Scratchpad text has vanished.

ol
oldrafe
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Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:18 pm Post

I was trying to increase the size of the scratchpad text font and entered ctl+=, and the entire scratchpad text disappeared. Tried closing and reopening it. No help.

Where might I find it? I immediately closed the project so as not to do any more damage and came here.

My latest backup should have the missing text. My backups are not zipped so I can easily look through them and read the rtf files but I don't know how to locate the scratchpad

I don't want to roll back the whole project to the backup because other parts of the project, worked on today, have not yet been backed up, and I don't want to abandon them.

Appreciate all suggestions.
OldRafe

The difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense.

ol
oldrafe
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Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:21 pm Post

I guess I'm not going to get a reply here so I will post this on the Bug Hunt board. It seems to be a serious bug in that Scrivener does not backup the scratchpad, possibly because it doesn't consider the scratchpad to be part of Scrivener, but yet it rudely updates the Scratchpad in a few seconds as ut does with all other Scrivener files.

To say nothing of whatever it was that erased my scratchpad text in the first place.
OldRafe

The difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense.

al
almansur
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Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:03 pm Post

No response in 7 hours! I think your expectations are a bit high. Give it 7 days, then shake the tree.

I haven't used the scratchpad much but I tried what you posted and this is my result:
Bring up scratchpad and type some text into it.
Type Ctrl+= and then see = sign inserted.
Type Ctrl+A to select all. (corrected 2012/3/23)
Type Ctrl+= and see all text deleted and single = sign inserted. (This seems odd.)
Type Ctrl+Z and all text reappears.

As to why you can't find the text in Scrivener, it's not really part of Scrivener. And you have to do a "Send to Project" before the text will be placed somewhere in one of your several (open) Scrivener projects. It's basically an import mechanism.

Here's the salient part of the manual:

10.3 Scratch Pad Panel
The scratch pad is a universal Scrivener tool that is not tied to any particular project.
...
Last edited by almansur on Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Win 8, Scriv 1.6.*

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kewms
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Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:10 pm Post

I'm sorry you were disappointed by our response time. Thank you to almansur for stepping in: we really appreciate the help our users offer each other. For future reference, our target response time is 48 hours, which I think you will find still makes us among the more responsive software companies in the Windows universe.

Ctrl+Z is the universal Undo command for Scrivener (and I think most Windows programs). It's the first thing to try whenever anything unexpected happens. Timely use of that command would probably have recovered your lost text in this case.

To increase or decrease font size in the main edit window, you would use Ctrl+> or Ctrl+<, respectively. You are correct, however, that these commands are not available in the Scratchpad window: it doesn't support bold, italic, or other formatting, either. I do notice, however, that it is inconsistent in how it handles those commands: some are simply ignored, while others overtype the selected text with whatever the letter part of the command is. That part is indeed a bug.

As the name implies, the Scratchpad isn't really intended for long term storage. Material that you wish to keep would be safer in Document Notes, Project Notes, or any of the other places Scrivener provides for that purpose.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

ol
oldrafe
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Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:53 am Post

Thank you, Katherine.

I know well that you are one of the most responsive teams in the Windows universe, which may be why I became overly impatient. A number of times last fall, when Scrivener for Windows was still in Beta, I got responses from Jennifer within a couple of hours, sometimes within minutes. So maybe I was spoiled. Furthermore, if you scroll down the board, you will see that I asked a simple question about font size on scratchpad on March 1, more than three weeks ago, and never received a reply to it at all. My little crisis of this morning might never have happened if I had received an answer to that question.

As to the problem itself. Of course I tried "Undo" immediately. Not using Ctl=Z but by clicking on Undo on the Edit menu. Nothing happened. I then closed the Scratchpad quickly, hoping that the automatic save had not yet occurred and that re-opening it might restore the text. No help. I then closed the project, which I now guess was probably a mistake; that lost text might still have been there somewhere in Scrivener's temporary memory, erased when I closed the project.

The text I lost in Scatchpad was not intended for long-term storage, just for overnight. Basically key reminder points of where I was on one day and what was to come in the next few days. I considered it a handy tool, in keeping with Scrivener's aim of providing writers with flexible methods. LIke a real scratchpad, yes; scribbles on a piece of paper that will remain on your desk until you throw it away. Not quite... So it's cost me just a couple of days; an annoyance, not a catastrophe

I'm left with a question or two. Why did the text disappear when I typed Ctl+=? Was that a bug or my mistake? And why in the world doesn't Scrivener back up the scratchpad along with everything else? As scratchpad gets saved automatically like all Scrivener files, and normally survives nicely from day to day when the project is closed, it seems to me it should qualify for backup.

Thanks again for your attention.
OldRafe

The difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense.

al
almansur
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Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:39 am Post

oldrafe wrote:And why in the world doesn't Scrivener back up the scratchpad along with everything else? As scratchpad gets saved automatically like all Scrivener files, and normally survives nicely from day to day when the project is closed, it seems to me it should qualify for backup.


The file is located here (replace ZZZZ with your name, this is on XP) along with some other things:

C:\Documents and Settings\ZZZZ\Local Settings\Application Data\Scrivener\Scrivener

This is a non-project specific location and not backed up with a project or projects probably because the information there pertains to all projects. Not that it couldn't be backed up; it's just not, possibly because the default backup location is also in there.

Loss of some of these files will result in the user repeating work done perhaps far in the past and long forgotten and possibly at the most inopportune time.

This aspect of Scrivener needs much better documentation (and design).
Win 8, Scriv 1.6.*

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pigfender
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Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:14 am Post

<Ctrl>+= isn't a special command for the scratchpad so by typing it, Scriv will ignore the <ctrl> and just give you an '='. The only way this would replace all the text is if - as almansur's post implied - you had selected all the text first (I presume you meant you pressed <Ctrl>+A to select all, almansur - if not worth flagging as <ctrl>+z should be undo not select all - unless you've switched them!)

This doesn't sound like a bug to me, I'm afraid. It just sounds like you deleted all your text (by selecting it all and replacing it with a '='), and then closed the document upon which it was saved. Next time this happens, just use undo <Ctrl>+Z before you close and you should get it back.

Note, you can't use menu commands whilst in the scratchpad. I suspect when you went to the edit menu you will have found the scratchpad becomes transparent as the focus comes back to the main programme. You will have either found the undo command in the edit menu greyed out, or if it was not greyed out then pressing it will have actually undone whatever your last task in the main programme was; not in the scratchpad.

Given that the scratchpad isn't backed up as part of the normal project processes, my suggestion is that you only use it for convenient notes on the fly. It really is worth exporting your comments from the scratchpad prior to closing Scrivener to a more permanent home.
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ol
oldrafe
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Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:18 pm Post

Thanks, Almansur,

I had already found scratchpad under application data, but of course it contained merely that "=" sign which had replaced my text.

And thanks, Pigfender, for pointing out what should have been obvious to me, that when I went to the menu command for Undo I removed the focus from scratchpad and therefore the Undo had no effect. Blame it on my momentary panic. Then of course, had I stopped to think, I could have gone back to scratchpad and typed Ctl+Z and might have recovered.

I had NOT selected all the text in scratchpad (at least not deliberately) so the cause of the text disappearing in the first place is still a mystery. Except for that, I now understand what happened and why, thanks to you guys and Katherine.

I still think that scratchpad should somehow be included in backups, OR that users be given a very visible warning that it will not be backed up.
OldRafe

The difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense.

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jravan
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Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:11 am Post

I still think that scratchpad should somehow be included in backups, ...

Having said that, what do you think should happen? How would an automatic backup of the scratchpad work?

ol
oldrafe
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Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:18 pm Post

I don't know, Jravan, I'm not designing software. But I did suggest an alternate, that users be warned that Scratchpad is a Scrivener orphan and will not be backed up. I did not get such a warning and that's how I lost some data. Now that I know how it works I don't need the backup.
OldRafe

The difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense.