections
I am using collections to prepare content for different publication types and ebooks. It may mean to have a different collection for the print, ePub and mobi version, with different settings.
There is an option, to save a custom compile format but it is not linked to a collection and does also not save book specific compiler data, such as meta data or the choosen book cover. It would be cool, if I could create, assign and save a preset for a specific collection.

Enhance the focus on the current sentence or paragraph …
Scrivener does a wonderful job delivering options to concentrate on writing. I like the mode that provides a focus on the text. Sometimes I wish to have a switch somewhere to grey out the parts I am not working on - in other words, to show the current sentence or paragraph clear but to fade off or grey the remaining part. Example by Photoshop , below … :wink:

Hope you guys keep on the great work and invest in further developement of this outstanding app that became my main working tool for writing and production. :slight_smile:


I agree to all point.
Converning collections it would be great to organize them in different folders, so you can keep a more structured list with a lot of collections. I have the same problem as Thomas, organizing one giant series project in one Scrivener project with one collection for each publication form and over time the list gets very long.

I agree. My suggest is transform a collection in another external file. Is the same as ‘library’ file that i use on Adobe Indesign. Is pratical and i can link with any scrivener project. All the modification will be save on library file. That is perfect for write series book or whatever. I really DONT like the Collection GUI… is terrible by the way. Look this screen that i made. Much better!! And, of course, can be put on a TAB version.

Thanks for the feedback!

I am not sure what you mean by “tabs” in this context, but you can already toggle the collection list off and on with the “Sammlungen” button right above it. I do this so much that I even assigned a custom keyboard shortcut to the menu command. Tab overload barely bothers me because I open the collection list, click on something and close it. I can thus arrange the collection tab area to be far larger than I would like it to be if I left it on all of the time.

I am aware of that trend, but I’ve never understood the appeal of it! :slight_smile: It seems to be taking what can be done with a very slim and functional interface and expanding it out to dominate a third of the window (give or take), often with large amounts of that space being used to draw a grey background and nothing else (that would be especially so in a program like Scrivener that offers fairly basic formatting features). I’ll freely admit to being one who barely uses formatting in the first place however, and in fact I tend to keep the Format Bar hidden, so I might be entirely outside of the group that finds a formatting sidebar nice, rather than just a huge space hog.

That aside it is, as I understand it, for the most part a “skin” on top of the basic toolbar provided in TextEdit. Consequently there isn’t much control over how it functions (such as removing options not pertinent to the view) and the alternative is building a new format bar from the ground up.

We considered it a while back and decided to stick with “keywords” for now. We haven’t quite reached the point where nobody knows what that means, and in some genres of software the term is still actively used. Definitely do agree the usage has waned in the productivity sector, though. We like to sometimes be a little intentionally anachronistic, if you haven’t noticed. :wink:

There is a feature that does this. In Composition mode, slide the mouse to the control strip at the bottom of the screen, hold down the Option key and alter the height of the page with the slider that is normally for adjusting the width. You can shrink it down to about one line if you prefer.

You will see more control for this kind of stuff in the future. The compile system in general is going to see a major overhaul for the next major upgrade, and some of the problems you bring up are things we specifically attempted to address.

I’m not following, it looks like you moved the list from the top to the bottom, not only does that break the metaphor of these being different binder “tabs”, but it doesn’t give you any more space (in fact far less space, as all of the items listed in the collection are jammed into a space shared by the tabs themselves). If I have 10 or 15 collections with an average of 100 items in them, this UI would drive me insane! I would want to hide the binder so I could work with the collection for a while, something that comes naturally as it currently implemented.

And if you are thinking that you want to interact with both a collection and the main binder at once, that’s no problem either. Just click on the collection header bar (below the tabs) to load the collection item list into the main editor, switch back to the binder, and there you go. Locking the editor may help here.

No, our formatting bar is completely built from the ground up. There’s no way to “skin” TextEdit’s format bar. The one in Scrivener is entirely my own code. It will be staying where it is, though, for the reasons you give - Scrivener already has an inspector which is dedicated to showing document information. It would muddy things considerably to have formatting information in the inspector sidebar, even aside from the unnecessary space it would take up. I love the formatting bar as-is.

As to the rest… The next major version will be getting a UI overhaul, and collections will look different, but they will work very much the same. We have spent a lot of time thinking about all aspects of the UI, so things are being refined, though.

All the best,