Working Faster in Scrivener with Auto-Complete List


So, you’re writing a novel, and you’ve foolishly chosen to name a character something like ‘DeGraaf’. All left-hand typing, two capitals. What a pain in the butt. Why, why would you do that? You’re going to have to re-type that name about four thousand times over the next hundred thousand words.

Well, fear not! You can always program macros into Microsoft Office so you can type shorthand into Word and it’ll automatically replace it for you.

But wait, you’re working in Scrivener? Me too! Here’s what you do now that macros aren’t an option. It’s a little thing called the Auto-Complete List.

You’ll find the Auto-Complete List in the menus by going Project -> Auto-Complete List, or by the handy dandy keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+4. Then you’ll see the little pop-up menu in the pic above. Hit that plus button and you’ll get to put in a new word or phrase you find yourself retyping far too often, like ‘Auto-Complete List’, for instance.

Then go to Tools -> Options (or shortcut F12) and click on the Corrections icon. Make sure the Word Auto-Complete ‘Suggest completions as you type’ box is ticked, and untick the ‘In script mode only’ box (unless you’re working exclusively on scripts, I guess).

Then, start typing away. When you come to the word you need a shortcut for, type the first letter. If you only have one word on the Auto-Complete List that starts with that letter, you’ll see a little pop-up box with only that word in it. Hit enter and Scrivener finishes the word for you.

If you have more than one word, the pop-up box will have all those words listed in alphabetical order. You can use the arrow buttons to go down and back up the list. Highlight the word you need and hit enter. Or, start typing more letters. The list will get smaller as you type more. Narrow the list down to the one word you need and hit enter.

Did I mention that the Auto-Complete List is project specific? That way you can tailor your list to every new piece you work on. How cool is that.

Next topic – Enabling additional substitutions to mimic the Office macros across all your projects!