Word count "status bar" missing?

mi
mixvio
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Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:18 am Post

I swear this used to be in the Windows version, although I predominantly use Scrivener on OSX. Under OSX there's an option to turn on a status bar of sorts that includes, among other things, word count and a word count "goal." I'm certain that this was in the Windows version as well but I cannot find it for the life of me in the latest version and it's driving me insane. Am I looking in the wrong place or was this pulled?

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AmberV
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Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:51 am Post

Did you disable the footer bar? This is where statistics and document goals are set. Try pressing Alt-DownArrow while in a text editor, does it pop up? Or is the problem that you do have that bar, but it doesn't have your statistics display in it? If that's the case, you're probably accidentally in scriptwriting mode. Check the icon, if it is yellowish with 3-hole punches then you've got screenplay mode on. Use Ctrl-4 to toggle it off.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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jm
jmsthornton
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Fri May 10, 2013 2:07 am Post

I also could not find the word count in the footer bar when I opened a previous project although it showed in the current one. However reading this post helped to trace the issue.

However search as I may, I cannot see any change to the Binder Icon when I toggle between script mode and general document mode. While this may be a bug, a change to the binder icon colour is not self explanatory as an indicator of changed mode. Ctrl > 4 is equally not obvious as the method of change. On the principle that good software is autodidactic, it would also be very helpful to have actual words in the "Format" drop-down menu indicating the status of the mode. "Scriptwriting On" with a tick beside it would be great, especially if it did not involve a visit to a sub-menu!

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AmberV
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Fri May 10, 2013 2:48 am Post

Given the opacity of this command, we already have plans to involve some form of "warning" message that will appear briefly and fade away when the mode is switched on or off. It will just be an unobtrusive message that fades away after a few seconds. But as to your other point, the menu already does activate a steady state indicator when script mode is enabled, as well as hint at the icon style that will be used in the Binder. I would say that line of communication is adequate. It's the switch itself that needs a little prompting.
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Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

jm
jmsthornton
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Fri May 10, 2013 6:13 am Post

Yes, now that you have called my attention to it, I can see that when it is in scriptwriting mode and when you have opened the format menu and hovered over "scriptwriting" in the list, that you do indeed in the next sub-menu, get a small highlight around the icon for the mode.

However it took me 20 minutes of searching the 'help' manual plus a search on the forums to actually work out that scriptwriting mode was the reason my footer word-count had disappeared. Its by no means an intuitive deduction.

The user needs have a trigger to be able to interpret the nature of the problem before they can see if there is an indicator that something is or is not turned on.
That is why I suggested something in the first layer of "Format" - and even that isn't obvious. Because to me it was a "word-count" problem, the first place I looked was "Tools".

I'm writing a PhD thesis about how people construct "use" in educational technology and this is an excellent example of the issues. Before people can solve a problem they need to have done some kind of sense-making about what kind of problem it is. In the absence of intelligible cues, it can be any problem, and they either get bogged down looking for an interpretation of what sort of problem it is, or give up. The literature on use of educational technology is full of the latter. This sequence is not exclusive to Scrivener, and designers and users frequently have very different definitions of 'use'.

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AmberV
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Fri May 10, 2013 7:53 am Post

Yes, like I say we are definitely aware of it being one of those opaque things, and for people that already prefer to write in Courier 12pt it can be practically invisible save for the status stuff in the footer bar. But even with people who do not use Courier, we still get a lot of questions from that vector as well---people wondering why they can't get the font to stick because it always goes back to Courier---they are in scriptwriting mode and never knew it.

But I think our solution is enough. We've tested it out on the Mac side; it's a black rounded rectangle that comes up with "Scriptwriting Mode On" printed in large white text, smack in the middle of the editor, and fades away after a second. It is impossible to miss, but it goes away quick enough to not be a bother. Since implementing this, support requests for status and Courier have dropped off significantly. So I think this solution works well and we hope to get it included in the Windows version as soon as we can. They have a very large todo list though, catching up on the Mac's four year development lead.

I'm sorry it took you as long as it did to find this. It's just kind of hard to make that easy to find in the documentation. I could maybe try including a short note in the section which documents the footer bar, and see if that helps. I'm leery of peppering the manual with troubleshooting tips, but it might be worth it in the Windows version of the manual.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

jm
jmsthornton
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Sun May 12, 2013 12:58 am Post

Thanks for the reply. It hasn't changed my mind about Scrivener needing something to tell you which mode you are in at any time, not just for a few minutes after you change. However I think putting something in the manual would be a good idea. As far as I could see, nowhere did the manual mention in the same sentence, the relationship between the word count in the footer bar, the scriptwriting mode and how to switch between modes . This instruction needs to appear under "word-count" as well as "scriptwriting mode", because otherwise it is a non intuitive associative connection.
However any improvement is welcome.