Scrivener Auto Completion

Nat RussoHow-To, Scrivener 2 Comments

Updated on June 19, 2021 to include instructions relevant to Scrivener 3 for Windows.

Have you ever wished you didn’t have to type the same word or phrase over and over again in your manuscript? Maybe you have a tricky-to-spell character name, or you use a lot of technical terms?

What if I told you that Scrivener can automatically type those words/phrases for you with the stroke of a key?

Scrivener Auto Complete

In the above example, simply scrolling down to “Mukhtaar Lord” and pressing TAB will complete my sentence!

This is a conveniently hidden feature called Auto-Completion.

To activate the feature, complete the following steps:
1. Highlight the word or phrase you’d like Scrivener to type for you.
2. Right-click the selection.
3. Click “Add Selection to Auto-Complete List”

Alternatively, you can open your “Project” menu and manage your entire Auto-Complete list from there.

1. Go to the Tools->Options menu and click the Corrections tab.
2. Make sure Suggest completions as you type is checked.
3. Uncheck In script mode only.

Voila! You can now auto-complete anything you add to your auto-completion list!

UPDATE 6/19/2021: If you’re using Scrivener 3 for Windows, the way to activate Auto-Completion has changed:

  1. Go to File->Options and select the Corrections tab at the top.
  2. Make sure the Corrections tab on the left-hand navbar is selected.
  3. In the section labeled Auto-Completion, make sure the appropriate boxes are checked (they should be self-explanatory).

Note: This tip first appeared in the June 2017 “Erindor Press Newsletter”. If you found it helpful and would like more such as these, join the newsletter today!

Related Articles

    Sign up for the free Erindor Press newsletter. Stay Informed. Be a better writer. Your contact information will NEVER be shared for ANY reason.

    Join Nat on Facebook for additional content that he doesn’t post on the blog or on Twitter.

    Be part of the conversation! Head on over to The Mukhtaar Estate and see what everyone’s talking about!

    About Nat Russo

    Nat Russo is the Amazon #1 Bestselling Fantasy author of Necromancer Awakening and Necromancer Falling. Nat was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He's spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun. Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do. He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenager, mischievous beagle, and goofy boxador.

    Comments 2

    1. In your example of how autocomplete works, the word suggested is displayed in black against white background. We I use Scrivener on my Mac, the fist word is displayed in white letters against a orange highlighted background, making it difficult to read. How can I change the first choice word to looking like black ink on white paper?

      1. Post

        I currently use Scrivener for Windows, so that may have something to do with the difference. I’ve spent some time digging through the options, and so far I’ve come up blank. It’s true, though, as well as infuriating sometimes, that Scrivener for Windows has fewer options and fewer features than its Mac counterpart, so you may have better luck than I had by digging through Options –> Appearance and playing with the various settings under “Editor”.

        This is something that wasn’t on my radar before, but I’ll keep digging until I find an answer. I’ll reach out to Gwen Hernandez (a Scrivener guru if there ever was one…she’s the writer of “Scrivener for Dummies”). As soon as I have an answer, I’ll post back here.

        Thanks for letting me know about this!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.