Admit it – you get distracted when you’re writing.  There’s Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, maybe movie trailers from Apple or TrailerAddict.  And all of these things keep you from completing the next, great novel or short story.

But what’s a writer to do?!

Well, you could turn all that stuff off.  Your browser, your email, your IM, even your Tweetdeck with it’s notifications:

Or, you could jump into Composition Mode on Scrivener.

First button with the arrows takes you into Composition Mode

In Full Screen Composition Mode, all of those distractions go away.

Full Screen Mode

Cool, but kind of plain.  Wonder if there’s more options.

OH LOOK – there are!

Hover your mouse along the bottom of the screen for more options

From left to right you can:

  • Change the Text Scale – this is a Zoom feature. No need to change the font size, just zoom in.
  • Next, where do you want the paper?  Center, left or right?
  • Paper width – how much of the screen do you want the paper to inhabit?
  • Keywords & Inspector open up floating windows (shown below).
  • Go To let’s you navigate to any section of your project.
  • A handy section word count / character count is next.
  • And last, you can set how dark or light you want the blank space to be.

Floating Inspector and Keywords windows

Now, you don’t have to stare at a blank background.  If you want, you can add an image, something conducive to writing, maybe?  Or a pic of a something to keep the juices flowing – maybe a castle if you’re writing an epic fantasy piece, or a forest for a wilderness piece -that sort of thing.

Before entering Full Screen Composition Mode, click on View > Composition Backdrop, and you can choose between No Backdrop, an image from your hard drive, or one from the project itself:

Once you’ve chosen, jump into Full Screen Composition Mode and see how it looks:


More Scrivener Tips coming (every Monday?)!

Don’t have Scrivener?  You can try it free here (no, I don’t get paid for pointing you at them!).



  • Paul (@princejvstin) Posted February 13, 2012 6:57 pm

    Good to know. Sometimes you have to buckle down and get the writing done. Turn off the distractions and just DO.

  • Sara Posted February 15, 2012 4:56 pm

    I love your Scrivener tips, Patrick. It seem there is a common theme from those who use Scrivener – “It changed me writing life.” Keep the tips coming.

    • Patrick Hester Posted February 15, 2012 10:51 pm

      So glad you like them. Personally, I am much, much more productive now that I use Scrivener. I think it’s because you can tailor it to your own way of writing.


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