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Tech Tuesday: Split screen in Scrivener

The split screen feature in Scrivener is a simple, easy-to-use tool, but I have some friends out there who weren't familiar with it. And it's very useful.

Here are a few ways you might use it:

– View the end of the previous scene while working on the opening of the next one.

– Compare two versions of a scene, either in Snapshots, or if you saved the previous version in a separate document.

– Copy text from one scene or document to another.

– Refer to your research files or photos while you write.

– Look at your manuscript's structure in the Corkboard or Outliner view in one pane, while you work on your scene in the other.

Turning on Split Screen

To activate the split screen, click the Toggle Split button (Mac), or the Horizontal Split or Vertical Split button (Windows), in the upper right corner of the Editor window. You can also go to View—>Layout to select your preferred style.

Toggle split button annotated on Mac


Windows split buttons


Mac users can hold down the Option key while clicking on the Toggle Split button to change the split type between horizontal and vertical.

Once you have your screen split the way you want it, the same document will be displayed in both panes. Click in the header or text area of an Editor pane and select (in the Binder) the file you'd like to view in that pane. As mentioned earlier, you can choose another text document, a file from your Research section (text document [shown below], web page, photo), or even the Outliner or Corkboard.

You can tell which Editor pane is active because the document title will be underlined in the Header, and the header color changes to blue.

Removing the Split

To exit split screen, click the No Split button (empty square button) on the pane you want to keep working on. On the Mac, it's the same button you clicked to enter split screen. On Windows, the right-most of the two buttons changes to No Split when you enter split screen.

No split button on windows


Additional Resources

In the Tech Tuesday post about Snapshots and Unused Scenes, I mentioned that by creating a copy of a text document before you make revisions (instead of taking a Snapshot), you could use the Split Screen feature to easily compare old and new versions of the file (Mac only in 2.0). Now you know how. 🙂

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

UPDATED: 8/15/17

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