Two desiderata for Scrivener 2.0

Among the many interesting new features of the brandnew 2.0 version of Devonthink is the ability to search all open Devonthink-databases simultaneously. Very convenient. Similarly, it would be very nice if Scrivener 2.0 could search all open projects simultaneously. This won’t be of much use for those who have only one or two projects, but will be very convenient for those who have dozens.

As we all know, the editor of the present version of Scrivener can be split into two separate panes. Excellent feature! But in my opinion it would be very handy too if the editor could be split in two separate columns, with the text of one and the same (copy of a) document flowing from the first column to the second. This feature won’t be of much use to those working on a 13” laptop, but might be greatly appreciated by those who have a desktop with a 20” or 23/24” screen.

You mean like this?

Can’t remember where it is, but there was a demo of the two-page mode floating around somewhere at one stage (as a standalone application).

Ah, I missed that thread. Of course it is not yet possible to know how exactly this two page view in the coming page layout mode will work and look, but yes, I guess it’s coming close to what I meant. Which implies that at least one of my wishes will be more or less fulfilled!

Hi Timotheus,

I’m afraid there are no plans for a search between projects; I think Spotlight generally does a good job of this sort of thing, although it may not do all that you want - I haven’t explored that feature of DT 2.0 yet. I would ultimately like to improve Scrivener’s search features; I’m just not sure there’s room for them in 2.0 - at least initial versions of 2.0 - as the way I would like to do searches in the future might involve a big underlying change (I would actually like the search to work as it does in Xcode).

As for columns… I actually tried out columns when I first started coding Scrivener. This is mentioned a little on the Free Stuff section of the website, where you can download the free “MyColumn”. The idea was taken from Amar Sagoo’s Tofu, a rich text reader that allows you to read text in columns. The creator (Sagoo) had the idea that text was actually easier to read in columns, as we are used to that from newspaper print and so forth, and also because having the eye have to span right across the screen is not entirely comfortable. I agree with him - Tofu is a better reading experience to reading in a normal text editor. MyColumn was a test app I put together to see if editing in columns was equally comfortable (because Tofu is read-only). After putting it together, I found that typing in columns wasn’t anywhere near as nice as writing in columns. The eye suddenly has too many directions in which to travel. Normally (in western left-to-right scripts) the eye travels left-to-right, down-left, left-to-right and so on. Then you can flick the eyes up the text to find something written previously. Writing in columns, though, adds the necessity for the eyes to have to flick up to the top of the screen, left-to-right, down-left, left-to-right, then to the top of the screen (right a bit) and so on. When looking for something written earlier the eyes have to zig-zag back… And so on. So I think columns definitely work better for reading than writing. Thus, there are no plans for columns as you describe them. That said, as mentioned, there is a two-page mode in the next update, which you may find equally useful. (The two page view has some of the problems of columns, but there are only ever two columns so it isn’t so bad - a proper column view would require you to scroll horizontally instead of vertically.)

Thanks for the suggestions and all the best,