The Scratch Pad might sound like something your cat would use, but it’s actually a very handy feature in Scrivener. Sometimes our writing can be interrupted by random thoughts; sometimes they’re even useful. With the Scratch Pad you can quickly jot them down in a pop-up window and get back to the task in hand. It’s not linked to any particular document so is perfect for anything that isn’t obviously related to your current project. It even works outside Scrivener (although it needs to be running in the background).
To open the Scratch Pad, click Tools then Scratch Pad, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Shift+p (Shift+Cmd+enter on Mac).
To add a new note, click the T icon in the bottom left-hand corner. Give your note a title, then start typing in the yellow box. To delete it, select the note in the list, then click the red circle with a line through it.
With the hand icon you can take a screenshot and add it to a note in your Scratch Pad. This might be useful if you’re writing about a painting or photo and want to remember what it looked like.
If you’ve written something brilliant on your Scratch Pad, or have a useful quote to add to your writing, you can send it directly to your Scrivener project. Click Send file to Scrivener, then choose either to append it to one of the existing documents in your open project, or create it as a new document. To copy just part of your note, select the relevant text and check the Send selected text box.
Your notes stay in the Scratch Pad until you delete them and they are accessible from any project.
They are stored as separate RTF (Rich Text Format) documents and you can choose where they’re stored under the General tab in Scrivener’s Options (press F12 to access them in Windows, Cmd+, on a Mac).
As the Scratch Pad is not part of your Scrivener project, it isn’t backed up in the same way – so make sure this directory is included in your regular backup routine. If you don’t have a backup plan, please read this post immediately!
And happy Scrivening.
Find out more in my ebook How to Write Your Thesis with Scrivener.