Playing with Layouts in Scrivener 3

I’ve been fiddling with several features and the one I’ve been having quite a bit of fun with is Layouts. Scrivener provides a number of layouts and I can see using many of these preset layouts as I work on my WIP.

Let’s take a tour of layouts and see what each one provides and the benefits to your workflow.

First, you can access Layouts via the menubar by going to Window->Layouts:

Or clicking on the icon in your toolbar. If it’s not there you can customize your toolbar by going to View->Customize Toolbar and dragging the icon to the toolbar.

As you can see you have a number of layouts provided and you can also customize your own layouts by going to Manage Layouts by accessing Layouts via the menubar option. Click on that and this is what you’ll get:

You can create your own layouts in the same manner as you did in previous versions of Scrivener (at least in Scrivener 2. I never used Scrivener 1). To learn how to create your own layouts see in the Custom Layouts post.

If you select the Default layout of Binder, Editor, and Open Inspector, this is what you get:

This is the layout I typically work in. Some people find it too busy, but I use many of the Inspector features and like to keep it open so that’s the main benefit for me.

The Three Pane (Outline) includes the Binder, The Outliner and the Editor. My WIP looks like this using this layout:

If you’re partial to outlining and seeing the flow of your plot this is a good layout to use. The benefit for me is to view the current status for each scene or chapter.

The concept of the Three Pane (Corkboard) is similar to the Three Pane (Outline) if you are a plotter and like using index cards. We’re getting in territory that’s more visual and one that I play around with often. I like moving the cards around to see if the story can be ordered differently. In a recent revision, I actually combined two scenes into one via moving the chapters and turning them into subchapters.

The Editor only layout has the Binder and Inspector hidden. I use this layout when I’m revising the scene. At this point, I don’t want any distractions.

The Corkboard Only layout I use mostly in freeform and with images to inspire me.

The Centered Outline layout is a new feature. Instead of working with the spreadsheet appearance this is like a conventional outline and synopsis. This new layout makes me want to flesh out my synopsis more to make my outline more complete.

Dual Navigation consists of the Binder, Editor, Outliner and Copyholder. This is ideal for the multitasking writer. On a large screen this would be phenomenal, but on a laptop it’s a bit cramped.

Of all these layouts, I’m intrigued by the Centered Outliner. In my next post, I’ll show you all how I’ve set it up so that it looks like a traditionally organized outline.


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