My first post here -- and minor feature requests

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Nicholas Turnbull
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:09 am Post

Scrivener is the only shareware program that I tried for 15 minutes and found so breathtakingly gorgeous that I bought it immediately without delay (I did so yesterday). I practically had an orgasm in my underwear when I first tried out the Full Screen editing mode, and the Corkboard text management interface is utterly unparalleled in its combination of both style and function. Indeed, I think Apple would do exceedingly well to investigate the model developed in Scrivener in iWork, as I would have otherwise thought Scrivener something that the design minds of Cupertino might have dreamed up. I had formerly struggled with LyX and Apple's Pages to do my writing, and attempting to write a novel in both appears akin to wading through treacle.

And thus it is, Keith, that you have my eternal devotion; and I really mean that.

I have only two feature requests, however, that would make my life absolutely perfect in Scrivener, and I hope that you might be so kind as to consider them:-
1) Bold. underline, and italic buttons in the "Edit Scrivenings" panel (and possibly also in the Full Screen editing mode). I dislike mucking about with styles as much as anyone but there are often points in my novel where one wishes to italicise proper nouns, or place certain words in bold. Although I know it can be accomplished through keystrokes, I have become so thoroughly indoctrinated in the Apple select-and-click philosophy that it would be most greatly appreciated. I personally suspect this would be quite simple to implement.
2) A facility to view the Index Card synopsis attached to the current document the cursor is within in Full Screen mode. I have found myself having to switch back and forth from Full Screen to Corkboard/Editor in order to look at what I have previously written in the Synopsis for a given text document, and it would be lovely if you could provide a button (to perhaps click-and-hold?) that would show the current synopsis in Full Screen thus avoiding this.

Keith, my darling, I would like to thank you most humbly for your work on Scrivener, something which I feel is hardly repaid by the extremely modest registration fee. As a software developer myself, I appreciate the attention-to-detail and careful user interface design that you have applied to it. I consequently am really quite excited about how Scrivener might change my work output of creative writing. Scrivener is without a doubt the most perfect environment that I have ever attempted my literary endeavours within and I believe that I will owe you tremendous credit when (if?) my current novel is published, which is now being written in Scrivener.

Yours, with much love,

Nicholas Turnbull.

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matt
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:25 am Post

1) Not sure that Keith would want to clutter up the interface too much with extra buttons. I don't like too many keyboard shortcuts either, but Cmd-B (Bold), Cmd-I (Italics), and Cmd-U (Underline) are 3 I use regularly, and are very simple to get in the habit of using.

2) You can view the Synopsis in full screen mode for the current document, as of Version 1.11 (released last weekend). There is a dropdown that allows you to switch between Project Notes, Document Notes, and Synopsis.

Matt

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vic-k
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:12 pm Post

Nic

At this stage in Scrivener`s development, declarations of undying love, devotion and admiration( for his messianic dedication to his creation, and its followers), are as water off a ducks back , for Keith, I would imagine ( albeit not through insensitivity, but sheer volume).

You Nic, have just set the new benchmark for the genre, for all who follow in your footsteps.

Take care
Vic
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KB
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:23 pm Post

Hi Nicholas,

And crikey - thanks. :) As per your suggestions, I'll deal with the second one first (given that someone has already provided the answer anyway):

2) As of 1.11 (as mentioned, released on Saturday), you can switch between notes and synopsis in full screen mode. You can't as yet view both at the same time, as I wanted to keep full screen as uncluttered as possible (and I also didn't want to spend ages reimplementing the whole inspector in full screen mode), but at least you can now view the synopsis of a document without having to switch back to the main editor.

1) I actually quite like how Pages does this. Providing buttons themselves isn't so difficult - the difficulty is in where to place them. I think they would look ugly in the toolbar. But on the other hand, there is already a header view in the editor that deals with back & forward, the title and so on, so it is difficult to put them there. Also, they would be better placed with the ruler and alignment controls, but these are all built-in to the OS X ruler (the horrible grey ruler with the styles button etc), so there is no way of changing that, really. So, in other words, I am up for suggestions on a pretty way of implementing this, as I wouldn't mind having bold, italic and underline buttons some easily accessible myself.

EDITED TO ADD:

Here's one way it could work, I suppose (Photoshopped):

Image

EDITED TO PONDER MORE:

Of course, the problem with the above is that if you had a split, you would suddenly have two sets of bold/italic/underline buttons, which would hardly be optimal. Unless they only ever appeared in the top or leftmost one...

Anyway, thanks again,
Keith

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AmberV
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:42 pm Post

You might want to check with the author of Journler. He has a hacked ruler which looks like this:

Image
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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KB
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:55 pm Post

Wow - I love that. I've e-mailed Phil Dow begging him to share. :) Hopefully he'll give me a hint on how to go about something similar.
Best,
Keith

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brett
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:19 pm Post

If you do implement this, I hope the new bold/ strikethrough/ etc layer can be optional. To my eyes, there's already enough happening in that area, and adding more risks decreasing the amount of space for text entry; I'd rather use keystrokes (and thanks for implementing a keystroke command for strikethrough, BTW) than start to approach Word-like clutter.

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Studio717
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:45 pm Post

brett, my guess is that all you'd have to do is uncheck Show Ruler. All the info goes away then.

Unless you do want to see the Ruler for some reason. :?

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brett
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:23 pm Post

I know, but I LIKE the info in the current ruler and always leave it open when writing (as opposed to just displaying notes); I'd just rather not have all that extra info displayed if it's going to reduce the amount window space available for writing. But it's certainly no biggie; if it's more useful to others to have it all there, I'm fine with whatever Keith decides.

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alexwein
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:11 pm Post

brett wrote:I know, but I LIKE the info in the current ruler and always leave it open when writing (as opposed to just displaying notes); I'd just rather not have all that extra info displayed if it's going to reduce the amount window space available for writing. But it's certainly no biggie; if it's more useful to others to have it all there, I'm fine with whatever Keith decides.


Brett, I like your attitude. You are a very cool guy! :)
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
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KB
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:27 pm Post

For the record, my intention would be to have something like a "Show Tools with Ruler" option in the Text > Ruler submenu, so that you could decide whether the extra panel got displayed with the ruler or not. Phil Dow, creator of Journler, has very kindly agreed to share his code for the ruler with me, so I'll have more idea of how I can get it working when I receive that and start playing around with it (Phil Dow is yet another incredibly cool OS X developer - the shareware developer community on OS X is just superb).
Best,
Keith

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druid
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Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:28 am Post

I'm reading this thread with a bit of dismay. Since my first Mac in 1984, I have known that Cmd-B, Cmd-I, and Cmd-U produce bold, italic, and underline text. It's so simple to do, turning it on and off as I type, that I literally have never, ever, in all those years, used buttons or menu commands for those effects.

I know, we should not generalize on the basis of personal experience, but really, this is so universal in Mac programs and so easy to do, that it seems a waste of space to have the buttons and a waste of Keith's time to program it. Since everyone else is in favor, it will probably happen. Next, someone will request a Print button because it's such a nuisance to remember Cmd-P.

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polymathic
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Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:28 am Post

I agree with druid. I've been using Cmd-B, Cmd-I, and Cmd-U produce bold, italic, and underline text on Mac and PC (CTRL version) for as long as I can remember having a computer. These are the most standard, cross-platform kboard shortcuts along with copy, cut & paste.

This said, whatever some of you like--but please make sure it can be hidden! :wink:

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xiamenese
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Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:44 am Post

I'm with Druid and Polymathic ... in fact, on most of the apps with which I'm really familiar, I turn off the button bar completely. I haven't in Scrivener, 'cos I don't know the shortcuts for all the buttons.

Mark

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Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:47 am Post

druid wrote:I'm reading this thread with a bit of dismay. Since my first Mac in 1984, I have known that Cmd-B, Cmd-I, and Cmd-U produce bold, italic, and underline text. It's so simple to do, turning it on and off as I type, that I literally have never, ever, in all those years, used buttons or menu commands for those effects.


I agree entirely.