Scrivener

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Category

Description of App

“The biggest software advance for writers since the word processor.” —Michael Marshall Smith, bestselling author

Typewriter. Ring-binder. Scrapbook. Scrivener combines all the writing tools you need to craft your first draft, from nascent notion to final full stop.

Tailor-made for creating long manuscripts, Scrivener banishes page fright by allowing you to compose your text in any order, in sections as large or small as you like. Got a great idea but don’t know where it fits? Write when inspiration strikes and find its place later. Grow your manuscript organically, idea by idea.

Whether you plan or plunge, Scrivener works your way: meticulously outline every last detail first, or hammer out a complete draft and restructure later. Or do a bit of both. All text sections in Scrivener are fully integrated with its outlining tools, so working with an overview of your manuscript is only ever a tap away, and turning Chapter Four into Chapter One is as simple as drag and drop.

Need to refer to research? In Scrivener, your background material is always at hand. Write a description based on a photograph. Reference a video or PDF. Check for consistency with an earlier chapter. On the iPad, open two documents side-by-side; on the iPhone, flip between research and writing with just two taps.

Once you’re ready to share your work with the world, simply compile everything into a single document for printing, or export to popular formats such as Word, PDF, Final Draft or plain text. You can even share using different formatting, so that you can write in your favorite font and still keep your editor happy.

FEATURES

Get Started
• Interactive tutorial project
• Keep each manuscript and supporting materials in a self-contained project
• Import Word, RTF, Final Draft and plain text files
• Easily split imported text into separate sections

Get Writing
• Write your manuscript in sections of any size
• View all sections as a single text using the “Draft Navigator” (iPad only)
• Quickly navigate sections using the “binder” sidebar
• Format with fonts and presets
• Comments, footnotes, links and highlights
• Simple bullets and lists
• Insert images
• Pinch-zoom to resize text
• Full-screen mode (iPad only)
• Typewriter scrolling mode keeps typed text center-screen (iPad only)
• Write a screenplay using scriptwriting mode
• Live word and character counts
• Set word and character count targets
• Find and replace
• Customizable keyboard row provides quick-access buttons for formatting, navigation and punctuation
• Comprehensive keyboard shortcuts for external keyboard users

Find Your Structure
• Write in any order and reorganize later
• Write a synopsis for any text section and see it in the outline
• Expand, collapse and drill down into sections of your project
• Rearrange sections as index cards on the corkboard (iPad only)
• Project-wide search
• Track ideas using labels and status
• Apply custom icons to your sections

Refer to Research
• Import research material such as image, PDF and media flies
• View research files or other sections right alongside your writing (iPad only)
• Every section has its own notes area for jotting down ideas
• Supports multi-tasking split screen mode (supported devices only)

Share Your Work
• Compile to a single document for sharing or printing
• Use different formatting in your exported or printed document
• Export to Word, RTF, Final Draft, PDF or plain text
• Convert rich text to Markdown for sharing with Markdown apps
• Create and email zipped backups of your projects

Work Anywhere
• Use Dropbox to sync between devices and with the macOS and Windows versions of Scrivener*
• Copy projects between devices via iTunes

* Requires a Dropbox account. Scrivener is not compatible with iCloud.

SUPPORT
If you have questions, feedback or need help, please contact us at ios.support@literatureandlatte.com, visit our support forums at http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum, or find us @scrivenerapp on Twitter.

Version

1.0

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

No

iOS Version

9.3.3

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

Accessibility Comments

As nearly as I can tell, the app is completely accessible with VoiceOver

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Developer's Twitter Username

@ScrivenerApp

Recommendations

6 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Anna Beige 7 months 2 weeks ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Anna Beige on Sunday, July 24, 2016

Don't let the first screen discourage you if you purchase this app. It's one of those "page one of four" screens, and it didn't tell me when I was turning the page at first.
Once you get through those four pages and hit the get started with Scrivener button, everything is very well-labeled.
The tutorial is extremely helpful, so don't skip it, especially if you're a first-time Scrivener user, like I was.
Syncing with Dropbox is straightforward.
Once you're in a text file, the word count is easy to find.
I've only done a bit with projects so far, I don't know if I'll end up using *all* of Scrivener's features, but they're definitely nice to have, nevertheless.
I'll ad more comments if I find something inaccessible. So far, though, I'm very happy with the Scrivener app.

Submitted by Orinks on Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I never saw the point for getting this app for iOS. The Mac version is pretty good for Novelists and whatnot.

Submitted by Jim Homme on Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hi,
Is this app good if someone does not own a Mac?

Submitted by Tangela on Friday, December 9, 2016

I believe it is. Currently, I only own the IOS version, and love using it there. You can import and export from a variety of file types, if you should want to work on your computer.

Be aware, though, that if you do this, you will often lose the folder and document structure of a scrivener project, since it will then just be one file to work with.

That is, however, the purpose of compiling, especially when you have a bunch of different draft documents.

I do a lot of writing directly on my phone, though, so it works for me. YMMV.

Submitted by Zoe Victoria on Saturday, May 25, 2019

That's all there is to it really, it's awesome and I love it! Perfect for writing all my fanfiction-err I mean that totally original novel that I'm going to publish soon ... hehe ...

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I am currently writing a fantasy book in bthis app and I love the way the documents are indexed in something that works as a table of content. An index. Accessibility is perfect. It kicks both Pages and Word in it’s awesome style. Couldn’t get the hang of ANY other app I have tried. I was unsure of this app but decided to give it a try and I am glad I did.

Submitted by Remy on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I've had my eye on this app for a while, but I really want something I can use to write on my Ipad (Or even Iphone), and then move easily to my PC, then back again. So far I've found nothing whatsoever that makes this sort of seamless transitioning possible. Based on the app description it sounds like this should be easy enough to do, but if I move my Scrivner document into a word file, will it keep my book ofganized with at least headings for each section? And if I move from a word file into Scrivner, do my headings get preserved as sections? Keeping my formatting is very important to me for navigational purposes.

Submitted by Zoe Victoria on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I can't open projects with voiceover anymore. I've already contacted the dev about this problem but haven't gotten a reply yet. This is very bad because my iPhone is currently all I have to write with. Is anybody else having this problem?

Submitted by Tangela on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

In reply to by Zoe Victoria

I briefly had this problem a few days ago. If you uninstall and reinstall scrivener, it fixes it. Its unclear why this happens. I know that any projects saved in dropbox will be there upon reinstallation but not sure about those saved exclusively to your phone.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I do not have this issue at all. My projects open when I want them to and sync the corredct way. I haven’t tried it on the phone and I have a stupid question how do you write a book on the phone?

Submitted by OldBear on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I'm not having this issue either, but it's good to know it might happen.
As far as writing a book on the phone, I use a bluetooth keyboard. It's not as comfortable as on a computer, but I can work anywhere.

Submitted by Zoe Victoria on Saturday, November 9, 2019

The problem I was having is fixed now, reinstalling the app worked. There's something else I'd like to point out, though.

When text is bold/italic and you're scrolling through it by swiping, VO will separate it as though it's another paragraph like this. But when I compile a Scrivener document and flick through it that doesn't happen. It's the only app or anywhere it doesn't happen. I don't think voiceover announces a heading when you make one either, although I'm not sure.

Has anybody else noticed this? If so, any idea of what's going on? And is there anyway to fix it?

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Saturday, November 9, 2019

When I used the app on Mac, I couldn't create and edit tables or add notes, which as I recall were a link that was supposed to open text in another frame on the screen. Also, are the storyboarding tools accessible? There was some sort of view that was supposed to allow you to write cards and move them around, and that view didn't seem accessible, either.
Just the basics of text editing and the project tree view worked. I'd like to hear if it's better now, since I didn't upgrade.

Submitted by OldBear on Sunday, November 10, 2019

I haven't found any way to get VO to announce any of the formatting, like bold, before or after compiling. It's very frustrating.

Submitted by OmniverseAgent on Monday, March 30, 2020

In reply to by Zoe Victoria

I’m curious, how did you manage to add headings? I’ve been really playing around with writing recently and I figured out how to highlight words, sentences, even paragraphs. And how to bold and italicized things.
Just haven’t figured out headings yet

Submitted by Zoe Victoria on Sunday, April 12, 2020

If you set the file to compile in markdown (select plain text for the format and it’ll allow you to do so) and export it to any old markdown editor and preview it, VO will read the formatting. This solution obviously isn’t for everyone and any fancy formatting (such as for a novel) will be lost, but something I thought you all should know.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Is there a way to delete an entire project, because my list starts to get really full.

Submitted by OmniverseAgent on Thursday, April 23, 2020

In reply to by Sasha Stride

Here’s the step by step instructions on how to delete and do other things with your projects on the iOS app.

Open Scrivener
Swipe right three times and you will hear, “edit button“
Double tap to enter editing mode
double tap the projects you’d like to select
At the bottom of the screen there are four buttons
Delete, archive/share, duplicate, and syncing options

While in this edit mode you can also choose how you want your projects arranged, Alphabetically, date created, or last edited
There is one problem though, it does not currently tell you if a project is selected or not. I’ve already sent an email to the developers about this and also about a few neat accessibility hacks that could be implemented to make it a little quicker to access some options.
Hope this helps!

Submitted by WellF on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Is scrivener still accessible these days? Are there any major accessibility issues? I'll finally be able to buy it despite it's horrific price in my country, so I want to be sure what I'll get.

I am using it on iPad and Mac. I have not encountered any issues so far. I thought there were some issues with marking documents in different colours etc, but it turned out it was just me not configuring it in the correct way for ease-of-use for VO.

I love the app and the more I use it the more I love it :)

It works fine with Voice Over. I use it to write large projects like novels. You just need to decide how you're going to organize your project because there are several different ways, and it will make a difference how you compile everything.

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

There always seem to be two camps when evaluating accessibility: folks who use a basic subset of features without issue, and folks like me who want to know about advanced features. Look at all the unanswered questions above about accessibility in Scriviner. Can tables be inserted and navigated now, unlike when I bought the Mac app? are attributes like bold, italics, and heading styles announced while reading and editing? Can annotations be inserted at particular points on the page and reported when editing? Is the story board fully usable? I'd be interested if the answers are "yes" to all these.

The IOS app doesn't have all the features of the Mac app, like a story board and table insertion.
Last I checked, it does not announce bold and so on with the four finger single tap, though it can be checked in the controls. That is a Voice Over issue not the app's. Reading tables is a Voice Over issue.

Submitted by Melissa Roe on Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Hello everyone,
I hope all are well and doing the best they can during these crazy times. Anyway, I’ve had Scrivener for a couple of years, and really want to dive deep into the app and better understand its features. I’ve tried the tutorials in the past, and I can somewhat grasp the general concepts, but both iPhone and Mac apps are still not as easy to understand as Ulysses, for example. I must admit shamefully that I’m not a technical person, so when people just say it’s as easy as one, two, three, I’m not one of those who can immediately catch on, but one thing I do know is that I love to write. That’s what I love about Ulysses. I can launch the Mac app or its IOS counterpart, hit a shortcut, and I’m already set up to begin writing. Especially for #NaNoWriMo, when you have limited time in your day, you just have to start writing, and trying to figure out where things are located and where they should go actually kind of takes away the fun for me. I’ve spent some time getting to know Scrivener, and have learned a few basic keyboard shortcuts, but as someone who wants to know the dos and don’ts for setting up novel projects and whatnot, I get lost within all the folders and wonder if I’m messing things up, which makes my confidence in my writing a bit shaky. I know writers say to just write, but I don’t want to waste my time on a project, only to find I haven’t formatted it correctly.
From what I’ve seen while going through the app, the problem isn’t so much accessibility. All of the buttons on the apps are understandable, but knowing what goes where gets tricky when you get lost in the amazing and overwhelming features offered to writers, even if I don’t use them all.
I’ll be honest, I prefer the Mac app for the simple reason of bluetooth unreliability when it comes to writing long-form projects, yet the IOS app is a bit better to navigate. The sad thing is, no one has taken the time to create a tutorial, or tips and tricks for using Scrivener as a Vo user. There are so many options for visual learners, some free even, where authors will take you through their setup, which is of course unviewable to us since they are either videos or screen shots on the screen. If I’m going to learn how to set up a novel correctly, I want to get advice from people who know what they’re doing and have experience with these apps, but Scrivener tutorials beyond the basic one that comes with the app seems to be unattainable for Vo users at this time.
If there are options out there for me to better learn how to use this app on both the Mac and IOS platforms, I’d greatly appreciate being pointed in such a direction. I’m primarily looking for advice on how to setup novels and scripts correctly so I can focus on the writing and feel more confident that I’m doing things properly. At this current time I’ve put Scrivener aside, but not given up on entirely. I’ve purchased a book on Apple’s Ibooks platform which gives tips for writing a novel with Ulysses, and since I’ve fallen behind on NaNoWriMo, I decided to work with Ulysses until I’m fully confident I know what I’m doing in Scrivener.
Another reason I want to learn more about Scrivener is I’m always open to putting together tutorials for podcasts and the like. I’ve done tutorials and app demos in the past, and I’d make my tutorials free to all Vo users, especially ones hoping to launch their writing career by trying their hand at novels and screen plays. I really feel that Scrivener can be beneficial to all, if we’re given the tools, and better understanding as to how we might use them. For blind and visually impaired individuals, it can be frustrating when resources are limited, but there’s always opportunity for improvement, and sometimes it takes one of us to make that first step. Whenever I do learn how to better tame this literary beast, I’ll put together a tutorial to help others, and for my own reference as well.
Everyone be safe, and happy writing. I hope we can continue this discussion to work on making more resources available.
Be well.

Submitted by wheelysneakycat on Sunday, February 14, 2021

I totally agree it would be great if those getting on well with Scrivener could write some tips or record a podcast even if they haven’t used all the features available yet. interesting that you are getting on better with Ulysses. I looked at that but out of the two apps I sort of felt more comfortable with Scrivener and seemed to get into it quicker. I may look at Ulysses again though. What is the name of the book you found helpful for it?

Submitted by Skippy on Monday, February 15, 2021

Hi,
What’s the name of the book you found, about riding with Ulysses?
I’ve been using Ulysses for the past few months, and absolutely love it!

You can use drafts for your insights or when you don't have time to organize stuff. Just open the app, write and add some tags.
As for a scrivener only solution you can create a project called Nano, tap the edit button and move it to the top of the projects list. Then you just need to open scrivener, enter the project and press cmd+n to start a new file.
I found Ulysses to be unsustainable because of it's subscription method. Scrivener works just as smooth for my needs and is a one time payment.

Hi,
Look for a program called Pandoc. You can use that to format Markdown and many other documents. If you write in Scrivener and export to Markdown, you can use Pandoc to convert to formats like HTML and check out the formatting. If you happen to have VoiceDream Writer on your phone, you can also use that app to check Markdown formatting.

Submitted by Jim Homme on Monday, February 15, 2021

Last time I checked, I could not properly read the levels titles were at, because the level numbers were very long and did not indicate somthing simple like Level 1, level 2, and so on. Has this changed?

Submitted by WellF on Monday, February 15, 2021

In reply to by Jim Homme

It doesn't bother me much, since I organize stuff so that I don't get lost. But it's an issue the Devs should fix.

Submitted by Tangela on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Hello all,

As many of you probably know, I wrote an article in Blind Bargains about scrivener several years ago. Since then, I've seen many questions here and in other forum topics about advanced usage. I've written down all the questions I've seen specifically in this topic, but would like to know what other information people would like to see covered. Specific questions, such as how do I do X, are preferred to General "how do I use this" questions. Please feel free to post such questions here. Topics I have so far include:

  • what to do when you can't open projects
  • reading formatted text
  • The Editing Screen
  • the corkboard
  • splitting a document
  • uploading projects to dropbox
  • exporting projects
  • renaming documents
  • writing multiple documents
  • and a few possible ways to organize a manuscript.

Please let me know if there are more topics you would like to see covered.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Friday, February 19, 2021

Is there a way to move a document from iPad to Dropbox?

Submitted by Tangela on Friday, February 19, 2021

In reply to by Sasha Stride

Hi there! Just to check, are you asking about transferring a project to dropbox, or a single document? Be aware that if you are referring to a single document, you will not be able to open it in scrivener without first importing it into a new project.