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My Scrivener Toolbar

This is probably an odd post, but I've always told other authors what I put in my Scrivener toolbar to save time, and frequently I get a lot of blank looks. “You can change the toolbar?”

Palm, meet face.

Yes, the Scrivener Toolbar is customizable. Look at all the things you can put on it (in order to get this screen, all you have to do is right-click on the toolbar itself and choose “Customize Toolbar”)

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 067DOY, Sun 03.08.2015   1.54.22 PM

There are lots of options here and depending on what you use often, you'll want to stick those things in your toolbar.

Let me show you what's on mine!


There's a good reason for everything on my Toolbar, but let me highlight a few of the most important items.

Compile: I compile a lot to ebook format, but I also use the Compile feature to designate groups of files for word count targets, especially in my short stories where I have many short stories per project but only want to do word counts per story, not for the entire project.

Back Up Now & Back Up To…: The two most important buttons on the toolbar. Every time I'm done writing for the session, I click Back Up Now to make a zipped backup file to my hard drive (these are named with the date and you can change and play with this in the preferences), and then I click Back Up To… to make a separate back up file and save it to my Google Drive. When I back up to my thumb drive, I copy over new backups I've made from all these sessions. Plus these are all saved in Time Capsule. Having the buttons right on my toolbar means I never forget to make backups.

Project Replace: Can't tell you how many times I've changed a character's name or spelled something wrong in an entire manuscript. This gives me easy access to fix it.

Text Stats: This is mainly just interesting to me. I click and take a look a few times per project.

Targets: I cannot live without this now. By setting word count targets (goals) and having Scrivener show these to me, I keep on track.

Toggle Ruler: I now keep the ruler on at all times to watch my tabs, indents, and margins which all come into play when I compile.

Dictionary: Highlight a word and click on the Dictionary icon. Scrivener will launch the OS X dictionary. There's also a thesaurus that's helpful but I usually use

Snapshot: I use this feature a lot when I start revisions. When I come to a scene, I take a snapshot first, then edit. I can then compare the snapshot of that scene to my edits (see varying word counts or what I added or subtracted) and I can also revert back if I need to.

Format Bar: For when I want to get rid of or find the format bar.

Group Mode: This is helpful when I want to look at word counts for chapters or long stretches of work. Group a bunch of scenes together and then use the Text Stats on them.

Now that you've seen what's on mine, you should be able to adjust yours as well!

What is your favorite button on the toolbar?

14 thoughts on “My Scrivener Toolbar”

  1. Got all excited, until I saw it must just be a Mac thing. The PC version is starting to catch up, so haven’t had as many of these pop up lately, but, maybe next update :)

  2. Because I use a Spanish and the Mac English Dictionaries, instead of putting the icon in the toolbar, I created a Mac shortcut Control + Shift + D for dictionary and Control + Shift + U (for Ultralingua Spanish). That way my toolbar is free more stuff.

    1. Thanks for that. I don’t know what you mean by using Compile to set groups of files for word count targets but it sounds useful so I’m going to find out!

      1. Let’s say you have multiple stories in one project… I have one project to house all of my short stories. Each short story is in its own folder. I just want to count words for one of those short stories not all of them. So I go to the compile window and choose that short story’s folder, save it so it’s the current compile group. Then in the Target’s preferences, I have it count by “current compile group.” Done.

    2. It looks like the PC version also allows a lot of customization of the tool bar. Click on the Tools menu and select Customize Toolbar.

    3. I have Scrivener for Mac and I cannot right click and customize the toolbar. I can’t even bring up the default tool bar. Any ideas? Thanks so much.

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    S. J. Pajonas