Here’s a handy Scrivener tip if you want to include or exclude specific documents from Compile. SHIFT+click or CTRL+click to select or deselect documents in the right-hand Compile pane, then right-click and check or uncheck Include in Compile, as applicable. Saves a lot of clicking on individual documents, which I was doing up until today!
It’s easy to get your writing out of Scrivener into another editor for the final polish using the Compile function. In my case, I always compile to Microsoft Word. Something I’ve wrestled with for a while, however, is getting the headers and footers in Word just how I want them. Fortunately, as with most things Scrivener, the developers have made this easy to do at the Compile stage.
- When you’re ready, go File/Compile.
- In Section Layouts, rest the cursor over Scene (or whichever), and an edit icon appears to the right.
- Click this icon, then the Edit “Scene” Layout button. The pane below will appear.
- Now click Page Settings, and select Header and Footer text.
- The three boxes indicate the positioning of the headers and footers on the page post-Compile. Insert your header/footer text here. Set font and size in the relevant boxes, but format this text using markdown tags in the header and footer panes.
Use the handy Test button to try out your settings before actually compiling.
I hope this helps.
Scrivener’s Project Targets tool is great for keeping an eye on word count, especially if you’re writing something to a prescribed length. On a Mac, to set your targets and check progress call up the Project Targets window using SHFT+CMD+T.
However, you can also get an idea of your progress as you write with a quick glance at the toolbar. Whatever document you may have selected in the Binder, a line beneath that file’s name indicates how close you are to reaching your pre-defined overall project target. Moving your cursor over the area reveals more detailed information.
It’s always best to over-write your project and edit down, but this is a great way to keep track, not only of how much work you still have to do, but how much you’ve already done.
To read my other Scrivener tips, click here.
To quickly split the screen without leaving the keyboard simply hit:
This makes it particularly easy to compare two Binder documents, or refer to one pane – say something you have in your Research folder – while writing in another. When working with text documents the zoom can be set independently in each.
For my other Scrivener tips, click here.
Scrivener has the excellent Compose mode, which I use a lot. The thing is, though, I tend to flit between documents in the Binder quite a lot too – comparing, cutting and pasting, that sort of thing. This means I’m frequently switching in and out of Compose. But I’ve found a handy alternative.
To get a super-clean look without going into Compose, do the following:
- Use CTRL+CMD+F to expand Scrivener to full-screen.
- In the View menu select Hide toolbar.
- Use SHFT+CMD+R to hide the formatting bar.
- Use CMD+R to hide the ruler.
- With OPT+CMD+I hide the Inspector.
- And with OPT+CMD+B hide the Binder.
Viola. This approximates Scrivener’s Compose mode, but I find it’s a little snappier and more convenient to use OPT+CMD+B to reveal the Binder when I need to, rather than dipping in and out of Compose mode when working on shorter documents. And as we already know the team behind Scrivener has already thought of everything, so simply positioning your cursor at either edge of the screen will result in the Binder and Inspector sliding into view when hidden – handy if you want a sneak peek.
You can find my other Scrivener posts here.
If you’re in scriptwriting mode in Scrivener and want to add some text that isn’t part of the script – perhaps some notes or thoughts about the direction the story could take – you might want to switch from scriptwriting to standard mode, so that whatever you type isn’t formatted as dialogue or technical directions, for example.
To do this simply press CMD-8 to toggle between the two. Scrivener will tell you which mode you’re switching to, and change the colour of the document’s Binder icon: in scriptwriting mode it’s yellow, in standard mode it’s white.
Click here for more Scrivener tips.
Sometimes when working in a large Scrivener project you might find it useful to link related documents. For example, in the novel I’m currently revising I need to move a detail from a scene that I’ve cut to either one of two other scenes. I don’t want to think about this in too much depth at the moment as I’m writing a new scene, but I would like something to remind me of my train of thought and the options that are open to me when I do come to deal with it.
The best way to do this is to create a hyperlink to the document/s in question. As ever, Scrivener makes this very easy to do:
- Select some relevant text in the current document
- Select “Scrivener Link” (or in Scrivener 3 Link to document)
- Choose the document you want to link to from the menus
This makes the selected text a hyperlink to the document you’ve specified, which when clicked will open up in a new window. The text in this window can be edited just like any other. To remove the link, just hover your cursor over the hyperlink text, right-click and select “Remove Link”.
If your Scrivener project contains a lot of documents, you might want to work on just a few of them, but also refer to others. For example, in the novel I’m currently working on there are two main timelines with concurrent events, and I need to make sure that details match up. Fortunately Scrivener makes it easy to keep tabs on the documents you want to focus on no matter how much you hop around in the Binder.
- In the Binder select the document/s you want to highlight
- Select “Change Icon”
- Choose an icon to attract your attention (I usually use Warning, or one of the coloured flags)
- Bingo, the documents are now adorned with eye-catching icons to help them stand out from the crowd in the Binder
When you no longer want to focus on these documents simply follow the same procedure but select “Reset Icon to Default”.