Resetting a Project's Display Settings

Everything that determines how a project is seen and used is considered part of its display or interface settings. Therefore, if you are experiencing a problem in Scrivener whereby the user interface is behaving oddly or looks strange, you can't fix the issue by tweaking relevant Preferences/Options, and it only happens in a single project, then you may need to reset your project's user interface settings.

Saving Your Settings (Optional)

If you don’t want to lose settings that you have changed from the defaults, and you are still able to open your project, then you can save your settings before resetting the user interface and restore them later. This step is optional.

  1. With the project open, go to Window ▸ Layouts ▸ Manage Layouts...
  2. Click the + button to create a new layout using your current settings. Be sure to check the two options below the thumbnail: Save outliner and cork board settings and Preserve all metadata appearance options. You can then exit the layout manager window.
  3. You may now proceed with resetting your interface settings by following the instructions below. Once you've done that, you can restore your layout settings by selecting the layout you created from the Window ▸ Layouts sub-menu.

Clearing the Project Interface Settings

With the project open, simply click on the File menu, hold down the (Option) key, and then select the Close Project and Clear Interface Settings menu command which appears.

That's it, you're done! Your project will be closed and you can skip to the Reloading the Project section.

Manually Resetting the Interface if a Project Will Not Open

If a project will not open, then you'll need to reset the user interface file manually. This isn't hard to do, but you might want to create a backup first, since you'll have to edit the project's internal files by hand:

  1. First locate the project in Finder and right-click on it. Select the Compress 'File Name' option to compress the project into a ZIP file. This will be your backup copy, so keep it safe.
  2. Right-click on the project again and select Show Package Contents.
  3. Navigate into the "Settings" folder.
  4. Drag the "ui.plist" and "ui-common.xml" files to the Trash in your Dock. (Scrivener 2 projects will only contain the ui.plist file.)
  5. At the top-left of the Finder window use the back button (<) until you see the project displayed, as it normally is, as a single file with the Scrivener icon.

Reloading the Project

When the project is reloaded for the first time, it will be in a default state. All items in the Binder will be collapsed, and nothing will be selected in the Editor. From there everything you do to change the window (e.g., expanding folders, selecting items, opening or closing window elements, etc.) will be done afresh.

If you followed the steps to reset your display settings manually and you find that the project is behaving worse than it did before, don't panic. Simply delete the modified copy of your project and double-click the ZIP file you created in step 1 to extract a fresh copy.

If the Problem Returns

Hopefully you will find that the problem has been resolved after resetting your display settings, in which case no further action is required. However, if the problem returns upon reloading a saved layout, the next step will be to send your layout file to our technical support team for further assistance. To do this:

  1. Open up your project and navigate to Window ▸ Layouts ▸ Manage Layouts....
  2. Select your current layout in the list, and then click the circled ellipsis icon and choose Export Selected Layout... from the menu.
  3. Choose a location to save the layout file, and then click Save.
  4. Open up your email client and add your layout file as an attachment. Include a description of the problem you're encountering so we know what to look for, and then send your email to

If you didn't use a layout but the problem returns once you start changing your settings back to how they were, then use the prior instructions for manually resetting the interface, but this time instead of moving the files to the Trash, move them to your Desktop. Attach those files to an email, along with an overview of what settings you've changed most recently, and then send those to us at