I first wrote about my love for Scrivener some time ago. Since that day the program has gone through a major upgrade, and has become available for Windows as well as Macintosh. If you’re a writer and haven’t checked out Scrivener, go download the demo now. You’ll be glad you did.
One of my favorite features of Scrivener is its split screen mode. This is a great feature when you use Scrivener as intended, creating separate files inside your binder for each chapter or scene, and several research files. The split screen mode allows you to write in one pane of the window while reading your notes in another. Perhaps you’d use it to keep an older version of a chapter or scene open in one pane while revising a newer version. This allows you to keep an eye on both and compare the changes.
Another of my favorite features is the full screen composition mode.This mode allows you to block out all the other distractions on your screen and focus solely on your writing. The only thing I don’t like about full screen mode is there’s no way to have split screen mode at the same time. This is a minor annoyance when I want to have the benefit of fewer distractions, but also need to have some notes available as I write.
I found a simple workaround.
While in full screen composition mode, move your mouse arrow down to the bottom of the screen to make the control drawer pop up. Click “Inspector,” and the document’s Inspector window will pop up. In the drop down menu of the Inspector window, choose “Document Notes.” Copy/paste your notes into the Inspector window and voilà! You’ve got the next best thing to the split screen mode while in full screen.
What you see above is how I wrote my last short story, “A Verdant and Capricious Moon.” Simply move the Inspector window to one side, and then use a combination of your Text Scale, Paper Position, and Paper Width tools to situate the workspace the way you want it.
The nice thing about using the Document Notes pane is that the notes you paste get associated with the individual chapter or scene files. So, if you jump from one chapter to another, the notes you’ve produced for that chapter will change alongside.
I hope this helps you Scrivener users out there. Have fun and keep writing.
By the way, nearly all the names for this story were created or inspired by Scrivener’s built-in name generator.