questions about scrivener

macOS & Mac Apps

Good afternoon. I have a MacBook Pro and am considering purchasing the program Scrivener. Is the program accessible with voiceOver? Can you just open a blank document and start writing like you can with Microsoft Word? can you save a file as a word document so it can be read by someone using a windows pc? Where are the saved files stored on the Mac? Is it easy to add things like page numbers and italics? Thank you.



Submitted by Ivor123 on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hi Sarah,

From your questions, I'm not sure Scrivener is the right application for you. Scrivener is not intended to be a basic word processor. It's for large writing projects, like novels. That being said, you can do all the things you want to do with Scrivener; however, it doesn't open into a blank document. You'll need to choose the project type. Given Scrivener's cost, nearly fifty dollars, I wouldn't recommend it for basic word processing.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hey Sarah,

While I can't answer your questions directly, I will be able to soon I'm sure - but hopefully I won't need to, because you can answer them yourself. What madness is this, you may ask?

Scrivener offers a free 30-day trial, and coincidentally, I just downloaded it today. The really neat thing is that it's 30 days of actual use (meaning if you don't open the app on a given day, it doesn't count against your trial period). That should give you all the time you need to find out everything you need to know about the program before committing to buy it.

I've copied the link to the free trial page - just click the link that says Download Free Trial for Mac, or whatever it says exactly. Have fun, and hopefully it works out for you!

Here's the link:

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Now it's my turn to chime in with a question. I'm going through the Scrivener tutorial right now and am absolutely enthralled with it. It seems to be a great program, with an extraordinary degree of accessibility thus far - and I love the conversational tone of the tutorial. I am especially thrilled with the screenwriting mode, as I've been looking for an easy-to-use, accessible screenwriting tool for a year or two now.

Here's my question: the tutorial mentioned that Scrivener is mostly geared towards first drafts, and that it's recommended to export your final project into a different word processor, etc., for final formatting. This took the wind out of my sails a bit in regards to the screenwriting mode, and I was wondering - what can anyone tell me about the formatting of screenplay files output by Scrivener? Has anyone received sighted feedback on them to the point of being able to comment on whether or not they meet industry standards? I'd hate to drop the money on Scrivener, only to find out that in order to format marketable screenplays, I'm going to have to find a second program that can format the exported file.

Submitted by Sarah on Thursday, September 24, 2015

In reply to by Joseph Westhouse

good evening. I would like to use scrivener to write novels. I would just like to write the novel and do editing later. What document type do I need to choose? How do you do formatting such as double spacing and font? How do you save the document as a word file? Thank you.

Submitted by Apple-pie on Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hello altogether,

I hope my English is good enough for answering your questions. Let's give it a try. At first I must say that I'm a very passionate Scrivener user and I like the program. I can also say that the developers are very friendly and very interested in making their program accessible. Also they try to answer your questions very quickly when you write them an e-mail. The demo version is very suitable for testing the program because you can use it like a full version during the 30 days of trial. But it is true that you need to put in some work to get to know the features of Scrivener. It is not so easy to use or at least not everything is self-explaining.

It is important to understand that Scrivener is not a word processor. It is designed as a writing program. You can call it an editor in the first place. That means you start writing and arranging your content. After that you can do formatting. You have different options for this.

1. You can do formating in the editor itself. This works like in textedit. After that you can press the checkbox compile as it is or something like that and then compile the written text.
2. You can open the menu and then press compile. There you have a lot of layouting options. You can choose one of the given layouts or you can customize it. This works well with voiceover but you need to know what you are doing. When you compile your book you can get a very good result. I tried it only with pdf so far and someone asked me if I did it with LaTeX because it looked quite professional.

I sometimes do some reading for other people where I use the comment function. I only export these files (exporting is not compiling). Scrivener tries in the export option, too, to obtain the given formatting as best as possible. Unfortunately, I have no feedback about this but I know that my comments are exported correctly. For comparison: I tried the same thing with Pages and exporting comments did not work. So I guess Scrivener is quite good at it.

So, yes, you can do a lot of formatting. I'm not sure which kind of formatting is meant by the tutorial. Maybe it's just the fact that formatting is a bit more complicated than in word. You could ask the developpers for this.

You can save files as word files by using the export option or by using compile and then choosing word es file format to compile in. If you are not planning to give your manuscript to a publishing house it is enough to use the export option. If you plan so you should compile your book.

You can format font and space in the format bar (if it's hidden choose the menu and show it, I think there is something like "view" in it. Unfortunately, I don't remember the english names for the menu items). Formating with the format bar works like formating in Pages. You need to inactivate cursor following before choosing something in the format bar.

Ok, I hope I was able to answer your questions. If there are more please ask them ;-)

Submitted by Snelspoor on Monday, December 21, 2015

Hi All

I've been trying out Scrivner. The one difficulty i have is navigating by paragraph. I can read the paragraph i'm on with VO plus P, but i can't skip from one paragraph to the next. Any ideas?