Scrivener 3: Linguistic Focus

Note: This blog post pertains to upcoming features in Scrivener 3, which will be released on macOS later this year and will follow on Windows some time in 2018.

As Scrivener’s name generator has been such a boon to those struggling to name the arch-nemesis of their main character, or any other character for that matter, we’ve added another writing tool into Scrivener 3. It’s called Linguistic Focus. (Dialogue Focus on Windows.) Attempting to see the dialogue within a wall of text, select ‘Direct Speech’ and suddenly all those spoken exchanges jump out of the page:

This is a great way of checking the flow of your dialogue and ensuring each of your characters has a unique voice. The macOS version of Scrivener 3 will also be able to highlight syntax elements such as nouns and adverbs thanks to a built-in feature of the underlying text system on a Mac.

So, if you suddenly want to skim over your preposition and conjunction usage, or check to ensure you’re using the best adjective in the given context, it’s only a selection choice away!

You’ll be able to find this new feature via ‘Edit > Writing Tools > Linguistic Focus…’ on Mac, and ‘Tools > Writing Tools > Dialogue Focus…’ on Windows.

Let Me Count The Ways

Note: This blog post pertains to upcoming features in Scrivener 3, which will be released on macOS later this year and will follow on Windows some time in 2018.

We get that you’re swamped (probably not as badly as Prince Humperdinck, but you’re definitely busy), so you want to keep track of every word in every which way that you can. Nothing screams progress like a hefty word count for the day, or even a resplendent negative session count when you’ve been editing. Scrivener 3 has built on everything provided by earlier iterations, even retuning a feature that was taken away, and then some.

Tweeting your project targets is back! Nothing keeps you honest like telling every follower you have how many words you’re intending to conjure up that day. A representation of your project targets window is now even included within your tweet:

Individual document targets remain, and if you go to ‘Project > Statistics…’ you can glean a wealth of information like word, character and page counts, reading time, and the frequency of particular word usage for your draft or selected documents. You can now create a list of words to ignore within word frequency reporting.

Select any area of text within a document to receive word and character counts, or choose multiple documents within your binder to get a combined count. Outliner mode then offers column options that will keep count of individual documents or groups of documents, whilst giving you an instant visual snapshot of the progress towards any specified document targets. You can even configure notifications to give you a prod whenever you’ve achieved any of your set goals.

Working to a deadline? Plug the submission date into Scrivener and the application will calculate the writing session target you need to achieve each day in order to reach your required count! (This has been a feature of Scrivener on Mac for a while, but it will be new to Windows users.) If you only write on certain days of the week, let Scrivener know and it will adjust your session count accordingly. If you miss a day, or happen to overachieve, Scrivener will continue to specify the number of writing days remaining, and recalculate on the fly what you need to write each day in order to hit your deadline.

Scrivener 3 brings something entirely new too. Writing history. The top section of the screenshot below provides an overview of the project as a whole. 228 different days have been spent labouring over each syllable in the project. An average of 391 words were written in the draft section each day, whilst 988 words went towards preparatory material and notes.

June was a prodigious month. 61,003 words written in the draft, averaging some 2,346 words per day, writing for 26 days out of the 30 available. Detail for each and every day is available to me, and thanks to some forward planning, even though Scrivener on iOS was released during July 2016, any writing completed on your iOS devices within a Scrivener 3 project will also be included within your writing history statistics. Furthermore, all this data can be selectively exported as a CSV file, so you can analyse it in as much detail as you desire using the spreadsheet application of your choice.

With the incept date for Scrivener 3 on macOS approaching, we can now look back at Scrivener 2. It was made as well as it could have been. “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly…” As mentioned previously, Scrivener 3 builds on everything that Scrivener was before, but lays its foundations in a 64-bit architecture on Mac ready for another generation of writers. Your words matter, and they’re being counted.

Version 1.1 of Scrivener for iOS

We’re delighted to announce that in the next week or so, we’ll be releasing our first major update to Scrivener on iOS. It includes a much requested feature, one we enjoy playing with, and lots of work under the hood related to Dropbox syncing.

We’ve added Dark Mode to Scrivener on iOS. Switching into Dark Mode provides an entire theme that will be useful to those that like to continue writing late into the night. Once a project is open, tap the gear icon in the footer of the sidebar to open ‘Project Settings’. You will then see the toggle option for Dark Mode. All elements of Scrivener will immediately switch to a darkened theme that is ideal for working in low light environments. Whether you prefer writing on your iPad or tapping on your iPhone, you can now do it with the lights turned down low. Drift into that romantic scene writing by candlelight!

Dark Mode.
Screenshot of Scrivener’s Dark Mode.
Scrivener already had custom icons available for any type of document contained within your project. We’ve embraced the zeitgeist and you can now use emojis as document icons! Simply bring up the inspector for any binder document and press on the icon option. Along with the list of existing markers to choose from, you will notice a custom field. You can type any letter (or combination if you wanted to associate a character POV), or an emoji into that field. Not happy with a particular scene, it probably deserves a Pouting Face. Thumps Up Sign for that document you’re completely happy with. Any document icons that you do associate, will be immediately available to you the in populated list. Custom icons are an iOS only phenomenon at the moment, but they will sync with Scrivener projects on macOS and Windows when updates are released later this year.

Emojis as document icons.
Along with bug fixes, the work you won’t see relates to updating the API used by Dropbox. Dropbox is moving from API 1 to API 2 at the end of June 2017, so we’ve updated all the underlying sync code to ensure the process remains seamless.

We naturally hope you all enjoy using Scrivener 1.1 on iOS. We’ll be submitting the update to Apple for review next week, so it should be available in the iOS App Store in the next week or two. If you’re not already using Scrivener on iOS, now is probably a great time to take your writing mobile!

Scrivener iOS: Formatting Palette

Scrivener’s editor on iOS is a full rich-text environment – in other words, you have complete control over the formatting and appearance of your text right inside the editor. When you start editing a document on the iPad, a paintbrush icon appears in the nav bar at the top of the screen. Tapping on this opens the formatting palette (if you’ve used Pages before, this will be immediately familiar). On the iPhone, the paintbrush icon can be found in the extended keyboard row (the extra row of buttons that appears above the keyboard).

Inside the formatting palette are three tabs: Style, Indents and Spacing.

Formatting palette.
The formatting palette on Scrivener for iOS.
The Style tab provides the most common formatting options. Here you can choose the font (you can import additional fonts at any time), text size and colour, and you can apply a highlight. It also provides bold, italic, underline and strikethrough options, along with paragraph alignment.

At the bottom of the Style tab is a list of paragraph format presets such as headings and block quotes. As on macOS and Windows, selecting one of these presets will apply a group of formatting settings at once. (Note, however, that they are not true “styles” – look out for news on true styles in the not-too-distant future.) Mac users can bring in custom formatting presets from Scrivener on macOS. The ‘Formatting Options’ area allows you to set up your preferred formatting as the default for Scrivener’s editor.

Indents, line and paragraph spacing for the current text selection can be set via the (drum roll…) ‘Indents’ and ‘Spacing’ tabs.

So, if you have a penchant for 96-point Futura text in bright red, you’re golden – and for those of you who aren’t Markdown enthusiasts, you don’t have to litter your text with asterisks.

Scrivener iOS: Recent Documents List

Scrivener for iPad has a Quick Reference feature that provides you with a way of referring to another document or research material whilst writing in the editor. But what about referring to other documents or research material on your iPhone, where screen size dictates that it’s not possible to view two panes alongside one another?

In the footer of your editor on an iPhone, you will see a clock icon. (On an iPad the clock icon is in the nav bar above your editor.) Tapping on the clock icon will bring up a list of the most recent documents you have opened. The documents are listed chronologically, with the top item being the document you last opened. If you want to refer to a research file on your iPhone, simply find it in your project binder, load it into the editor, and then use the clock icon to access your list of ‘Recent Documents’ and toggle back and forth between the research material and the text document you are writing.

Recent and Bookmarks.
Recent documents list and Bookmarks in Scrivener on iOS.
The ‘Recent Documents’ list is also available in the home screen of the project (the root binder level) along with a ‘Bookmarks’ list, so you can immediately refer to pertinent documents when coming back to a project.

Scrivener iOS: Outliner

As already expounded in the previous post about expanding outlines, Scrivener’s “binder” (its sidebar) is essentially an outliner. If you tap the gear icon in the footer of the sidebar, you’ll open ‘Project Settings’. Within binder options, you can turn on ‘Show Labels’, ‘Tint Rows with Label Colors’, ‘Show Status’ and ‘Shows Synopses’. With all those binder options engaged, things are about to get more colourful and informative.

Tapping on a document in the binder will open it in the editor. If you tap and hold on a document, the inspector opens. This allows you to edit the title and synopsis of the associated document, add notes, and assign a label or status. If you have ‘Tint Rows with Label Colors’ selected, your binder document row will take on the label colour you assign. Giving your document a ‘Revised Draft’ status will also be reflected in the binder if you have ‘Show Status’ selected. How much information you want the binder to show is entirely up to you.

Back within ‘Project Settings’ (tapping the gear icon again), you have ‘Compact’ and ‘Expanded’ as a sidebar choice. Your selection will determine how much of your binder outline you can see. With ‘Compact’ selected, no more than three or four lines of synopses text will be shown in the binder. When ‘Expanded’ is selected, the synopses font becomes larger and rows expand to show all of the synopses. If a binder document has no synopsis associated with it, the first words of its text will be displayed instead. (This synopsis behaviour will be be coming to both our macOS and Windows versions in the future.) On the iPad, choosing ‘Expanded’ will also make the sidebar wider, so that it takes up nearly half of the screen.

As detailed in the earlier referenced blog post, swiping left on a row with subdocuments will reveal an ‘Expand’ button. Pressing the button will reveal the subdocuments indented below their parent, allowing you to see as much (or as little) of your outline as you want.

Any folder in your outline will have a chevron next to it. Tapping on a folder will normally drill down a level to reveal its subdocuments. If the folder has been expanded, however, its subdocuments are already visible, so tapping on the row will simply open the folder’s contents in the editor or corkboard. (If you still want to drill down to view only the subdocuments, you can do so by tapping on the chevron, which will now be enclosed in a circle to indicate that you need to specifically tap the chevron to drill down.)

Scrivener's outliner.
A collapsed folder and an expanded folder.
If you now press on ‘Edit’ within the binder nav bar, you enter editing mode. In this mode, you can drag and drop to rearrange binder documents by pressing and holding the drag indicator on the right of a row. The icons in the binder footer also change in editing mode, allowing you to move documents to a different folder in your project, duplicate documents, merge documents and move them to the Trash. There’s also a “move mode” button (a cross with arrows) that changes the icons in the footer toolbar to buttons that allow you to move selected documents up and down, and to indent and dedent them in the outline.

On the iPad, you can even edit your outline whilst referring to a document in the editor.

Scrivener's outliner.
The outliner on Scrivener for iOS.
Whether you’re on an iPad or iPhone, though, Scrivener’s binder is a powerful and fully-featured outliner that gives you complete control over the structure of your writing and research.

Scrivener iOS: Pinch Zoom

Has it been a long day? Have you started squinting at the text in Scrivener’s editor on your iPad or iPhone? The good news is that you don’t require an optometrist. You’re only a simple iOS gesture from salvation. Most text based apps currently have you picking through a complicated menu path with your poor vision to increase text scale, but with Scrivener you can simply pinch to zoom anywhere within your editor in order to make your text larger or smaller.

Scrivener’s default zoom is 1.2x, but if you have the eyesight of a superhero you can zoom all the way down to 0.5x. If you really should have booked that appointment for corrective lenses, you can zoom up to 5x. Just don’t expect too many words on the screen real estate of an iPhone at that magnification! So, as you do with Safari when reading that last news article late at night, simply pinch zoom in Scrivener’s editor on iOS to write and read at the text size that is perfect for you.

Pinch zoom within the editor.
Pinch zoom to alter the text scale viewed on your iOS device.

Site Licensing

We’re always trying to make it easier for institutions, along with individuals, to adopt Scrivener into their writing workflow. To this end, making it more readily available to larger organisations, we wrote a blog post back in November 2012 that covers the process of obtaining Scrivener licensing for universities and businesses It details the steps involved and options available when using our direct web-store, and provides information about securing volume discounts. It also mentions site and campus licensing for institutions requiring 500 or more Scrivener licences.

A number of institutions have been good enough to contact us over the years requesting pricing, and we thought we’d mention a couple with site licensing. The first place of learning that wanted to utilise Scrivener in their curriculum was Korea International School (KIS) back in 2009. They have a Mac 1:1 laptop program for their students (Scrivener is also available for Windows users) and wanted to use Scrivener in their language classes. The children were even good enough to produce a YouTube video showing Scrivener in action at KIS:

A prestigious site to which we’re very happy to be providing Scrivener over the next 4 years is the University of Cambridge. This is a massive institution, steeped in history from 1209, with an incredible academic record and alumni that includes the names Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton! The site is somewhat bigger than it used to be in the 13th century and now includes over 6,000 academic staff, more than 3,000 administrative staff, and well over 18,000 students. All those involved with the University of Cambridge now have access to Scrivener, and we naturally hope they take full advantage of the application when wrestling with their papers and theses.

If you’d like to use Scrivener within your business — maybe you work for a law firm, or you’d like your students or peers to benefit from Scrivener’s organisational and research gathering benefits — do not hesitate in contacting us at regarding site licensing. Alternatively, go directly to our online store here to obtain licensing for a single user, or up to hundreds. Many thanks.

All the best, David.

Scrivener Licensing for Universities & Businesses

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about ‘Becoming a Sales Affiliate for Scrivener’ This detailed how you could go about becoming a member of a virtual sales force for Scrivener, earning a 20% commission in the process. This method of getting a little something back as you spread news of Scrivener still exists, but what I wanted to cover today is bulk licence purchasing. This would typically be useful for a business or university.

We are fortunate that Scrivener is being adopted by numerous fields of practice, so we’ve tried to automate our web-store as much as possible in order to cater for most purchasing requirements. If you go to our web-store here you will notice a Volume Discounts Available link associated with all our Scrivener licence types. If you press the link, you will then be able to see that we offer pricing in discrete bands that depend on the number of licences being purchased in a single transaction. Taking Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence) as an example, it is typically $45.00 for each licence, but if an institution were to purchase 51 licences then they would only cost $27.00 each.

Going the volume discount route and purchasing licences within a single transaction can obviously lead to a decent saving, but note the institution will only receive a single user name associated with a single serial number covering the number of Scrivener installation seats requested. It is therefore advisable that an institution name is used when going through the purchasing process. If you were purchasing on behalf of Stanford University, for example, using ‘Stanford’ as the ‘User’s First Name:’ and ‘University’ as the ‘User’s Last Name:’ would be advisable. If you were buying a number of licences for a particular department, perhaps the library, then ‘Stanford’ as the ‘User’s First Name:’ and ‘Library’ as the ‘User’s Last Name:’ would probably be a good way to go.

When buying in bulk, note that the number of licences purchased should equal the number of computers within your organisation. Volume discounts have been tiered to ensure good savings are provided when there are a large number of computers. For instance, if more than 250 licences are purchased within a single transaction, then you’ll save 60% on the normal licence rate for Scrivener. If your site or campus is in the order of 500 licences, please contact salesATliteratureandlatteDOTcom to get rates for site licensing.

If individuals within an organisation want personalised licensing for Scrivener, tied to their specific user name, then going the volume discount route is not possible. Licences tied to a single user name need to be purchased separately. Likewise, volume discounts are provided for organisations and institutions purchasing a multi-user licence, and are not intended for buying individual licences in bulk. For example, a group of PhD students should not band together to purchase licensing jointly.

Some institutions may be exempt from sales taxation. As there is no global database available detailing exempt universities or businesses, it is a limitation of the automated system that sales tax, if appropriate, will always be charged in the first instance. If you’re organisation is exempt from taxation, the value can be rebated to your method of payment once you’re in receipt of your STxxxxxxxx order confirmation. The order number is dispatched immediately to the given email address, and if you send this, along with your exemption certificate, to csfileattachmentATdigitalriverDOTcom then the sales tax portion of your order will be rebated to your method of payment.

The easiest methods of payment in our web-store are via credit card or a PayPal account, but if your order value is over $500.00 then the option to complete the transaction using a purchase order will open up. The company that run our web-store (eSellerate) manage the entire purchase order process. E-check (ACH) (U.S. only) and wire transfer are further payment options, with the wire transfer attracting a non-refundable banking fee.

I trust the above information will make the process of cleanly securing a bulk licence order for Scrivener easier to achieve. I hope any institutions that implement Scrivener into their workflows really benefit from the experience.

All the best, David.

Becoming a Sales Affiliate for Scrivener

Every now and again over the last few years, Keith and I have been fortunate enough to receive contact from enthusiastic users of Scrivener that want to help spread word of the application far and wide. Keith duly wrote some HTML code that provided blog and website buttons linking to our site. The buttons ranged from the hilarity of “Write here, write now” to The Hudsucker Proxy-inspired “Y’know – for writers”. These buttons can still be found on our Literature & Latte website by going via, and clicking on the ‘Spread the Word’ link.

In August 2009 we added the facility for our users to actually become sales affiliates for Scrivener. Revealing the business savvy, world domination creatures that we are at heart, we’re now finally getting around to advertising this fact on our blog! You can actually earn money when mentioning Scrivener on your website by signing up to eSellerate’s affiliate program eSellerate, a leading software commerce provider, manage the whole sales process and forward any due commission to the affiliate on a monthly basis. This link is to the eSellerate sign up page. We do not get a mention unless you use the ‘View Products’ facility and search for ‘Scrivener’. If you do, you will be able to see that the commission rate provided for a Scrivener licence sale that comes to fruition from your website will be 20%.

I went through the affiliate sign up process a while back to check it out. It is fairly thorough, and depending on circumstances, there will be some forms to sign, but eSellerate are a fairly thorough bunch of people! I see this as a blessing because Keith and I can then sleep easily at night knowing that VAT returns, sales taxes and the like are being managed correctly by eSellerate. I obviously do not want the affiliate program to be prohibitively difficult to join, but there might be a few legal requirements eSellerate enforce where other offered programs might not. The initial headache pays off with a slick operation thereafter.

If you do experience any issues when trying to become a sales affiliate for Scrivener, you can always contact me at salesATliteratureandlatteDOTcom, and I will liaise with eSellerate to hopefully find a solution.

All the best, David