Some changes I'd like to see
Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:34 am
As I've been using Scrivener more and more regularly, I've run across annoyances and other issues that cause problems, but which could be different. It could be that I'm missing something, but I've looked for all of these and either found them too limited or non-existent. Here are the ideas I have for making Scrivener better:
- Importing Bookmarks - often when I'm researching online, I'll come across 20-30 web sites relevant to my research, I'll cull them and then bookmark the set so I can review them in more detail later. I'd like to be able to have Scrivener import all of these pages at once. It could be by pointing to a bookmark folder or some other means. I use Firefox, so it would have to be something that would allow me to get them from there.
Large Documents - when I'm working with large documents (200 or so pages) in my research, I'm finding that Scrivener goes into a mode which I assume is some sort of file conversion (I usually am working with PDFs of this size). It would be nice if this could be done in a low priority background process. As it is, the hard disk keeps spinning up faster and faster slowing down everything. Scrivener can't be used at all and other applications are limited because Scrivener is hogging all of the resources
HTML editing - when I import a web page, EVERYTHING comes in. It would be nice if I could edit the HTML directly to eliminate the junk ads, links, tracking stuff, and generally anything that isn't what I really want from the web page. I've tried using the 'external editor', but it brings up web pages in Safari. I'd use TextMate to do it, but I can't find a way to configure it to make it the choice for external editor. I've been looking at the low level plists within Scrivener and I can't find a way to change the external editor. I haven't tried changing my default on the system for webarchives, but I don't want to reset my global options just for scrivener.
HTML Import - it would be nice if I could select a portion of a web page and have an import that would work. I know I can do it with Safari, but I don't use Safari. All my work is in Firefox. I need some better way to do this that will preserve the web link information
Types of Documents - The work I do is primarily non-fiction. My need for research material is to support non-fiction references. I need web page information and other sort of bibliographic information. I can store it free format on cards, which is what I do now, but the more I can organize this the better. It would be nice if there were document formats that supported this type of research. You have a link to a citations manager, but I don't need anything that complex. I need something simpler, integrated into Scrivener so I can generate a simple list of references. I'm not doing scientific papers, just non-fictional pieces. The existing references list bothers me because even when it knows the source of the material (for example a page imported from the web) it doesn't show up in the document references. As a minimum, I'd like to see EVERY document source listed in project references and each document at least listed in it's own reference list. The assumption seems to be that all references have URLs, but many of mine are books, magazine articles, and so forth.
Document Formats - I'd like to be able to connect ANY document format within a project and then be able to open it using the application I designate (or that's default on my computer for that document type). The existing documents that are automatically handled could have default settings to use the existing Scrivener tools, but ANY document could be designated to be opened by it's original application without affecting other documents. For example, I could designated a specific, large PDF to be opened by the PDF application instead of Scrivener when I click on it. My work-around for this is to create a dummy document to which I can attach document references which will then be opened by the application, but I'd like to have the document in the Research section open directly without going through the references link.
Extensible Tools - I find it very handy to have extensible tools available on the menu. For example, iTunes scripts menu which lets me add Applescripts which I can use to add additional features I want to the application. Any sort of ability to allow me to do specialized things with the application makes it easier for me to accomplish what I need to. Ideal for me would be to hand a document to an external script and get it back after the script has modified it. I often work in Ruby or Python, both languages give me powerful capabilities that I'd love to be able to integrate. For example, I wrote a Ruby processor for web pages that gets rid of embedded ads and such, but if I do that now, I lose the reference to the page in Scrivener. I want it all )
Project References - I'd like to see ALL references on the Project Reference list, even those defined by an individual document. Perhaps, a third option, say 'global references' could list all document and project references so that nothing is lost from what is there now.
Opening External Documents - When I select a document from the document references, it opens with the default application, but sometimes I'd like to be able to open it with an application of my choice. Finder handles this with the pop up menu which gives me the 'Open With' option. I'd like the same thing here. I occurs to me that this may be why Safari comes up when asking for an external editor on HTML documents because of a default selection without a way around it.