Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.
I love using tools in real life. I have all kinds having been raised to do a variety of fix-it jobs around the house. It’s great to find that Scrivener has a variety of tools that can be used to assist us writers and make us more efficient.
One of these features is the Auto-Complete List. This can be used to make typing faster by adding words that you commonly use in a specific project. This allows you to add custom words to a list that are automatically completed so that you proceed with fewer typos and less typing.
Before discussing the tool further, let’s first turn it on and get a feel for using it this simple – but powerful – tool. Click on Project and choose Auto-Complete List from the menu (that’s CTRL + Shift + 4 for those who like using keyboard commands as I sometimes do).
The Auto-Complete List will be turned on so that it can be managed.
To add click the + button and type in your common word. Make sure that it’s correct and hit enter. The minus button allows you to remove a word for any reason, misspelled or otherwise. Since this is a feature located on the Project menu then this list is available only for the project in which you are working.
As indicated above, the Auto-Complete List is both simple and powerful. It’s very easy to add words that you commonly use to avoid completely typing them repeatedly in your project. It also reduces the number of misspelled words that you’ll need to correct later as well as backspacing so much. Fewer words to complete typing means less effort. That’s what makes the Auto-Complete List so powerful.
However, I can see one caveat to this tool – too many words that are alike. Just think if you add lots of words that begin with the same letter sequence you may find you have to stop too much to choose which word fits. In this case, the tool will reduce your efficiency. For this reason, avoid adding too many words, especially words that are spelled similarly.
As a fantasy writer, I see this tool being very helpful with the use of lots of unique names common to a story or book. Since these are unique words I can spend a lot of time trying to make sure I’ve spelled them correctly. With the Auto-Complete List I can start typing these names so they complete without risking misspellings and reducing my editing time later. Of course, the same holds true for any words that are specialized to a writing project in any genre, fiction or non-fiction.
I haven’t used the Auto-Complete List at all. But I plan to use heavily in the coming month while I complete a rough draft of An Arrow Against the Wind and maybe one or two short stories – as well as for my blogs, newsletters, etc.
Have you used the Auto-Complete List in Scrivener? If so, have you found it helpful?
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.
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P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
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