Typewriter Scrolling in Scrivener

It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out,
it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.

Sometimes it’s just a small detail that can make you crazy, and with Scrivener’s fullscreen (or now: composition mode) it was the typewriter scrolling. When activated, the line you work with is automatically the vertical center of the screen.

If you are writing the text from scratch, this feature is very useful — you can fixate the same line with your eyes and do not need to go down-down-down until the text is the the very last line of the virtual page (like in Word). But it can drive you crazy if you are editing the text and whenever you type somewhere it is automatically recentered vertically, thus forcing you to visually jump to the vertical center each and every time you change something.

Luckily there is the Format – Options – Typewriter Scrolling Setting in the menu bar, if you disable it, Scrivener does not show this behavior — in the selected view mode. What drove me mad and took me a while to understand is that there are independent settings for the normal window and for the composing/fullscreen mode. Thus, you have to disable Format – Options – Typewriter Scrolling in the composing mode independently from the normal mode, either by going with your cursor to the top of the screen, or by pressing ctrl + cmd + t when in the composing mode.

As you usually do not see the menu bar in the composing/fullscreen mode, it’s easy to miss it.


  1. THANK YOU. I just did a google search for this and came upon your site. It really is the little things that can drive you crazy, especially when they didn’t have to be there in the first place and are the last thing you need to be confronted with when trying to concentrate and write. Ugh. Thanks again.

  2. Hoi Nin,

    thank you for your comment — I always appreciate feedback and I’ve used your comment to send an eMail to Scrivener’s technical support. It bugged me, it bugged you, chances are there are other people annoyed by this unclear settings as well.

    All the best


  3. Thanks for this! Now I can finally use the compose function. I wonder who had the brilliant idea to put this function only in the hidden menu bar?! Terrible from a UX perspective.

  4. Hoi Lilly,

    yup, drove me out of my mind too, it was extra sucky because I saw the value of the fullscreen modus and desperately wanted to use it, but not at this price. Anyway, the people at Scrivener have gotten feedback, I hope they implement it. It’s only a tiny detail (if you know how to deactivate it), but it does not fit to the otherwise brilliant app.

    All the best


  5. THANK YOU – it was driving me crazy! :-))
    Awesome, now I can work relaxed again.

    Many greetings,

  6. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I started using Scrivener about a month ago, and while I LOVE it, the re-centering on full screen mode DRIVES ME INSANE! But no matter how I searched online, I couldn’t find out how to change that blasted setting. Scrivener is usually so intuitive, and the re-centering is NOT. I knew there must be some way, but could not figure it out. Thank you! You saved full-screen mode for me.

  7. Just.. you know, THANK YOU. I couldn’t find that DAMNED option anywhere and I had to disable it, it was driving me bonkers. You are a good soul.

  8. Still strange that such a brilliant program has such a tiny but very annoying ‘accidental feature’. Just send out a tweet again about this posting … should reduce a lot of stress …

  9. Hi Daniel, may I point to another flaw I’m experiencing in Scrivener in compose mode? When I select text upward, I’m only allowed to go up to the top of the screen and cannot select any additional text above it because the screen doesn’t move/scroll. I can however select downward, going beyond the text on the screen. Am I explaining this right?
    I feel like I should be able to select text upward and downward as well.

  10. Thank you, I just wrote them. By the way, I love this site, I’m glad to have discovered it after my Scrivener-related search.

  11. I’m so glad I found this post. This was driving me nuts as well. I had tried turning off the Typewriter Scrolling feature, but only in the normal mode. I assumed this must be called something else and went searching for the answer. Google brought me here.

    Thanks for writing about this!

  12. No problem, glad it helped. Funny thing, even about two years after writing the posting I can still feel the frustration I had when working with fullscreen mode and activated typewriter scrolling. πŸ˜‰

    But still, so far I think this is the only design flaw I have encountered in Scrivener, and that’s saying something. It’s simply a great program πŸ™‚

    Happy writing πŸ™‚

  13. This tip just saved me from a LOT of frustration! This has been driving me crazy for the past few nights. Thanks so much for sharing how to turn this type of scrolling off!

  14. Anyone know a key command for paging up and down. I am currently using the mouse on the arrows at the bottom of the screen but am betting there is a key command as this is truly a brilliant program.

  15. Thank you!! Like everyone else this was driving me bonkers while I was editing.

  16. Thank you so much! It also drove me crazy, but thanks to your post I managed to fix it!

  17. BLESS YOU! Finally you’ve shown me the solution to this incredibly irritating problem. THANKS!

  18. That’s interesting. I actually like it. In my version, those settings are turned off, and you have to go in and turn them on to have them in effect.

  19. Help! This solution doesn’t work for me! I’m using a Windows-based PC and I can’t seem to get rid of the typewriter setting automatically re-centering all text in full screen mode. Are there any other solutions people have found? This feature is driving me totally nuts!
    Thanks in advance . . .

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    This was driving me crazy! After editing a couple hundred pages of text, I was about to go find another program to use… Glad I can keep using Scrivener!

  21. Amazing that the boss of scrivener hasn’t seen sense to get rid of that double action required to activate this. Everytime I go back to scrivener after an update and not having used it for a while I find myself googling to find out how to turn this FARKN thing back on. Ridiculous.

    Thank you.

  22. Thanks for this! I was actually looking to re-enable typewriter scrolling in the editor mode and just couldn’t figure it out.

    All the best!

  23. Thanks!

    But the solution doesn’t work for Windows-based Computers it seems.

    Has anyone any Idea for WINDOWS? It is really disturbing, I am suffering…

    thank you so much in advance!

  24. Sure about this? Can anyone confirm or falsify this? If they keyboard shortcut doesn’t work, have you tried accessing the menu bar in fullscreen writing mode (not sure, perhaps by putting the mouse cursor on top)?

  25. This four year old post just saved another writer from madness! Wanted so badly to use composition mode during editing, but was getting dizzy from the text movement. Thanks.

  26. Thank you for the comment, I know exactly how you feel. It was making me mad too. And the funny thing, I’ve told the developer about this “bug” (or inconsistency) years ago. But hey, given how much I love to work with Scrivener and that it’s fixable, I’m not mad (any more πŸ˜‰ ).

  27. Love the site, and especially this tip! Thx!

    Is there a way to have two pages across in Composition view? The way you can in the normal view? (View menu –> Page View –> Two Pages Across)

  28. Been years since I wrote about this tip, still gets positive feedback. (And the funny thing is, I had to look it up myself after completely reinstalling my system.)

  29. Thank you!! An older post still SO helpful. Much appreciated!

    Your post is clear, concise and even started with a memorable quote. Thank you for that as well!

  30. Hi,
    great little post. I was just haunted by the same problem and found the solution here. Even an the end of 2016. Thank you for your great site and the post.
    Niko 😎

  31. Why in the world would you turn off typewriter scrolling? It’s one of the best features in Scrivener. (I used your post to actually find the setting so I could turn it on in a new project. Thanks!)

  32. Depends on how you work β€”Β if you type a new text it can be useful, but I found it completely obnoxious when editing a text. The second you press a key you have to readjust where you fixate your view.

  33. Thank you!
    I’m new to Scrivener. I’m trialling using and keeping my sermons in it. Composition mode is great, but that behaviour you mentioned was driving me up the wall! A Google search brought me to your post, and….Fixed!
    Cheers mate!

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Scrivener and the shades of yellow and green « bearable is barely enough
  2. Scrivener — A perfect program for dissertation writing | ORGANIZING CREATIVITY
  3. The Uses of Writing a Blog | ORGANIZING CREATIVITY

Comments are closed.