UI issues that are Windows beta version specific

I know that you would rather we post UI issues in the Wishlist forum except the issues I am having with the UI are specific to the Windows beta version. Using Scrivener 3 on the Mac makes this clearer. (No pun intended.)

This is the current Windows beta UI:

This is the current Mac UI:

Looking at the two screenshots together this is what I notice:

  1. The main toolbar icons eg compile, bookmark, inspector etc have a contrasting background colour that makes them eaier to see against the background UI colour even though they are small.

  2. The Windows UI is fuzzier and harder to see. This is most noticible with UI elements that use text eg font name etc. I don’t know why that this is the case, only that the UI on the Nac version is crisper and easier to see.

If we could have the crispness and contrast found in the Mac UI that would be great!

It wouldn’t bother me if you copied the Mac designin the Windows version if it meant I could see the UI in the Windows version better please. Joking aside, I know some people want Scriv Wi to look like a Windows native app as much as possible.

Like I said if we could have the crispness, contrast, and clarity found in the Mac UI that would help a lot with the Windows version.

I know you guys are looking into toolbar icon size, especially when working on larger screens that’s why I’ve not cited icon size as a problem here as I know you are working on it.

I hope this explains some of the Windows specific UI issues.

One of my only complaints for the Windows UI is that the project search tool is off-center in the Windows version, but centered in the MacOS version. At least by default, as I did not see a setting to change the positioning. I would greatly appreciate it if the Windows version followed the MacOS version at least for that one particular detail, as the way it is now looks and feels very awkward!

I have to throw in with Stacey on this. A little something to delineate the icons would be nice.

I’ve deleted a couple of posts from earlier today, as they were probably too strongly written, if with positive intention.

I would however like to support Stacey’s thoughts, once again. Making Scrivener Windows have the best legibility for the ranges of eyesight that will want to use it is surely a worthy goal…

Where I arrived on this, considering Microsoft’s model and other screens of the Beta, is that you’re actually well prepared to do this, at least in the way Stacey has asked for here.

  • You can see in her screenshots that the big difference in the Mac screen, besides a more balanced layout, is that many more of the buttons have white backgrounds – as well as that color splashes are used liberally in the icons themselves.
  • My careful look at other screens of the beta show you are already doing both of these things, to an extent, so it would not be a big effort to do it more often. In fact, why not white-background and color-splash buttons precisely as you do on the Mac UI, since that’s the model for Scrivener Windows 3 functionality?

Why do these things?

Their effect is to make the buttons appear larger – in this way much more noticeable and differentiable , for imperfect eyes; also for overly high-resolution screens as are increasingly prevalent, and which may be left set that way for the needs of other applications, or for placing them side-by-side, etc…

This is a worthy goal, surely, and it is underlined by the fact that Microsoft also does it, even on my example, 2013 Word.

It’s also worth noting that by judicious use of clustering, some individual color flashes, and overall group box outlines, Microsoft also doesn’t need to white-background the expected sets like character qualities. Presented as a group, and with group purpose as context, these stand out well enough themselves.

Once again, what you’ve done on the Mac follows this concept, and matching for Windows ought to do a trick.

Other affordances for individual vision? Well, magnifying button sizes is probably fraught, both for UX library reasons and layout concerns. Here, though, Windows has ability to magnify the overall screen reasonably nicely, at least under the Accessibility settings of Windows 10.

I did give some suggestions on the other long thread, for overall management of contrast. No reply there makes me think this looks like a bridge too far, at least at this stage of working up feature parity for version 3.

So I suspect that as just discussed, if you make the UI pretty strictly in parity with Mac, with the more prevalent white button backgrounds and color flashes, you may achieve enough to get the Windows screens workable enough to be a p pleasure across the ‘all of us’ – the ones who have appreciated, and those coming who will, into a future we’ll all enjoy with Scrivener.

And that, I am confident, is your goal with all the work you do, for which considerable thanks.


N.B. I’m playing around with the Accessibility magnifications of Windows 10 just now, and note that there’s a specific problem.

There are three settings, at least on the intermediate Settings>Ease of Access>Display panel: 100%, 125%, and 150%.

The effects of these are nonlinear for perception, so that actually they form a useful range. 150% is BIG, and 125% seems a very nice increase for taking the strain out of a too-small display, at least here.

  • Word obeys all three settings, appearance as you’d expect
  • Scrivener Beta, though, obeys only the 100% and 150% for magnifying the icons and their backgrounds. In 125%, the most useful setting, nothing happens(!), and thus we don’t get the benefit It seems likely this is not a troublesome fix, since 150% works, no?
  • In the 125% setting, Scrivener Beta does magnify the texts, all of the I think, so this is good, and it’s just the icons that need to pick up the effect for this setting level.
  • I thought I had noticed a proportion change for the Binder/Collections column, but later this looks not to happen. At least after I’ve adjusted it once, it appears well behaved… You may want to have a look at response to first-initialized values just to be sure.

I have to close with a definite compliment. It is just such a relief that with this Beta, Scrivener doesn’t Beep every time to accompany the monthly timeout alert. Thank you very kindly, for that :slight_smile:


The screenshots are from displays with two different resolutions. Comparing them shows nothing. On top of that, you have adjusted the toolbars, so this is not their default setting.

I, personally, prefer the windows version and find the contrast of the MacOS too distracting. Most of the time I, and I suppose most of the users, do not look at the toolbar buttons but use the shortcuts for those commands.

That’s good that it works for you. The point of the screenshots was to show the contrasting colours. Using shortcuts on the Windows version can be problematic, especially those that use Ctrl + G first, especially for users with dexterity issues. I’m trying to raise awareness why the Windows UI has it’s problems for a subset of users like myself. I’m trying to make the UI better for all users.

I shifted to shortcuts because the main toolbar takes up too much screenspace for the three buttons on it I would use. Everything on the screen needs to be useful, and the main toolbar really isn’t, at least for me.