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Scrivener 3: Scrivenings Enhancements

Note: This blog post pertains to upcoming features in Scrivener 3, which will be released on macOS later this year and will follow on Windows some time in 2018.

“Scrivenings mode” is Scrivener’s powerful feature that allows you to view sections of your text either in isolation or as part of the larger work. For instance, if you are writing a novel and are writing each scene in a different section, then you can either view and edit each scene on its own, or use Scrivenings mode to see and edit the scene in the context of its chapter or the manuscript as a whole.

This is as simple as switching to Scrivenings mode in the toolbar when viewing a folder, and then clicking on the Draft folder to view the entire manuscript, a chapter folder to view only a single chapter, or a scene document to see only the a single scene.

This feature has been core to Scrivener ever since its inception thirteen years ago, and with Scrivener 3 it sees a few refinements.

Hierarchical Title Sizes

When the option to show Scrivenings titles is turned on (a feature that has now been moved to the View > Text Editor menu), in Scrivener 3, the size of the title font is determined by the outline level of the document in the binder. This makes it much easier to get a feel for where you are in the text as you scroll through.

Scrivener 2: Titles in Scrivenings mode were uniform.

Scrivener 3: Title sizes give an indication of outline level.

Easier Navigation

One thing you’ve always been able to do in Scrivenings mode is lock the editor (View > Editor > Lock in Place in 2 and Navigate > Editor > Lock in Place in 3). When you do this, clicking on any document in the binder that is part of the Scrivenings text scrolls to that section in the editor. This feature is still part of Scrivener 3, but there’s now another easy way to navigate between sections, too.

When in Scrivenings mode, an icon with three lines appears on the right of the header bar. Click this to bring up a popover listing all of the sections in the Scrivenings text. Click on a section and the editor will immediately scroll it into view.

This feature isn’t just limited to Scrivenings, either: it can also be used to navigate through an outline in a PDF file or through groups in the outliner.

A More Beautiful Experience

By default, Scrivener 3 uses dashed separators, which are much more subtle than the dark lines used in Scrivener 2. When titles are displayed, separators aren’t shown at all, keeping things cleaner (you can see this in the screenshot showing outline levels above).

For those who would prefer a more book-like appearance to the editor, though, there’s a new “Bookish” separator option in the “Appearance” pane of the Preferences. When this is combined with the new option to show only folder titles in Scrivenings mode (another option under View > Text Editor), Scrivenings becomes a particularly attractive writing mode unto itself (it’s my favourite, anyway):

That’s all for now—but fingers crossed that there won’t be too many more of these blog posts before we get Scrivener 3 into your hands.


Eric Beaty

Eric Beaty  /  01 NOVEMBER 2017

Nice touch! I love the Bookish style Scrivenings mode and can't wait to try it as a general writing mode as well. My fingers—and toes—are definitely crossed!

One suggestion this reminded me of: It would be nice to be able to use Scrivener links to link to certain parts of text within a document/subdocument rather than the entire document itself. Sometimes I like to create subheadings within these documents, but when I want to reference them later using Scrivener links, I find I have to reference the entire document instead of the actual place within the document I was referring to.

This would sort of be like when you're using "jump links" within a blog post or webpage, using the # symbol to define where in the page you want to jump to.


Ricardo  /  02 NOVEMBER 2017

At this point you're just teasing us... Anyway, can't wait.

Is the Windows beta coming with most of these features?

Epsilon Rose

Epsilon Rose  /  07 NOVEMBER 2017

That's a cool feature, but it raises a question in my mind: Would it be possible to use the scrivener 2 style headings, but prepend symbols or tabs before the heading to show its level, rather than changing the size? That seems like it would be a much more compact and neat style.


PPJ  /  08 NOVEMBER 2017

Dear KB and friends,

I'm very happy to visit the blog almost daily... But it would be easier to know the release date of Scrivener The Third ?

Are you able to tell the world now when it will be available ? I would set all watches, clocks and alarms and then be patient



TestUser01  /  12 NOVEMBER 2017

Test Comment. Test Comment. Test Comment.

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