What does Float Window do in the Window menu?

I’ve looked through the manual and the tutorial project, but the only references to “float” refer to floating QR windows. So I’m wondering what the Float Window option in the Windows menu does. I assume it’s different from the “Float Quick Reference Panels” option but I can’t find this explained anywhere.

The menu item “Float Window” appears to be kind of a misnomer, at least in the Windows world. It is supposed to mean “Always on top”. Try it out by opening up a few other applications on your desktop. When you set “Float Window”, the Scrivener window will always be on top of all other applications. And you are right, this should have been documented somewhere. Like you, I had to experiment and guess to find out.

Thank you! That explains it, and I agree it’s confusing terminology in the Windows world. That also explains why sometimes I’ve found that other windows couldn’t appear over Scrivener—Float Window must have been turned on inadvertently for those projects. Thanks for taking the time to explain this!

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as “always on top” in Windows because if your program can do it, so can other programs. Raymond Chen (a Windows developer and guru) wrote about it 10 years ago, see https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20110310-00/?p=11253

Hey, thanks for this thread. I too wondered what “Float Window” meant!

Just a general note: if you’re confused about what a menu command is meant to do, you should be able to find a summary in Appendix A of the user manual, where every command is organised by menu hierarchy, and at least summarised (and sometimes cross-referenced to more documentation if there are implications to its usage). In this case it reads:

Toggles whether or not the current project window should “float” above all other windows. This will make it visible at all times, even when switching to other programs.

Update: actually, I stand corrected by myself. :slight_smile: I have double-checked and this command was never added into the manual. It looks like the developers added the feature in without marking the ticket as done, so I never got the message. It will be in the next revision!


Thank you Amber! You do an amazing job with the documentation—it’s some of the best I’ve read.

You might want to consider adding to the documentation for “Float Window” BClarke’s comment in this thread, that in Windows if another application executes the same instruction after Scrivener, that application will remain on top of Scrivener.

Reading the link BClarke referenced, it appears that Scrivener could reclaim its top position by toggling Float Window off and on again, but I don’t have another application that I can think of where I have that toggle, so I can’t test that.

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Thank you very kindly!

That may indeed be worth a footnote, maybe something simple like how it may conflict with other software that displays a window in this fashion.

Slightly OT (but related to finding things on the menus) I truly and seriously want to give a shout-out and a high-five to a feature of S3 that I—for one—have never seen in any other software: Help->Search Menus.

How frickin’ cool is that, huh?

  • Truly amazing
  • Purty danged cool
  • Meh

0 voters

One other thought, you might consider putting something about this in the tutorial as well. That’s often the first place I go when trying to figure out something I don’t understand in Scrivener.

We do try to keep only the most popular workflows and features in the tutorial, as a kind of long form FAQ almost, once you get into past the basics folder. If it had everything one might every think to look up, it would be about 770 pages long, if you catch my drift.

This is a pretty niche feature honestly. It has its uses, but especially given how most people maximise their applications, it has rather limited usefullness (though, now that I think about it, that would be an interesting way of forcing you to focus on Scrivener and stop browsing the web :laughing: ).