Typewriter Sounds in Full Screen/Composition Mode

I’m trying to reduce the amount of software I use to write each scene. One such software, in which I do the actual writing, is FocusWriter. Scrivener’s full screen mode could fill this roll IF the visuals were more customisable - for example, being able to increase the transparency of the text background so that the image shows through, and if there was the option of turning on typewriter sounds, which gives me the sense of achieving something; really getting words written.

I’m sure this wouldn’t be too difficult to achieve, technically, and many users of Scrivener would welcome the development.

If I understand you correctly, you can customise the transparency of the text background in full screen mode. Drop your mouse to the bottom of the screen to access the menu bar, and it’s the slider on the far right (see picture) Screenshot 2017-03-18 22.25.01.png. Not sure about the sounds though :smiley:

I don’t mean the picture/plain colour background, I mean the part which goes directly under the typed words and which blocks out the image.
If you take a look at FocusWriter (free, cross-platform) you’ll see that this part can be made various degrees of transparency, so that the image beneath is perfectly visible. The font colour can be changed to stand out against the image. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to link to the site, but you’ll easily find images if you put the name into google and either go to the site or search ‘images’.

The fade which you’re pointing to enables one to see the main Scrivener screen through the background, an option I find very distracting. (If I wanted to see that I wouldn’t be in full screen.)

You can search the forum for prior posts and discussions on the practice of playing sound files whenever you use the keys. Short story: it’s not something you’ll find in Scrivener, sorry. :slight_smile: I’m not being the least bit facetious here, but have you considered getting an actual typewriter? Those sound effects things are deeply unsatisfying against the real thing in my opinion, and the necessary rewriting process of getting paper into digital is a good solid creative step.

The fader on the other hand is more hopeful. If the slider referred to is not adjusting “paper” transparency against an image background/texture then it is something we do intend to add.

Another recommendation for clicking sounds while typing, along the same lines as Amber’s: you might consider getting a mechanical key switch keyboard. I’m using a Matias Tactile Pro, and it’s wonderfully clicky.

Another good choice is the old buckling spring IBM Model M style keyboards, now made by Unicomp:

There are also a host of keyboards that use Cherry MX Blue switches, which are also clicky, but for my money the ALPS switches of the Tactile Pro or the Unicomp buckling spring keyboards give you the most click for your buck.

Hope that helps!

On the Mac there’s Keyclick and possibly others, and on Windows I’d bet there are equivalents. I use Keyclick when the spirit of the smoke-ridden, noisy offices in which I spent nearly half my working-life captures me for a few hours - though I’m very glad to have Cmd-Q.

Windows user here. I used a little app called Clickey for typewriter sounds. It’s small and does the job well enough.

3 years, ago, though, I ditched the app and bought a mechanical keyboard. (Ducky G2 Pro with blue switches, if anyone’s interested.) By far the best thing I’ve bought in a looong time. Aside from the clicky sound of a mech board, there are other advantages over a normal rubber dome keyboard. Lifehacker has a good primer on the subject: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-choose-the-best-mechanical-keyboard-and-why-you-511140347

Long time, busy writing.
As for the option of using a typewriter, been there when I was a student in the late 70s and hated having to bash the keyboards on the small manual I had. I loved the electric typewriter which replaced it, hated the electronic typewriter which replaced that, and love old laptops with PROPER keys. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find a laptop with old style keyboards now. I was looking at the new Thinkpads, they’re horrid and have awful chiclet keys.
The difference between “sound files” and software, like FocusWriter, which responds perfectly to a key press, is that the latter feels like words are going down on the screen. I tried out Quoll Writer a while ago and while I loved the prompts in the warm-ups, the typing sound was so out of synch that typos ensued.
If a typewriter sound (properly synched) was available in composition mode, those who don’t like it could easily turn it off. It would be optional. Scrivener is so wonderfully customisable now that it wouldn’t make much difference to those who deplore the notion.
I saw a video of someone using Scrivener on a Mac. They were in composition mode and the text underlay was faded to show the image beneath. This seems to be already available on the Mac version. It’s time Windows caught up. We’re waiting for version 3 to create parity.
Meanwhile, I’ll use other software for the actual composition and Scrivener for planning and piecing work together.

To see that a feature popular enough to get many forum mentions is disregarded with “it’s not something you’ll find in Scrivener, sorry” followed by advice to get a real typewriter is very disappointing and diminishes my opinion of Scrivener significantly.

This feature is well implemented in the iOS app Hanx Writer designed by Tom Hanks. It has more typewriter emulation than I’d prefer, but the sound is well done and it works for “just writing.” Hanx Writer emulates several models of typewriter, each with different sounds. I prefer the Selectric-emulating Electrix.

Like others have said, I find myself composing in other apps such as Hanx Writer and pasting the content into Scrivener for editing and organizing. L&L has gone to the trouble of creating composition mode, and did it well. I think L&L would prefer that those of us who like audio feedback would compose in Scrivener, too, so we’ll consider upgrades worth paying for. So far, I’ve found little advantage of Scriv 3 over 2, I haven’t run through a compilation yet, so I trust there are advantages I’ve not yet seen. Why not add sound feedback to your users’ wish list?

As I mentioned above, I’ve been a user of Keyclick since 2008. To those Scrivenati who think it might be easy to graft typewriter sounds on to Scrivener’s programme (whatever the intentions of Scrivener’s developer) - apparently typewriter sounds are not especially simple in technical terms to link to your keyboard’s keys, at least today on the Mac. Thanks to sandboxing and other protective measures in Sierra and High Sierra, the developer of Keyclick is still developing his Sierra beta. It requires going through various hoops to make it work. In particular, all your System Preferences have to be placed and activated in the Accessibility pane on the Privacy tab of Security & Privacy, within System Preferences. It works, but, as I say, not especially simply.

Great tip - do you know if this is Mac:OS High Sierra compatible - work okay?

Frustratingly, I can’t give you a straight answer today. The previous Keyclick beta (1.3) did function perfectly well on my Macs, once I’d passed through the hoops described in my post above. But that was using Sierra. I too am using High Sierra now, and unfortunately, though I had a full licence for previous versions of the software, as I’ve just been reminded, the beta was on a limited-trial licence which has now expired. Keyclick beta 1.4 is now current, but as of today I cannot test it. Sorry.

However, I’ve found that the Keyclick developer responds reasonably quickly to emails, I suggest that you contact him directly (details on the Keyclick website).

Edit: I’ve taken another look at the emails that I exchanged with the developer. These suggest that if you go through the following hoops you’ll be good to go with Keyclick’s latest beta in High Sierra:

'What to do if Keyclick no longer works on MacOS Sierra or later:

Due to changes in the way Apple configures Accessability Preferences, the KeyclickServer (inside the preference pane bundle) may no longer be authorized to monitor Keystrokes. Navigate to: System Preferences > Security > Privacy > Accessibility.

Add System Preferences to the list of authorized apps. Then restart the KeyclickServer by turning off all sounds (Keyclick, scroll, etc.) and exiting the Keyclick preference pane. Alternatively, you can just restart your computer.

For those who may be curious: Authorizing the the KeyclickServer application inside the preference pane bundle no longer works. The application that launches it needs to be authorized which in this case is System Preferences since preference panes are System Preferences plugins.’

You can trial the software for 21 days, if I remember correctly.

Not sure if this is still a question, but typewriter sounds are built-in to a Mac. Here’s a short YouTube vid describing how:


  1. open System Preferences, click Sound, check “Play user interface sound effects.”
  2. Then go back to main System Preferences screen, click Accessibility, select Keyboard, check “Enable Slow Keys”
  3. Then select Options next to Enable Slow Keys, check “use click key sounds”, and slide “Acceptance Delay” to far left (shortest setting)

Works great.

Hi, integrated typing sounds in Scrivener would be a really nice UX enhancement (not absolutely necessary but more along the lines of that cherry on top the cake).

Tried few of the 3rd party options, nice sound sets but all of those had enough lag (anywhere from 300 to 600ms or so) to make them quite distracting and unusable,

OS X keyboard sounds… a slight lag there too but the main problem is that is is a single “sound” instead of the nice array of sounds you experience with a real mechanical typewriter. Thus, rather monotonic and not usable.