The Omm of Scrivener

It’s been a very long time since I posted a tutorial online and I am sorry that I’ve neglected my faithful readers, but this business of freelance writing, teaching the five week courses, and private lessons is surprisingly time-consuming.

I’ve been wracking my brains to show you something that’s not only super neat, but useful. After perusing Literature and Latte’s forums, I found the perfect lesson.

So…you all know how I like to customize my work space and change colors, icons, and layouts. This is a neat layout for those of you who rather be in the zen mode to write. In other words–no distractions.

But wait! Scrivener has a Composition mode feature and you’ve provided that tutorial. Stop teasing us!

Patience, grasshopper, for what I’ll be showing you will take you to a very different level. Let’s say you want the features of distraction free Composition mode with the added feature of Split-Screen. For instance, you want to see your document but also the Corkboard in distraction-free space. To do that, activate the Split Screen feature. Next lock in place the Corkboard.

This is what we have thus far:

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 6.33.10 PM

But we know how to do this! Tell us something we don’t know!

Next go to Preferences->Appearances. In the section that says Full Screen, check Always Auto-Hide Toolbar in Full-Screen Mode and right beneath it check Hide Binder and Inspector when Entering Full-Screen Mode.

Did you do that? Good. Now enter full-screen mode, and this is what you have:

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 6.42.30 PM

It’s still too busy.

Okay…we can do more to make it look less busy. Don’t like the ruler? Take your mouse pointer to the top of the screen to unhide the menu bar. Go to Format->Hide Ruler. Don’t like the format bar? Go to Format->Hide Format Bar.

But now I have something special to show you. Don’t want to see the header or the footer? Well guess what? You can hide those as well. Activate the Editor screen, and like above take the mouse pointer to the top of the screen until the menu bar appears. Go to View->Layout->Hide Header View. Follow the same steps and hide the Footer View. Now activate the corkboard, and follow those same exact steps.This is how it looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 6.53.38 PM

Well, that is kinda neat, but I want the corkboard on the left.

Do you now?

Click on the corkboard, and take your mouse pointer to the top of the screen until the menubar appears. Unlock the Corkboard by going to View->Editor and uncheck Lock In Place. Then go back to View-Layout->Swap Editors.

Oh…that is cool. But I don’t like the corkboard’s background, and I want the editor to be a softer color.

Fine…that can be changed as well. Let’s tackle the corkboard first. Just like you did before make the menu bar appear. Go to Preferences->Corkboard. Go to Corkboard Background and select Custom Color. Activate the color box by clicking on it and the color wheel window will open. Select your color. Close it out by clicking on the red X.

To change the Editor’s text background, simply go to Preferences->Appearance. In the section that says Customizable Colors select Editor->Text Background. Activate the color window by clicking on it, and a window will appear. Select your color and close it out by clicking on the red X.

If the index cards are too white, simply follow the same steps as above, but choose Index Card Background. And this is how it looks:

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 7.15.17 PM

But what if I want to select another text file for the editor pane?

Two ways to do this: If you take your mouse pointer to the extreme left the Binder will appear and you can select your text. Once you move the pointer away it will hide itself. The Inspector works in the same manner.

There’s another way to view text files and that’s via the corkboard. Before you hide the corkboard’s footer, make sure the double arrow icon is activated then click on an index card and your text file will change in the Editor.

Wow! That is super neat!

I told you so. Now go write.


  20 comments for “The Omm of Scrivener

  1. chrislesage
    March 18, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Awesome! I didn’t know all that! I’m away from Scrivener at the moment, so I can’t test this. But I bet that you can you save this layout as a Saved Layout, so you can swap between OHM mode and Full Feature mode really quickly!

  2. March 18, 2015 at 8:20 am

    chrislesage There’s always something new to learn with Scrivener. I have another lesson coming up which was a lot of learn.

  3. dallenco
    March 18, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Thank you so much for another helpful post!

    Quick question for my Mac: when I open Preferences>Appearances, I can’t find ‘Always Auto-Hide Toolbar in Full-Screen Mode’ or ‘Hide Binder and Inspector when Entering Full-Screen Mode’. I’ve searched high and low through Preferences. I do have the latest version of Scrivener. Is anyone else having trouble finding this?

  4. March 18, 2015 at 11:28 am

    dallenco Ack, my gut feeling was to show a picture, but I thought you would find it. Here you go:

  5. dallenco
    March 18, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    RebecaSchiller dallenco Thank you for your quick reply! That’s the spot I was looking at, but for some reason, the full screen section is missing. Here’s a screenshot. I’m scratching my head. : )

  6. March 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Hmmm. You should be on Scrivener 2.6. If you compare the interface, you’ll see design differences in the top left buttons. On mine it looks more like an iOS design. On yours it looks like you’re still on the old operating system. Have you updated to Yosemite?

  7. dallenco
    March 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    RebecaSchiller No, I don’t have Yosemite yet. Maybe that’s my problem! : ) I’m downloading it now.

  8. chrislesage
    March 18, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    RebecaSchiller it turns out you can save this as a Saved Layout, AND you can select a Saved Layout to be used when you enter full screen mode. So now I have your “OMM Mode” automatically set when I enter Full-Screen mode, and my ordinary settings when I exit full screen! Very cool!

  9. dallenco
    March 18, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    chrislesage RebecaSchiller Nice idea!

  10. March 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    chrislesage Very nice! I like the color you selected for your page bacground. I think I’ll change mine to that.

  11. drmajorbob
    March 18, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    “Next lock in place the Corkboard.” What? (a) how can I put it in place, and (b) how can I lock it?

  12. drmajorbob
    March 18, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    OK, I answered that one myself. But I don’t actually want the corkboard. I want the binder on the left, editor in the middle, and inspector on the right. But I’ve no idea how to control the width of those pieces.

  13. drmajorbob
    March 18, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Yeah, this is no good!

  14. dallenco
    March 18, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    drmajorbob Make sure the header of the corkboard is highlighted. Then go to View>Editor>Lock in Place.

  15. March 19, 2015 at 8:17 am

    drmajorbob you can resize each pane by taking your mouse pointer and placing it in the pane’s edge. The pointer will turn into a handle bar and just drag it to resize.

  16. drmajorbob
    March 19, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    RebecaSchiller drmajorbob

    There’s a minimum size for the Inspector — can’t drag it smaller, no clue how to change that minimum — and did you see my screenshot in which only 60% or so of the Editor was actually used? No clue what controls THAT. Getting out of fullscreen mode and back in again seems to solve that, but only ACCIDENTALLY in my opinion. Oh well!

  17. March 19, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    drmajorbob Your margins in the Editor are wacky. You need to reset them so you can regain that space.

  18. drmajorbob
    March 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    RebecaSchiller drmajorbob
    I never SET the margins, so I never made them wacky — and as I said, getting out of full screen (and back in, or not) fixed them.

  19. RacingSlug
    March 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    chrislesage RebecaSchiller Excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  20. WallaceCass
    March 22, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Followed your tips and I love the new setup. Thanks a bunch. 🙂

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