Two Requests

Ta
Tacitus
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:33 am
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:02 pm Post

Would it be possible to have a pref to set as default 'open webloc in browser'? I know you can right click and 'open in default editor' but if you're using split screen you really have to revert to single window and then right-click and use the drop down menu. Simpler to open in default browser and then cmnd-tab to toggle between browser and Scriv.

Also, at present it is only possible to set the document background colour globally. Could we have an option to set document templates (within the same project) with different background colours? At p;resent it appears to be possible to set different text colors but not bckground. OK there are labels, but when using split screen it makes it easier to identify which is which. EG Writing with yellow background in LH window, research notes with pink/blue background in RH window.

Thanks. I've been using Scriv since around V1.5, but it's only with V3 that I've really got into exploring it fully. It's a huge improvement on earlier versions and easily worth double the money.
History is a nightmare from which I am trying to escape

Online
User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 21552
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:57 pm Post

Out of curiosity, if all you’re doing is storing URLs, why not use the Bookmarks feature? All you have to do is hit the Return key to load a bookmark in its default viewer. I don’t know though, it would be a bit odd having yet another preference that dictates how a thing works that Scrivener itself doesn’t even support as a native file type—and where does that then end? Why not a checkbox for opening Keynote files automatically? Why just this one thing?

As for the editor background changing depending on the file you are viewing, that sounds a bit limited to me, in where it could be used. What happens in Scrivenings mode? You might recall in Scrivener 1, Scrivenings used an alternating grey/white background colour in Scrivenings mode. I actually still prefer that look to the whole divider thing—much easier to tell where you are when scrolling quickly—but unfortunately it was also very slow. So, this concept you’re thinking of couldn’t be applied to Scrivenings, where it would presumably be of most use (and if such a feature were to exist, people would really expect it to work there).

Speaking of label colours though, try one of the options in the View ▸ Use Label Color In ▸  submenu. The icon is a good choice, shows up in the editor header bar itself—and of course speaking of icons that’s one very visible way of differentiating type. In Scrivenings, the title highlight is a really useful option.

But for myself, for this specific thing, I have always used fonts. It is then very obvious what is a note and what is meant to export.

P.S. Glad to hear you’re liking v3 so much! It sure has come a long way since 2007. ;)
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ta
Tacitus
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:33 am
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:35 am Post

AmberV wrote:Out of curiosity, if all you’re doing is storing URLs, why not use the Bookmarks feature? All you have to do is hit the Return key to load a bookmark in its default viewer.
I have got a viable workround but I admit I didn't think of using Bookmarks, I'll give it a go.
AmberV wrote:........where does that then end? Why not a checkbox for opening Keynote files automatically? Why just this one thing?
TBH I wouldn't have thought 'open webloc/url in default browser' would spawn a lot of requests for open other docs in default app. Still I guess you know your users much better than I do. For me it was simply a useful way to avoid having to got from split window to single window and back simply to view a web page. You then cmnd-tab between browser and Scriv. If you're only using a single window then I guess it wouldn't matter.
AmberV wrote:As for the editor background changing depending on the file you are viewing, that sounds a bit limited to me, in where it could be used. What happens in Scrivenings mode?
Again this was purely for identifying research notes and not intended for use elsewhere. If it was limited to the research folder it wouldn't bother me but I guess it might annoy other users. Yes you can do with fonts/text colours etc, but background colours would be nice. Since each of my research notes is a single document for one topic/article/whatever, scivenings wouldn't be needed. However, it does make me realise that a user's perspective differs vastly from that of the people who have to try and implement it with all the ramifications. :D
AmberV wrote: Speaking of label colours though, try one of the options in the View ▸ Use Label Color In ▸  submenu. The icon is a good choice, shows up in the editor header bar itself—and of course speaking of icons that’s one very visible way of differentiating type. In Scrivenings, the title highlight is a really useful option.
Yes I will play with more options, I'm sure I can come up with something.
AmberV wrote:Glad to hear you’re liking v3 so much! It sure has come a long way since 2007. ;)
It has! When Scriv3 arrived I was bellyaching over something that was different and you commented that perhaps I didn't like change. TBH that made me re-evaluate my use of Scriv which had involved esoteric workrounds over the years which whilst OK, were hindering me from deriving the full benefits. Your comment and the arrival of a nice new 24" display made me realise that with Scriv3 it was time to throw out all the old stuff and start again.

It's been well worth the effort.
History is a nightmare from which I am trying to escape

Ta
Tacitus
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:33 am
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:53 am Post

OK I've tried using BookMarks. I'm using full screen with a split window in Scriv. The Bookmarks drop down is open

Cmnd-tab to go to Safari and my chosen web page.
Click on the favicon to obtain the full URL
While holding down the mouse cmnd tab to go back to Scriv
Dropdown Bookmark window is now closed and I can't drop the URL in place. Dropping it on the menubar icon doesn't work (probably correctly since I doubt it's intended to work that way).

However if I drop webloc onto the desktop I can then drop it into a text document in my research folder (or in the Weblocs/Bookmarks folder) which is what I am doing and have done for a long time, I can then comment/edit whatever. It does mean dropping out of full screen though.

I think the assumption is that when working in Scriv you won't go outside but do everything within its confines. Perfectly reasonable, but when using a split window it is often easier - especially web browsing - to go outside and cmnd-tab to toggle back and forth. It does limit the usefulness of the bookmarks item though, unless you store your weblocs elsewhere first and then import them to the bookmarks item.

Unless I'm missing something which is more than likely.
History is a nightmare from which I am trying to escape

Online
User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 21552
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:15 pm Post

OK I’ve tried using BookMarks. I’m using full screen with a split window in Scriv. The Bookmarks drop down is open…


Ah, there is one thing that might help here: Bookmarks are a lot like References in v1. You had Project References, which you could view from anywhere in the project, and Document References, which were attached to specific items in the binder. You might find the latter to be more useful to you as a replacement for the concept of storing .webloc files in the binder—reason being the bookmarks are then filed under items in the binder, and thus capable of being organised into folders, keyworded, labelled and whatever else you need. My approach is to create a new entry for a topic and then store bookmarks to the Web under that one item. It thus serves as a kind of “folder” for a group of related bookmarks.

So my procedure for opening such a bookmark in the browser:

  1. Click on the topic item in the binder.
  2. Use the Navigate ▸ Inspect ▸ Bookmarks command. I use the shortcut. If the inspector is already showing that view then the command moves the keyboard focus over to the bookmark list. Thus my habit is to hit the shortcut twice quickly.
  3. Arrow key down to the bookmark I want to open.
  4. Punch Return to load it.

Dropdown Bookmark window is now closed and I can’t drop the URL in place. Dropping it on the menubar icon doesn’t work (probably correctly since I doubt it’s intended to work that way).


It does work that way inside of Scrivener, I’m not sure about the additional complexity of Cmd-Tabbing and dropping from other software though. But, that aside I also rarely bother with drag and drop for URL capture. There is a really handy alternative: paste. :)

I just copy the URL from the browser and then click into the bookmarks pane in the inspector and ⌘V to bring it in. That also does work in the bookmark list as well from the toolbar. So if you prefer global project bookmarks for this task, you don’t have to use the inspector.

However if I drop webloc onto the desktop I can then drop it into a text document in my research folder (or in the Weblocs/Bookmarks folder) which is what I am doing and have done for a long time, I can then comment/edit whatever. It does mean dropping out of full screen though.


Yeah, but that all sounds way more work than copy and paste to me, especially with split views—how do you get the thing dragged from the Finder back into Scrivener when its off in another exclusive Space?

I think the assumption is that when working in Scriv you won’t go outside but do everything within its confines.


I don’t know, it seems pretty agile to me as a host or nexus for other programs. That whole exercise above that describes loading a URL in the browser with the Return key works just as well for files on the disk. My Scrivener projects tend to have a bit of a constellation of support files within them—TaskPaper documents, Scapple, etc., and I’m routinely loading and closing things around Scrivener.

I mean, again the whole Split View thing perhaps does limit one, but that’s not really Scrivener, that’s macOS.

TBH I wouldn’t have thought ‘open webloc/url in default browser’ would spawn a lot of requests for open other docs in default app.


It’s more like this: if there is a general policy that loading external resources requires a button to click or some secondary action other than just viewing it, then the design is simple: that’s just how you use external resources. But if you then this one type of file now has a preference, then why not have that capability supported for say, .webarchive files, or .pdf if you prefer using an external reader? It’s much more difficult to say this type of file is okay to load immediately but not that one—why? The design becomes more complex and difficult to define when you create individual exceptions to how it works.

But that aside, I think the bigger problem with the idea is that since Scrivener is a single-action-to-load interface in the binder, if something were to immediately leave the software and take you to another program, it would be rather disruptive when combined with the many ways in which you can come across items. It’s not just clicking in the binder—it’s passing through the item with the history buttons, using the arrow keys to flip through things, searching also facilitates easy access to items.

If the mere act of viewing a resource moved your focus to another program entirely, you could find that happening through the most incidental of activities. And I’m racking my brain, but I can’t think of any software that works that way, where if an action would take out of the software entirely, it does so with activity that can be encountered passively. There is always some barrier, no matter how thin—double-clicking, using a button, a shortcut, etc.

You’re thinking of this in a very tightly controlled environment, where Safari is right alongside Scrivener—but this feature has to work outside of a very narrow setup like that. What if Safari is another Space entirely and you are using Scrivener in Full Screen mode all by itself? Clicking on a thing in the Binder would then move you to another desktop. It just sounds like it would be very frustrating in practical usage unless everything was set up just so—and even then it could get frustrating if you hit the DownArrow key three times and two of the arrow key events end up being sent to Safari because the first triggered a URL launch.

Since each of my research notes is a single document for one topic/article/whatever, scivenings wouldn’t be needed. However, it does make me realise that a user’s perspective differs vastly from that of the people who have to try and implement it with all the ramifications.


Ha, yeah well the main thing to try and think of is the many ways people will want to use a thing, because everyone is different and everyone will want something slightly different from a thing. As for using Scrivenings with your notes—it’s something I do, I find it supremely useful to have my notes interleaved right into the content I’m working on, so I can seamlessly cross-off to do items, reference notes and copy and paste deleted stuff out to “trash files”, etc. It turns the text editor into a desk of sorts, with sheets of paper all lined up, and each sheet does its own thing, but I don’t have to flip around and rifle through filing cabinets every other minute to switch sheets.

It has! When Scriv3 arrived I was bellyaching over something that was different and you commented that perhaps I didn’t like change. TBH that made me re-evaluate my use of Scriv which had involved esoteric workrounds over the years which whilst OK, were hindering me from deriving the full benefits.


Aw, I hope I didn’t come across as dismissive! But I’m happy to hear that it’s like a new toy all over again. It’s a good time for that, there is a lot yet to explore in v3. I’ve been using alphas of it for a few years now, but I’m still coming up with new aspects of usage.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ta
Tacitus
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:33 am
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:17 am Post

Wow! Thanks for a very full and informative reply. Some brief observations:

Navigate ▸ Inspect ▸ Bookmarks command and shortcut. That does look a viable method of doing what I want so I'll put that on the 'to do" llist for further trial.

I can see your arguments that good alternatives exist to do what I want, but you are exactly right in saying that I'm thinking of all this within a tightly controlled environment, where Safari is right alongside Scrivener. It's a very particular use case that generally works for me. Using spaces to accomplish what I want is something that hadn't crossed my mind but it might be worth a look. I am inclined to think it would offer more complexity than is stricly necessary, but it's another for the to-do list.

As for:
AmberV wrote:I hope I didn’t come across as dismissive!
Not at all although I confess it irritated me at the time, but when I thought about it I realised that you had a point. Scriv had improved to the point where I needed to junk all my clunky ways of working and start again from the beginning. There are still some tweaks to be done around compile and I've not yet fully embraced styles but this will happen over time.

But you're right - "kid with a new toy" sums it up. :D

Thanks for all the help.
History is a nightmare from which I am trying to escape