v2.0, switch off horizontal lines between scrivenings?

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:13 am Post

Am I missing something here, or is there really no way to get rid of the horizontal dividing lines between scrivenings in v2.0? I personally found the alternating background shades of v1.x to be far more elegant. I'm one of those people who uses one scrivening per paragraph, so when I stitch all my scrivenings together I need to be able to see them as a contiguous block of text. Otherwise, it's. like. I'm. putting. full. stops. throughout. a. sentence. Also, navigating between scrivenings in a composite view now requires an additional cursor tap - the app seems to treat each horizontal divider as a non-editable line of text. Can that be right? It's really inconvenient! So much of the rest of the app is customisable that I can't believe this isn't, and yet the draft manual seems to suggest it is. Argh. Everything else about version 2 looks excellent, but this is actually a deal-breaker for me: the joy of Scrivener for me is (was) granulating text to my heart's content, and then reassembling it rapidly – seeing at a glance whether a piece would be improved by having certain paragraphs shuffled around. Somebody tell me I'm missing a checkbox or menu command somewhere!

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:34 am Post

I'm curious about that as well--

If forced to choose, I like the lines better than the grey and white -- the alternating shades were real distracting to me. But these lines are pretty harsh-looking. I wish they were lighter, light grey or dotted lines or something -- or better yet, the choice to have no lines or shading at all, just one big doc.

But, still, I am enjoying exploring this new update --! Lots of cool new features...

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:51 am Post

Me too! And I'm also looking for a way to change the spacing between the text, divider and document title.

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:55 am Post

Me, too (3, 4, . . .)! I much prefer the alternating shades. Have searched high & low for a preference adjustment, but can find none.
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Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:56 am Post

Thanks for the feedback! I like the divider lines better than the alternating background colours as well. Frankly I always had the alternating colour turned down so low it was barely even visible. You do raise a good issue on more finely grained documents though. The divider works well at larger scene-level blocks or greater, but is a bit intensive at the paragraph level.

2.0 is basically feature frozen at the moment. There just isn't enough time to consider and implement revisions at this point beyond bug fixes, but I think this is good feedback, so maybe give this thread a bump after the rush is over.
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Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:47 am Post

I may add a preference so that you can choose the colour of the lines, but the lines are here to stay. Sorry to hear it's such a "deal-breaker".
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Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:41 am Post

Oh no, no, Keith. You're killing me here. As you well know, I've been a huge fan of Scrivener since before v1.0*, but I don't believe I'm merely on a nostalgia trip here. As far as I'm concerned, horizontal lines that stretch from margin to margin only mean one thing: section breaks. By forcing us to use them, you are – for the first time – adding a constraint to the way that many of us write. Admittedly, this constraint is tiny, but it's one that, in the course of a book (and I've written two using Scrivener now), is going to occur thousands of times. Was it tested mainly on those who prefer to use scrivenings for entire scenes, sections or chapters? Because I can't see it being popular with those of us who prefer a more granular approach. I understand why you wanted to move away from using opacity to demarcate scrivenings (greater customisability of appearance for the user in the main work area, no?). But, yes, regrettably, I'm gonna have to stick with v 1.5.4 for now – certainly for long-form prose. A shame, because I'd love to use some of v2.0's great new features (the new Snapshots system, for example – just fantastic). Oh dear. At least my Scrivener v1.x tattoo will remain appropriate.

* my laptop survived your drink spillage btw, so this is not a bitter post in any way...

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:51 am Post

Would you consider replacing them with some kind of invisible character? A scrivening pilcrow, as it were?

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:51 am Post

I'm glad your laptop is still okay. :)

The new markers are partly for speed. The old alternating colours were one of the primary causes of slowdown in E.S. mode. As I say, I'll add a colour preference, so you can always set them as the same colour as the background, or very light, to keep them out of the way. You'll still have a line break between your paragraphs, of course.

Best,
Keith
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Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:16 am Post

Thanks Keith, that would certainly improve things. However, it would also create a further problem. Say I make the lines invisible: I'll then be unable to distinguish visually between paragraphs that are separated between scrivenings and those that are separated by a simple carriage return within a single scrivening. I'd either have to religiously create one scrivening per paragraph or settle, in the composite view, for an irregular and decidedly inelegant column of text in which some paragraphs were flush against one another and some were separated by the invisible divider. This in addition to the section breaks that I could already add manually, and using the "Compile draft" dialogue box...

Would any of the following be an easier win here?
- use invisible character to demarcate scrivenings
- made the divider customisable in the way that it was already customisable in the "Compile draft" dialogue box
- hairline "notches" against the left edge of the edit window to demarcate scrivenings, rather than line spaces

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:29 pm Post

Paul, I'll look into the idea of using hairline notches on the left edge with a single line break as an option. I can't promise it will make it for next week though given the amount left to do - it's not a simple change given the complexity of Scrivenings.
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Keith
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Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:52 pm Post

Keith, you are a star. Good luck with the rest of the launch phase and with the PC version's inevitable snafus (it'll all be very much worth it in a month or so!). I shall continue to sing your praises here in London.

One more thought for the medium to long-term: The more I chew on the idea of a "scrivening pilcrow", the more I think it could be extremely beneficial. If you were able to demarcate scrivenings in the editor using such a symbol (with a visible/invisible control separate from that of other symbols), rather than with any kind of line break or carriage return, you could associate outliner elements with individual sentences or even words. The user could then insert other forms of break manually, via the usual methods. No need for tints or dividers at all...

This would mean that the stack of headings in the binder would no longer be mirrored by a stack of scrivenings in the editor (i.e. it would make the index card analogy less meaningful). But it would also make purists and poets very happy. And, I imagine, it would make it easier for other word processors to accommodate .Scriv imports (is there already a standard demarcation code for text outliners?).