Writing

Quick Scrivener tip: Four keyboard shortcuts to remember

I’m a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts. They make life so much easier. Here are some I find absolutely essential because without them you’re always reaching for the mouse and fiddling to get to the right place.

The first situation you need them is this. You have a number of scenes in your Binder and you want to move them around. Yes, the easy and obvious way to do this is to select one and start dragging this with the mouse. But that’s fiddly and slow. And in Mountain Lion my Logitech mouse has got decidedly cranky too (so I’ve gone back to Apple’s own, sigh).

And actually you just don’t need to mess with the mouse at all. Select the scene you want to move and then use these keys (on Windows just Ctrl and drop the ⌘ key altogether).

⌘-Ctrl-↑

⌘-Ctrl-↓

The scene will move up and down one document at a time. You can also indent and outdent (in other words make subordinate or not) using the other arrow keys if you want). This is so much quicker than trying to do the same thing with the mouse.

Here’s my other favourite slightly obscure shortcut(s). You know when you write a scene and realise it’s actually two scenes in one and needs splitting somewhere partway through? Scrivener has a dead simple way of dealing with that. Go to the start of the paragraph where you want to start the split and type ⌘-K (Mac) or Ctrl-K Windows). Bingo – you now have two scenes like this, the second with the same name but the suffix-1.

One more variation on this theme. If you want to give that split scene an automatic name just select the text you want for the name then add the alt key to the ⌘-K or the Shift key to the Ctrl-K on Windows. Your new scene now has that name.

My small brain has little room for keyboard shortcuts so I try to memorise only the ones I find really useful. Here you have them.