Scrivener: the best thing to happen since the word processor

Xa
Xade
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Platform: Windows

Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:15 pm Post

I am seriously loving how fricking awesome Scrivener is. The more I use it the more I adore it. It's actually the first program that works the way I want to work. This is the program I have been searching for my entire writing life and never knew it. Once I learned how to use it, I cannot imagine ever working without it. I use it for my books, my Journal, my newspaper route, my blog, anything text related

Things I adore:
  1. I can cut up the book without hurting it into chapters, scenes or even paragraphs if I want.
  2. Simple rearranging of documents.
  3. Auto chapter names when properly configured. If I want to rename something I can rename the folder and forget it.
  4. It works my way. I can jump around, stay linear, jot notes, whatever I want.
  5. Its so tiny! it easily fit on my new windows 10 tablet and doesn't lag. The save files are small too.
  6. Touch screen compatible, mostly, I can drag the file around when I want, but multiple files don't support the drag
  7. research material can be right in the program
  8. Split screen rules!
  9. Note taking for detail remembering can be on screen while the current scene can be on the bigger one
  10. Easy template creation. Make it once and use it forever!
  11. Simple duplication for multiple templates or files
  12. Table creation. Those character and scene templates can live side by side for quick and easy reference
  13. Fully customizable interface. I have everything the right size for all my computers
  14. Simple compile and exporting in multiple formats
  15. Image supporting

Things I don't like but can live with:
  1. No auto highlight. I made a thread about this. It would be nice if I could highlight words a certain color all at once instead of having to use a macro to do it
  2. files 100-250 split very slow, I can actually browse a webpage in the last 50 ctrl+k on another screen before it finally splits and I can edit the file name
  3. Cannot change the table cell width. Would be nice to resize the column width so that I can have more space. Example, instead of 50/50% I would like a 40/60%
  4. Doesn't dock with the windows 10 onscreen keyboard. I have to use a floating keyboard with it and when I get near the end move it up.
  5. Easy to mess up the binder order with no undo. Sometimes I accidentally child things if I don't watch it. So far I've been able to restore it manually but one day I might not catch it until its too late

Wish list
  1. Easy binder numbering. Example, allow for title# on selections
  2. Everything in the dont like but can live with list fixed
  3. Cursor memory

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AmberV
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Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:32 am Post

Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear the software is helping you out.

A few notes:

  1. Auto-highlight: you can use the project search system for most of this. Try creating a list of words, separated by spaces on a single line, and pasting that into project search with the “Any word” operator set. (If you don’t like the default highlight style you can change it in Appearance settings.) Now using the project search magnifying glass, save the search as a collection. I store my master watch list in a Scratch Pad note for easy universal access, and also set up my personal project starter template with this collection.
  2. I’ll make sure we have that on the bug list to take a look at. It sounds like perhaps too much disk use is happening on split—perhaps excessive search index updates or something. For now you can use a throwaway project to do any splitting (drag and drop works between binders), rather than waiting minutes. :)
  3. True enough, we might be able to program drag-and-drop cell adjustments in the future, but it was more work than it is worth for now. We fully anticipate most people will want to finalise table design in a tool with more options, relying on Scrivener merely to get the data into tabular format, so it is an acceptable compromise (as is this feature’s simplicity in general).
  4. Hmm, that might not be possible for software written in Qt, or at least the version of the toolkit we use. We’re in the process upgrading to the new Qt, which also features support for modern desires like a high-resolution UI—maybe it will have concessions for Windows’ keyboard as well.

    I have no idea what the Windows onscreen keyboard looks or acts like, so this might be an ignorant suggestion, but try Layouts, in the main Window menu. That may make it easy to switch to a window shape and layout that fills the area of the screen the keyboard doesn’t takes up.
  5. Organisational level undo is something we have on the maybe-list to implement, last I checked. There are technical difficulties that have kept it from being an easy fix for now though.
Wishes:

  1. Could you give an example of what you are going for here? Given the architecture of the compile process, it would be rather rare that you’d need to number things directly in the Binder, so I’d need to know more about what specific thing you’re trying to do in order to give advice.
  2. Well then. ;)
  3. That should already be working. If you leave the cursor on the word “test” in a document called “Bob”, and click on “Bob” a few days later, the cursor should still be on “test”. Granted, if you use the mouse to activate the editor that will reposition the cursor—try Ctrl-Tab (rotates the keyboard focus between Binder and any available splits).
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Xa
Xade
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Platform: Windows

Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:36 am Post

Thaanks for the quick reply.

  1. I'll have to try this, but I meant colored highlights, say making "and" red so you can reduce the numbers, "thought" as lilac, "could" as sky blue, the "*ly" blue for adverb flagging. Things like that to help tighen up your writing and reduce bloat
  2. I'll have to try that out. Perhaps doing chapter by chapter will work better than waiting
  3. I understand, it is designed to be simple and it does come in handy for quick character and scene refernce.
  4. A lot of windows programs are like that, since the popup keyboard is new. I use it for quick editing, when I am too lazy or don't have space to atgtach the keyboard. My tablet became my portable little novel writer/editor. It's now my constant companion.
  5. no worries it was just a thought. Im glad that hou are working on it though.
Wishes:

  1. Ok, i like knowing what chapter I'm on and I have chapter images so I name each one CH-01-Image, ect. then I have the folder with the chapter names and finally the chapter's scenes notes.
  2. ^.^
  3. When I close scrivener it does remeber the note i am working on but not the note's last location. when i close on multiple documents. I wrote that while I was tired so forgive me. I did not think to try ctrl+tab, I'll have to remeber that one.

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AmberV
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Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:13 pm Post

  1. Okay, with the exception of multiple colours, that method I described does work similar to what you want. You could separate the types of things you wish to focus on into different saved collection searches, but that isn’t terribly scalable unless you only have a few classes of words. One nice thing about this method is that it weeds out every part of the draft that doesn’t have any matches in the watch list, so you don’t need to do as much scrolling or switching between sections hunting for highlights. Really, if you need something more in-depth than that I would suggest pairing Scrivener with a dedicated editing tool, like SmartEdit, as there are no plans to take Scrivener in that direction.
  2. So on this one, I was trying to reproduce the problem as described, first with a test project containing around 290k words and 400 binder items in the Draft, and splits were as fast as I would expect them to be (and to be clear this is running an intentionally resource-starved Windows 7 through a virtual machine with only 2gb of RAM allocated to it). For the second test I used the user manual project (available on our webpage), which has around the same number of words but closer to 1,200 binder items, and while that one took a little while longer to load (to be fair I loaded it over networking), split performance was still snappy. So the issue you are facing might be something worth investigating in a separate bug report.
Numbering in the binder: okay, yeah I can see where you are coming from with that. I’d say what you are observing is more of a growing pain than the way things are meant to be. We’ll be expanding how counters can be used so that you can refer to other counters (for example extracting the current chapter number into a figure number, with an individual figure number as well). That way everything stays agile—if you move chapters around, figure numbers update automatically, as well as any cross-references pointing to the figures and chapters. You can kind of achieve this right now using Replacements. For example instead of typing in the actual chapter number in the text editor, type something like %NameOfChapter, and then set up a compile pane replacement to search for %NameOfChapter and print CH-01 instead. You’ll have to keep the replacement table up to date, but at least you only need to change one thing instead of dozens if a section moves around.

Remembering cursor position: that might be worth a separate report as well, as that still doesn’t sound like expected behaviour or matching what I’m seeing. If I open the tutorial and put the cursor in front of the word ‘custom’ in the second to last paragraph of step 5f, then open another project and use the File/Close All Projects command from that second project, then open the tutorial again, the cursor is blinking right where I left it and the scrollbar is in the same spot. I get the same result if I use File/Exit and then reload the software, both with the option to reopen projects enabled and disabled, in General settings.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

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MimeticMouton
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:11 am Post

If you're referring to a Scrivenings session reopening scrolled to the top, that is a known issue related to the way Scrivenings currently works on Windows, as a number of editors stacked on top of each other.

One way to work around it would be to "bookmark" your location before closing using text that won't appear elsewhere in the documents (you might put it in an inline annotation to help it stand out/not be accidentally left in your text and compiled). So just type #STARTHERE# or such before you close, then use Ctrl+F when you re-open to search for that phrase and go straight to your location. Delete it and carry on until you enter a new bookmark for next session.
Jennifer Hughes
(MM for short)

Xa
Xade
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:28 am Post

MimeticMouton wrote:*snip*
One way to work around it would be to "bookmark" your location before closing using text that won't appear elsewhere in the documents (you might put it in an inline annotation to help it stand out/not be accidentally left in your text and compiled). So just type #STARTHERE# or such before you close, then use Ctrl+F when you re-open to search for that phrase and go straight to your location. Delete it and carry on until you enter a new bookmark for next session.

Yes, that's what I wound up doing, but I used the % for it. I'm beyond that stage unless I want to view the entire chapter to see how well the scenes flow.

  1. I'll try that out
  2. You will have to start snipping from the begining, start with a project of 100ish snips and start snipping to see, past 250 it becomes normal again. Itmight be my configuration, but I reset my options twice, and tried it on another computer (main and netbook) to get the same results. My project only had about 150k words. As I worked my way down the chapters, it became slower past 150 until it crawled along then magically picked right back up at 250 and has been snappy ever since.

Remembering cursor position: When I have the whole book/chapter open, is what I was talking about., that and when I click on a new scene the cursor is at the end, no matter where I left it. Might be a bug or it might be something that Windows doesnt like. But Atlantis can remember the cursor position without effort, but that's an old school word processor, a very nice one but scriverner has it powned :)

Xa
Xade
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Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:48 pm Post

it's been a while since I posted in here so no one should mind too much

I found out how to adjust the tables so I can have 25/75, for example. I right click on it, chose table>table properties then I can adjust as I like. I just thought I would let you know.

Heck, I love scrivener so much that it was the very first thing I downloaded and installed when I redid my OS on a solid state drive when my old install failed me. Scrivener is faster than ever on my SSD. I havent had a chance to check the snipping lag I noticed from snip 150 ish to 160 but I will check and keep you posted eventually.

PS, it took me a while to come back because of the OS reinstall, and a little game called Sims 4 :P