Formatting Shortcuts in Scrivener

September 9, 2017

So, I’ve been working on a major update to Professional Email Design. While the writing and editing started as markdown in iA Writer, I’ve switched back to that old stalwart of professional writing, Scrivener for working on the manuscript.

During the course of dumping a bunch of markdown into Scrivener, I’ve had the need to update a lot of formatting. I quickly learned that highlighting some text, mousing over to the format dropdown, and selecting the required format was utterly time-consuming and hugely frustrating. An online search for Scrivener formatting shortcuts yielded only the usual stuff: bolding, italicizing, etc. The bulk of my formatting was code, but no shortcut existed for formatting text as code.

So I made my own.

In case you’re in the same boat, here’s how I did it. Hopefully it helps you out.

  1. Open up Apple’s System Preferences
  2. Go to Keyboard > Shortcuts
  3. In the left panel, select App Shortcuts
  4. Below the right panel, click on the + button to add a new app
  5. In the Application dropdown, select Scrivener
  6. Enter the name of the formatting option you want in the Menu Title field
  7. Enter the shortcut you want to use in the Keyboard Shortcut field
  8. Click Add

adding a keyboard shortcut

Now, when you go back into Scrivener and you open up the formatting dropdown, you will see the shortcut added next to the formatting option specified.

new scrivener shortcut

Formatting is now a keyboard command away. Instead of hopping over to my trackpad, scrolling around, and all that tedious stuff, my fingers never need to leave the keyboard. My formatting and editing is vastly improved, which means I can get this major book update out to all of you sooner 😉