Working in a full-page view?

Apologies if this is a suggestion that’s already been discussed - I couldn’t see anything in a forum search - but it’s pretty much the only thing which is standing between me and throwing horrible Word overboard and committing myself to Scrivener.

I write novels, and I work, always, looking at two full pages of A4 onscreen, with my text looking exactly as it will on a manuscript page. Being able to work on one page of A4 at working size would also be great if it left space on the screen for corkboards, notes and so on.

But as I understand it (have I missed something?) in Scrivener you can’t work WYSIWIG-ily like this, but only switch to that view to see what it looks like, then switch back to go on working.

Any chance of that changing in the future?


PS Just in case anyone’s thinking I’m a dinosaur with peculiar habits, I do have good reasons for working as I do. Seeing two pages of A4 all the time means I can see enough of a scene to have a feel for the pace and shape and length of it; the balance within dialogue and between dialogue and narrative; the balance of description and action; the pace of who does what and when. It’s fundamental to how I write.

Second, when I need to get an overview of the novel, and/or get some distance from it in revisions, I read and mark-up a hard copy. That happens three or four times for each novel, and it’s much more efficient (not just quicker, but also leaves less scope for muddles) to work through a 150,000 word mansucript if what’s on screen and what’s on the paper page match exactly, in page numbers, lines, etc. etc. and “page down” is the exact equivalent of turning to the next page of the manuscript.


If I understand you correctly, there are two separate issues here:

  1. Getting a WYSIWYG view of your work.

  2. Working in page view.

(1) is something you cannot do in Scrivener; (2) is something you can do in the Mac version, and which will be coming to Windows in the future. (On the Mac versions, click on “Wrap” in the toolbar or go to View > Page View, which allows you to “Show Page View” and to turn on “Two Pages Across” when in page view.)

You certainly won’t be able to see a 150,000 word manuscript on screen exactly as it is printed out in Scrivener, at least, not without rending using Scrivener entirely pointless. To do that, you would have to write all of the text in a single document in Scrivener and print it as-is. But the whole point of Scrivener is to allow you to write in smaller chunks, and to export to different formats without having to reformat the original text every time.

All the best,

Keith, thank you - that’s just what I needed to know.

Sounds as if I’d lose more than I’d gain for fiction. But for non-fiction projects the ability to move stuff around might be worth it… We’ll see!

Thanks again.