Many Scrivener users aren’t familiar with the split screen feature, and if they are, they don’t realize its potential.
Introducing Split Screen
The Split Screen feature allows you to, well, split your screen. You can divide the single Editor pane into two panes, either horizontally or vertically.
Here are a few ways to use it:
- View the end of the previous scene while working on the opening of the next one.
- View another part of the current document while working on it.
- Compare two versions of a scene, either in Snapshots (Mac only for now), or if you saved the previous version in a separate document.
- Copy text from the same or another document without losing your place.
- Refer to research files or photos while you write.
- View your manuscript's structure in the Corkboard or Outliner in one pane, while you write in the other.
In my experience, the main source of confusion with Split Screen is that, initially, both panes display the same document (see images below). That can be handy for referring back to an earlier point.
But if you don’t want to view two locations in the same document, you can easily choose to view something else in one of the panes.
Splitting the Editor
To split the Editor, select a document in the Binder, and then do one of the following: Mac: Click the Toggle Split button in the upper right corner of the Editor (see image below). Hold the Option key on your keyboard to switch the split button between horizontal and vertical. Scrivener will remember your most recent orientation choice until you change it again.
Windows: Click either the Horizontal Split or Vertical Split button in the upper right corner of the Editor (see image below).
The Editor splits into two panes with the selected document displayed in both.
NOTE: Each pane can have separate settings, such as Zoom level, ruler display, Page view (Scrivener 3), and Focus (Scrivener 3).
Working with Split Screen
Each pane has its own header (see image below). The active pane’s header is blue. This is the pane that will be affected when you select a document or adjust menu settings. The inactive pane’s header is gray.
Choosing the Active Pane
To designate the active pane, click anywhere in that pane’s editor. If it wasn’t already the active pane, the header will turn blue.
Assigning a Document to the Active Pane
Once you’ve designated the active pane, click any document in the Binder to view it in the active pane.
Viewing a Group in the Active Pane
To view a group of files in the active pane, select the desired folder (or multiple-selection of files). By default, you’ll see the Corkboard view for that folder, as shown below. You can choose the Outliner or Scrivenings (multiple document) view from the toolbar or the View menu.
Adjusting the Split
To adjust the relative split of the panes, drag the bar between them.
Locking the Contents of a Pane
To prevent yourself from accidentally changing what’s viewed in a pane (by clicking something in the Binder while that pane is active), you can lock it. Here’s how:
- Mac v3: Right-click the header of the pane you want to lock, or go to Navigate>Editor. Windows, and Mac v2: Click the icon in the header of the pane you want to lock, or go to View>Editor.
- 2. Choose Lock in Place. The header turns pink/salmon to denote that the pane is locked.
3. Repeat for the other pane, if desired.
4. Unlock by repeating Step 1 for each locked pane.
Exiting Split Screen
Choose No Split button for whichever pane you want to keep viewing.
That’s split screen! Is it more useful than you thought? Can you think of how you might use it? What Scrivener questions do you have for me?