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Welcome back.

This is the last post on Scrivener for a while. I’m going to be moving on to a few other tech/writing topics next. I use Scrivener all the time so I’m sure I’ll be returning to it again at some stage. And if you’ve got any questions, ask away. I can always click on the delete comment button for those particularly tricky problems.

Your kidding.

Yes, I’m kidding. Would it help if I underlined the sarcastic bits?

Why would underlining help? I get these blogs through a psychic connection.


*grins* Would it help if I underlined the sarcastic bits?

Touché … But it does bring to mind a point about an underlining problem I used to have.

Hey, this is a public blog, we don’t want to know about your underlining!

No, underlining; the line drawn underneath your characters.

My characters? My characters don’t have lines drawn under them. They’re on this spaceship, see-

Yeah, right, I remember, but what I’m talking about is Scrivener’s habit of changing italics into underlined text.

Hey, I have that problem.

Well, there’s an option under Compile / Text Options that might help.

Scrivener - Text options 2.png

Hey, you’re right, that’s better.

Glad to be of service.

I’ve got a another question for you. Sometimes, when I’m editing a Text Section, the Binder has a different section highlighted. Is that a bug?

You mean something like this …

Scrivener - Reveal1 blank.png

Exactly, the Binder says “The Mathematician Cryptographer” but the editor shows “Route March.” What happened?

When you click on a section in the binder, the binder highlights that section and displays it in the editor. However, if you use the forward and backward arrows (below) the binder does not update its highlight.

Scrivener - Reveal1 -arrows.png

The same thing happens if you use the Edit / Go To option (below).

Scrivener - Go To.png

Quite why the Binder doesn’t update when you use these options, I don’t know. However, its always worked like this and I guess the nice guy down their in Truro intended it to be so.

Intended it to be so? You been reading a lot of Victorian stuff lately?

No, and I’m not going to get off track here.

So, why did he intend it to be so, squire?

Because there is a command to force the binder to sync up with whats being displayed in the editor. It’s called “Reveal In Binder”.

Scrivener - Reveal in Binder.png

That funny combination of hieroglyphics next to the command means the keyboard shortcut (on the mac) is option-command-R.

And talking of binder, that’s what you’ll be in if you don’t drop this “squire” thing.

‘kay. So what’s next sqqqqqqqqq … oh, squirrel.

Ha, ha. While were talking about the Binder, ere’s something I find useful. If you’re going to revise with a section, its useful to take a copy before you start. If it doesn’t work out you can always revert to the original or you can use it for reference.

Scrivener has versioning built in, but I find it simpler to duplicate the text section I’m going to edit then delete the duplicate when I’m done. This is easily done by right clicking on the original text section in the binder and choosing Duplicate.

Scrivener - Duplicate Text.png

Hum, duplicating text? Not exactly earth shattering, is it?

Hey, this is writing software, we’re not uncovering the meaning of life here. But here is something a little more unusual.

If you select a text section you can get a set of statistics with the Project / Text Statistics command.

Scrivener - Text Stats menu.png

Cool. So this is going to show me my probability of reaching the top of the NY Times bestsellers list, right?

Wrong, I’m sorry to say. In fact, I’m really sorry to say that, that would be a great improvement. In fact, I might just see if that guy in Truro is up for a bit of a challenge in the stats department.

In the meantime we’ll have to put up with what’s currently on offer. Text Statistics shows a distribution of your word use. For example

Scrivener - Text Statistics.png

Boy, you really like “the.”

Noticed that, huh. It’s a bit of a habit.

When the stats are displayed you have to click on the “frequency” heading to get them sorted by, well, frequency. That makes more sense to me, but I guess if you’r name is Spock, alphabetical might be better.

I wouldn’t go throwing anything away on the basis of this dialog box, but it can give you a broad indication. I find it most useful to look for unusual words that you’ve used several times. Perfunctory is a perfectly good word, but use it a dozen times in a chapter and your readers are going to get tired of it.

Gotcha. At least that’s a bit more exciting than duplicating text.

Ok. While I’m on a roll in the thrills department, here’s the last one.


Speech? You mean Scrivener can help me write a speech? Like an acceptance speech, for, like, maybe, say, a Pulitzer?

I’m sure it can help with that, if it comes to it.


I don’t know.

No, I mean, when, when it comes to it. I like to live in hope.

Right, I’ll join you with that one. I’ve got a space on my shelves ready and waiting.

You too?

Ah, great minds. But what I really meant was that Scrivener (on the mac) can use the mac’s speech capabilities to read your work back to you.

Scrivener - Start Speaking.png

Place your cursor at the start of a text section, choose the Start Speaking menu option and sit and listen. The default voice isn’t too bad and its really useful because it reads exactly what you’ve written, removing the bias of what your memory believes you wrote.

I’ve got to give this a go. *clicking* Hey, it works. Great.

Yada … yada … yada …

Er … I set it off at the start of my 30k, its got 29,437 words to go … how do I stop it?

What do you think, reader?

Shall we tell him, or let him listen to his masterpiece?

And do you have any Scrivener tips?

Or Scrivener gripes?

Let us know and maybe there’ll be a be another oversized Scrivener trilogy.







Don’t worry about me *yawns* … just 26,498 words to go …

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