What does the red Header bar mean?

What does it mean when the Header bar of a document suddenly turns red? It happened to me once before and Scrivener crashed shortly afterwards, losing my entire chapter. (True, I might have recovered the file but I didn’t/don’t know where to look for it. And yes, I am a newbie…) Now it’s happened again.

Is this a Fatal Error or is Scrivener just being cute? Meanwhile, I daren’t go back to using Scrivener.

That just means the editor has been locked, so if you click around in the Binder you won’t lose your place. CTRL+Shift+L to toggle that on and off.

I had to look this up (searched the forum for “red header bar”). It means the editor pane is “locked” so that what it is displaying cannot be influenced by clicking in the bindery. In the manual (Help > Scrivener Manual), see 9.3.1 Locking the Editor. It is invoked by View > Editor > Lock in Place, or Ctrl+Shift+L or in the dropdown icon list to left end of the header bar (small doc icon with small down arrow to its lower right corner).

So… perhaps make sure to avoid invoking it.

What version of Scrivener for Windows are you using? See Help > About Scrivener.

The red header in the editor means you’ve locked the editor, so clicks in the binder won’t affect it where normally they would load the selected document. You probably accidentally toggled it with the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+L; you can also set it via View > Editor > Lock in Place or from the icon menu in the editor header.

I’m sorry to hear you had a crash and lost some work. It’s rare to lose an entire document’s text in an application crash, so there’s a possibility it’s still saved somewhere on your drive. Was this all new text since you’d last opened Scrivener before the crash? If not, the first thing to do is to check your automatic backups, which you can access via the Backup tab in Tools > Options in Scrivener. If you haven’t changed the backup folder location, it will be C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Scrivener\Scrivener\Backups on Windows Vista or higher or C:\Documents and Settings\YOURUSERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Scrivener\Scrivener\Backups on Windows XP. Backups are saved as zip files by default, so to open them in Scrivener you’ll need to first right-click the folder and choose “Extract All”, then open the extracted Scrivener project to check its contents.

You can also check the contents of the current project, in case the text is there but not displaying correctly when opened. Make a backup of the project by right-clicking the [ProjectName].scriv folder in Windows Explorer and choosing “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) folder”, then open the folder and go down into the Files\Docs folder and look for the most recent document file (I’m assuming the one you were editing most recently was the one that went missing). Copy that file to somewhere outside of the project folder and try opening it in another program like Word or WordPad. If your text is still there, you can copy or import it back into the project.

Thanks, everyone. I’ve just unlocked the Editor and - lo! - the Header bar has returned to normal. (I just stumbled on the Red Header Bar in Scrivener for Dummies. Well, dummy defines me… ) My back up problem is a separate issue, of course, but I daresay I will resolve it. I’m greatly appreciative of all your help - and awesome response time. Thank you!

I’m using Scrivener for Windows and I’ve somehow managed to change the title bar at the top of my sub-document red and I can’t work out what I did or how to get rid of it.

It’s some sort of editing thing that I guess means I can move the scenes around but I just want to get out of it and go back to the normal title bar. I’ve tried searching for the answer and can’t find anything. I tried closing the project and reopening it but that didn’t work.

Could someone please tell me the simple fix? Really sorry to bother you with such a tiny thing but I can’t find my way out.


You will find documentation on the different header bar colours, and what they mean, in the user manual PDF, under §14.1, Header Bar. Following that section the Item Icon Menu is addressed, and if you scroll to the bottom of the list of commands in there, you’ll find the toggle you are looking for: “Lock in Place”.

This tool is covered in greater detail in §8.3.1, Locking the Editor. It is as you surmise, a tool to make it easier to work in your binder without losing your place.

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Thank you, Amber. As usual I really appreciate your expertise and prompt response. :slight_smile:

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