When "cork" isn't cork

So I just got the iOS version, and the fact that I’m resurrecting an old thread tells you that I, too, was looking for that old cork texture background. I read this thread, and it’s obvious that 1.5 years later this decision seems rather final. But I have a question…

The basic sentiment from the developers seems to be that we’re moving away from the skeuomorphic - no need for real-world textures like wood or cork. OK, well fine…


Call it something else. But if you do continue to call it a corkboard, then put the freakin’ cork texture back in!

They shouldn’t call it a Binder then, by your logic.

The name of the element isn’t what makes it skeumorphic. The name is a metaphor to give you some understanding of what the control is for.

Well touché on they binder comparison, except…there was no visual binder/spine/3-ring representation. The corkboard has always had a cork background visual (desktop). So if you take away the visual, just call it something else. Hell, remove all references to physical analogs! No binders, cork boards, pages, folders, etc. Until you export for print, at least.

Feel free to ignore this as I’m just ranting now…

To provide another point of perspective, the Mac version hasn’t shipped with a corkboard texture by default since 2015. We switched over to a plain grey background along with rest of the Yosemite UI update in 2.7, and now we’re using a kind of tan colour like on the iPad by default in 3.0. Surely there are many people who have been using Scrivener for a long time and remember when the texture was default, and perhaps a subset of those that have gone into their settings since 2.7 and switch the texture back on (and indeed you can still do so on the Mac), but to say it is the signature look is perhaps a little dated at this point. It was after all, a look from back when Apple put leather trim on their agenda program and buttons looked like blobs of candy.

I don’t mean that in a Mac-centric sense, I realise Windows 1.x still uses it by default, and so that is what many people will associate Scrivener with—but Windows 3.x won’t be, and at that point there won’t be any platform using a texture by default. It’s the way forward, whether or not all pieces are on sync yet, and thus I still think it is fair to more rightly say it was a signature look.

Absolutely right, and while we don’t have a team for it, we very much do go over every single default colour you see. Every label, the default Document Notes background, corkboard, binder background, outliner font, outliner font colour, the spacing between elements, icon size, icon shape, type of embellishment to use in the icon, contrast levels in button elements, how warm or cool grey should be, how wide the default binder is, the amount of padding around the synopses in the index card vs in the inspector—everything was picked over and if necessary debated to death and back to life until we were happy with it.

So you can be quite sure we debated the removal of the texture from the defaults four or so years ago—we knew that would be removing from Scrivener’s look an element that had been up until that point a signature look. It was a sacrifice we felt necessary to keep the software from looking like it last went through a design review in 2009 (which was the case, in fact).

Now where we might be in a point of disagreement is whether a photographic image of cork in a modern piece of software is the equivalent of an ugly shade of pink. I would contend it would be. But then again, this is what my corkboard looks like, so maybe I’m no one to talk! :wink:


And to be fair, I’m also in the camp that just doesn’t get the appeal in the first place—there is that. I’ve been changing the default on the Mac to a solid colour of some sort since before 1.0 was launched. I’ve dabbled in textures now and then—but nothing that looked anything like the husk of a flattened chunk of bark from a cork tree.

Perhaps you’re being a bit tongue in cheek at this point. :slight_smile: Are you, a writer, saying words do not have enough power to create meaning and a sense of purpose without a corresponding photorealistic visual aid?

What are you proposing it be called? We can’t use pins, boards or cards in our reference. So what is it? The Rectangular Rectangle Viewer Mode?

LOL - well, it’s an overview of text sections/snippets - not sure without looking what these are called in the software - and each displays w/ title and an excerpt or synopsis. So maybe Synopsis or Excerpt view? We’re now referring to what we are viewing vs. the physical analog of how we are able to view it. Also, easier to fit into a menu than your idea :slight_smile:

fx:stops eating popcorn, slides forward in deckchair.

Um. It’s actually a kanban board, right/write?

(or we could just infringe some other people’s rights and call it Post-It View. Although Index Card Experience does abbreviate nicely to ICE. Are you working on your Scrivice view today? Etc.

(mental note, need more popcorn)

Yeah, that’s a way forward. As for how the software refers to them, by and large with familiar desktop metaphor terms: files and folders. We’ve tossed around the concept of using something else, as there are conceptual downsides to that—Ulysses for example uses the word “sheets” to call their thing that we call “files”, but nothing really jumped out as great. So at the moment, I guess the most congruent and non-metaphorical (setting aside the metaphors) thing we could call it is: “Desktop”. But… meh. What will it be next, “My Documents” in the binder? Eek. :laughing:

What you call a thing certainly makes a big impact on how you work with it though, which gets back to the point. Calling these things “index cards” or “cards”, is I think a potent way of getting across the point that they are as you put, things that display a title and excerpt or synopsis (and I would add, other metadata). If we called them “Icons on the Desktop”, it would diminish that chain of thinking; that distinguishing characteristic between icons and cards—even though if you really think about what you’re looking at: they are a quite bit like fancy icons and clicking on a thing in the sidebar to view a grid of icons is an awful like clicking on a folder in Finder (at least so long as you ignore all of the ways they don’t really act like files and folders).

Even “Post-It” for that matter doesn’t quite convey the right connotation to me. That’s how I would alert myself to needing to do something about a thing (and that is what our Comments look like by default, oh hey!). Index card is what you use to represent a thing among other similar reference cards.

So that’s how I’m thinking of it, and in doing so, my main summary question would be: is there a better way of describing what you would use an index card for, than an index card? And if we have “index cards” (which we do still use a visual metaphor of!) then what better word is there for the thing we stick them to on a surface? There are alternatives, for sure, like “The Wall” (I can already hear Facebook’s lawyers calling), the “Whiteboard”, but that’s very BusinessMeetingBlah, we need something more familiar to writers, the… hmm, the “corkboard”, maybe?

Kanban is an interesting one, but I think we need more popcorn.

Kanban is a common metaphor in project management, and in that context implies that work flows from one side of the board to the other. Not really applicable to Scrivener’s index cards.


Absolutely! Whereas physical corkboards* have been used as writers’ tools (specifically scriptwriters’ tools in Hollywood, but also more widely as tools for novelists and other longform writers) since before the use of computers for writing became widespread.

As visual metaphors, writers’ corkboards have also permeated other digital tools apart from Scrivener - see, for example, Save the Cat!.

Of course, you could use a Post-It note metaphor. But maybe not.

  • I confess to owning a physical corkboard - “fully loaded”, including ribbons. And very useful it is too, as a precursor to opening up Scrivener. I’ve also used physical kanban boards when managing a project - also useful, but a different thing entirely (with digital equivalents, such as Trello).

Yep, I just started using the iOS version after a few years using the Windows version. I also reset my system several times trying to get the “cork” texture to appear through settings. Here’s my pitch:

When I’ve described this program to several friends, I have always used the “cork board” description to explain how it is different than other programs. So I’m bummed that now it looks like every other program. Why have two different options in the cork board background settings when they are almost the same color?

It is nice to have a program that looks different than every other program. When I start to work, I want to feel like I am in a different space than when I am answering emails.

Just getting used to the iOS version, which I really love, and like some others, was confused for many long minutes trying to figure out how to get my corkboard to look like a corkboard. On the Mac version there’s an option to set an image as the corkboard background, and I have done ever since I started using Scrivener five or six years ago— a picture of a corkboard that I liked better than Scrivener’s original picture! I really miss the option to do that here. All talk of design imperatives aside, it really does make a difference to me to have the corkboard look like a corkboard— softens the transition from old fashioned to new fangled tools, and/or (continuing above discussion) makes the new fangled metaphor more effective. I wish I had it. :frowning:

The Outline view is a view of the content as an outline. The Corkboard is a view of the content as Index Cards.

If L&L don’t like the design aesthetic of cork, perhaps the function should be renamed to Index Cards.

My pardon for the use of metaphor without the accompaniment of photorealistic texturing, but I feel like perhaps we are driving around a cul-de-sac. :slight_smile:

I’d like an ability to add a background texture, cork by default, to that corkboard window.

Why? I’d like it. In creative work, arranging your desktop matters.

Technically speaking, that’s part of the data-entry function of Scrivener, and in some phases of a project, the corkboard is the part of the interface which the user spends most of the time looking at.

Scrivener’s authors can canvas their paid-up customers and see what their opinions are these days, after all paid-up users are the people who spend the most time staring at a Scrivener screen, and maybe this item is not a priority, and maybe it is.