Thank You

Today has been amazing. Seriously. And the reason it has been amazing has been because of you, Scrivener users.

Sure, there have been teething problems, mainly concerning sync, and we are working to improve the documentation and our Knowledge Base, and will continue to look at how we can improve things.

We know there are a few features users want, and I’m looking into them – this is only 1.0 of the iOS version, after all. This is just the beginning.

But above all, we’ve been blown away by our fantastic users. We have had numerous users on our forums helping other users out, helping them get set up. We have had countless users on Twitter, Facebook and our forums telling us how much they love Scrivener for iOS, and telling writers who have never heard of Scrivener all about it. We have had over 150 very kind users already give us great reviews on the App Store in different territories. Just: thank you!

I’ve been working on Scrivener for 12 years now. One day I may even finish The Novel. In the meantime, it’s been brilliant to see so many Scrivener users who have – using Scrivener. I hope to see many more novels and books written using the iOS version – who knows? Either way, one of the best things about the past 12 years has been interacting with our users, and today has been a reconfirmation of what a great user-base we have. So: thank you again. For your enthusiasm. For your support even when it seemed like the iOS version was in limbo. Great users really help us focus on keeping driving Scrivener forward.

And we will continue to drive Scrivener forward. But today is about iOS, so I’ll leave news about big updates to other versions of Scrivener for another day…

In the meantime, get in touch. Talk about what you’re writing on our forums. We love hearing from you.

Thanks again!

It’s Here! Scrivener for iOS is Now Available!

Scrivener for iOS is now available for sale on the App Store. At the time of writing, it is not yet showing up in searches on the App Store, as it can take several hours for Apple’s records to update. However, you can find it by following this link:

If you tap on the above link on your iOS device, it will take you to Scrivener in the App Store.

Thank you everyone once again for all the enthusiasm that has kept us buoyed in getting to this point. Happy mobile writing!

Important Note on the Scrivener for iOS Release

Many thanks to everyone for all the enthusiasm about our Scrivener for iOS release tomorrow! As we’ve been receiving a lot of questions, I just wanted to clear up a few things:

  • Scrivener will be released in the morning of July 20th UK time. I apologise to our antipodean customers, as I’m aware that it will be very late on the 20th for them, but we need to release it at the start of our own day so that we can deal with as many initial support requests as possible.
  • Price: Scrivener will cost $19.99 in the US store (“price tier 20” in Apple terminology, which is £14.99 in the UK, for instance).
  • Requirements: Any iOS device running iOS 9.0 or above.
  • Availability: Scrivener for iOS will be available in the iOS App Store in all the same countries the macOS version is available in the Mac App Store. (Please note that we are unfortunately unable to sell into territories where neither Apple nor our own accountant handles sales tax.)
  • Language: The UI for Scrivener 1.0 for iOS will be in English only. We will be adding support for other languages in upcoming free updates. (Translation takes time, so we would have had to delay the release further to get non-English languages in 1.0. This will be a priority over the next couple of months.)
  • Compatibility: Scrivener for iOS uses Dropbox to sync with the macOS and Windows versions. (In answer to all of our Windows users, yes, of course it works with the Windows version as well as the macOS version!)

If you are an existing customer, please make sure you update Scrivener for macOS or Windows to the latest version (2.8 on the Mac, 1.9.5 on Windows). iOS projects and edits will not be recognised in older desktop versions.

On the subject of existing customers, I’m afraid we are unable to offer discounts on the iOS version to existing customers of the Mac and Windows versions. This just isn’t possible with the App Store, which is the only way we can sell our iOS version – Apple has no facility for providing partial discounts, so there’s just no way for us to do it.

Note that Scrivener for iOS is called… Scrivener

Please be careful when purchasing, as there are other apps available in the App Store that have names similar to Scrivener, which come up in searches for “Scrivener” and which have been designed to open Scrivener files but which are nothing to do with us. The official Scrivener for iOS app is simply called Scrivener. If it’s not called “Scrivener”, it’s not our app.

When Scrivener is available on the App Store, it will be at this link:

Tomorrow’s a big day for us (and it’s been a long time coming!), so thank you again for everyone who has supported us on this journey and shown so much enthusiasm. We hope you like it as much as we do!

Scrivener for iOS Release Date

Apple has approved Scrivener for sale on the iOS App Store, so we can now give an official release date: 20th July. To recap the details:

  • Price: $19.99
  • Release date: 20th July
  • Requirements: any device running iOS 9.0 or above (iPad, iPad Pro, iPhone, iPod Touch)
  • Available in all the same territories as we sell our macOS version on the Mac App Store. (Note that 1.0’s UI is English-only, but we will be adding other languages in a free update.)

Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with us. A huge thank you to the 600+ beta-testers who have helped us squash bugs and (I hope!) provide a stable release version. Thanks to the L&L team, who always push me to make things better and make sure I have the time and space to do so. But most of all, thanks to the gazillion of you have stuck with us and waited so long, through all the problems we had getting our iOS version together. All those of you who love Scrivener nearly as much as we do, and who have been so eager to use it on all your devices. This time next week, you’ll be able to carry your Scrivener projects around in your pocket. I hope you like it.

Guinea Pigs Wanted!

UPDATE: All beta slots have been taken up for now – they went quicker than we expected! Many thanks to everyone who volunteered. We may open up more slots soon, depending on how things go.


Scrivener for iOS has been in closed beta with around 75 people for the past month. We’re now looking to expand the beta group, so are throwing open the doors to volunteers. If you’re interested in helping test Scrivener for iOS, read on!

The word “beta” has been watered down a little in recent years, with Apple and Google making available early “betas” of their software to everyone. As a result, the word has almost become synonymous with “getting it early”, with little expectation on beta testers to do much in return. Ours is a true beta, however, so the most important thing to bear in mind is that you shouldn’t sign up if you’re just after early access to Scrivener for iOS. We’re looking for testers who will be active in helping us track down bugs and find problems, to help us ensure the final product is as stable and great to use as possible.

We only have a limited number of beta testing spots available, and right now we’re looking to add between 200 and 250 new people to the pool. The spots will probably be taken up quickly, and we expect to receive more applications than we can accept, so please don’t be disappointed if you miss out, or if you apply but don’t get asked to participate—we may well scale up the beta further a little later.

You don’t have to be a techie to apply—you just need to be ready to use Scrivener a lot on your iPhone or iPad (iOS 9.0 or above is required).  Crucially, you need to be prepared to encounter bugs and to spend time trying to reproduce them so that you can write down the steps we need to take so that we can see them for ourselves and fix them. If you don’t have time to spend repeating the same sequence of actions over and over again in an attempt to trigger a bug you’ve spotted, then beta-testing isn’t for you—you should leave others to act as Guinea pigs and wait to reap the rewards of their frustrations when Scrivener for iOS is officially released instead!

Does this sound overly negative and “Here be dragons?” I hope not. The beta so far has been going great, with beta testers using Scrivener for iOS every day without any real problems. And now you can too—if you’re happy to get stuck in and haven’t been put off by any of the above, follow the link below to sign up. (Please make sure you use this form and do not email us directly; we’ll only be picking beta testers who have submitted the form. Thanks!)

Click Here to Apply to be a Beta Tester

From Alpha to Beta

Next week, I shall—at long last—be submitting Scrivener for iOS to Apple’s TestFlight beta-testing program. It has spent the past month in alpha-testing in-house (I am writing this blog post in Scrivener on my brand new iPad Pro 9.7”, in fact), and we’re now ready to open up testing to a slightly larger group. We’ve had a lot of users emailing us asking if they can beta-test, so in order to be entirely open, I thought I’d explain how we are going to approach the beta-testing process.

We’re going to run the beta in two rounds. For this first round of testing, we’re using a private group of testers on an invite-only basis. That sounds a bit clique-y, but actually there’s no favouritism or secrecy in how this group is selected: we’re always on the lookout for users on our forums, social media pages and through our tech support channels who seem particularly good at finding and reporting bugs (perhaps because they are very patient when tracking down a gnarly issue or because they are good at communicating problems—or maybe they’re just good at breaking things). We ask such users to help with early betas of our software when needed (I’m sure there are many, many users we have missed, though). These are our Guinea pigs, in other words, and we know that they won’t shout at us when their work blows up because of a typo with a semicolon on line 956 of the Dropbox syncing code.

After the initial round of beta-testing with the closed group, once we’re happy there are no obviously nasty data-loss or sync bugs that might cause issues for a larger group, we will throw the doors open, make the beta public, and ask for volunteers. We won’t be able to accept everyone, because there’s a limit to how many users we can add as beta-testers via Apple’s TestFlight program, but all of those of you who have been so enthusiastic about getting your hands on it will be able to put your name in the virtual hat. We’ll put up a form on our site where anyone can apply, and we’ll provide information about what you will need in order to be a beta-tester (which mainly just comes down to patience and being prepared to come across and report bugs). I’ll post information about that here, on the forums, and via our social media sites, when the time comes.

Full screen - not much to see here...
Full screen – not much to see here…

Alpha testing has been a fun process, by the way (apart from the awareness that every day in alpha is another day the software is late, of course!). If beta-testing is where you sand down all those rough edges and fix the broken parts, alpha-testing is where theory meets practice and you realise that as great as your sketches and notes for feature X looked, something about it feels awkward to use now that it’s there in front of you on your iPad.

For instance: Scrivener’s binder was originally a solely drill-down affair. Tap on the Draft folder, and a list of its subdocuments slide in; tap on “Chapter One” inside the Draft, and its subdocuments slide in. That seemed like a very iOS way of approaching it on paper, and a great way of viewing sections in isolation. In practice, however, it’s not so great when you want to get more of an overview of your manuscript, and it means a lot of drilling down and hitting “Back”. So, during the alpha, I added the ability to expand and collapse folders and groups just like on the Mac (but in an iOS way), providing the best of both worlds (because you can still drill down too).

Another “for instance”: To begin with, the inspector on iOS always appeared in a floating panel. But this meant you could never have it open directly alongside the editor or corkboard. So during alpha-testing, we came up with another solution for this, keeping things simple and “iOS-like”, but allowing for more flexibility.

Not only that: during the alpha period, Compile was massively improved, the import and export formats were expanded, corkboard images were added, and much, much more—other features we’ll start talking about soon. I don’t want to waffle on about all the great features while there’s not a release date, though, as that will just cause frustration (understandably). Right now, I’m excited that we are finally going into beta. Look out for the call for volunteers in a month or so, and we’ll start talking about the software, and posting screenshots, once the larger beta is in full swing and we’re close to release.

Oh, before I sign off, some answers to questions that come up a lot in the comments:

  • Scrivener for iOS will run on most iOS devices – the only requirement is that it can run iOS 9 and above.
  • It runs on iPhones as well as iPads (although certain features that require more space—such as the corkboard—are iPad-only).
  • It supports the multi-tasking features of the iPad Pro.
  • Scrivener for iOS will not support iCloud (at least for now) – syncing will be done via Dropbox. I’ll write a post explaining why soon. (You’ll be able to leave your desktop project open while you’re off using it on your mobile device, though.)

think that covers the most popular questions I got asked in the comments last time, but I’ll do my best to answer any other questions in the comments here.

Thanks again for everyone’s enthusiasm and support—the response to the last post was overwhelming in its positivity, and we all at Literature & Latte hugely appreciate it.

We Found That New iOS Developer, By The Way… (Me)

I know we’ve been quiet about the iOS version recently, and some users have been wondering if it’s still in development. After all the problems we’ve had with it, I took over development myself last year and rewrote it from the ground up. I had originally planned not to develop it myself so that I didn’t have to divide my time between the Mac and iOS versions, but in the event, coding our iOS version turned out to be a lot of fun, especially with the introduction of the iPad Pro. Adapting Scrivener for iOS felt like going back to the beginning and remembering why I built Scrivener in the first place.

I’ve now finished the rewrite and it’s in internal alpha-testing, which is going well – in fact, I was on holiday last week, and wrote exclusively using Scrivener on my iPad Pro. As soon as it’s in beta – which shouldn’t be too far away now (really, this time) – we’ll start bringing you more news. We’re incredibly proud of how it’s turned out, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it, and to get it into the hands of our users at last.

Thank you for your patience, your support, and your enthusiasm while Scrivener for iOS has been undergoing its long gestation.

— Keith (Scrivener designer, Mac and now iOS developer)

Do you train others in how to use Scrivener?

As Scrivener has become more widely adopted in many fields of writing, we have noticed the increasing emergence of training courses and other learning materials designed by third parties. Some of these are specific to particular fields or genres, while others are more general. None are officially endorsed by Literature and Latte.

Whilst we try to ensure that the interactive tutorial and user manual cover everything that users need to know about Scrivener, and to ensure that Scrivener can be picked up quickly and used progressively, Scrivener’s deep feature-set means that it can be used in many different ways. Third-party courses and books have been springing up to give pointers to users looking for a more personal guide (something we can’t provide at the price we charge for the software), and we are sometimes asked to recommend training courses to customers. In the longer term, we hope to look into the possibility of producing more training materials ourselves, and perhaps working with or endorsing some of the independent trainers and providing them with supplementary materials.

In the meantime, we thought that it might be helpful to add a page to our website, listing external courses (both local and online) which we believe may be of interest to users seeking a different learning approach to supplement the materials that we offer as part of Scrivener and through our various support mechanisms. We’re not sure at this stage how many independent trainers exist, so it may turn out that such a web page is neither necessary nor appropriate, and we can’t make any promises. Inclusion in the list will be entirely at our discretion, and it won’t imply any sort of endorsement by Literature and Latte — it will be intended just as a point of reference for our users.

If you offer training in how to use Scrivener, and if you would like to be added to this potential list on our website, please contact us via the email address: training AT literatureandlatte DOT com so that we can discuss your possible inclusion. We will not be vetting either the course itself or your delivery of it, but we will want to see your course’s content list so that we can understand what areas you cover, and we will review your website and social media to make sure that your portrayal of Scrivener is consistent with ours. We’d want to see how you advertise your training, and to see evidence that you have a body of satisfied users who are prepared to endorse your training course. We would also look at your pricing details, because we try to make Scrivener affordable and want our customers to receive good value for their money. Beyond that, we haven’t decided on the details yet.

So, if you train others in how to use Scrivener, please get in touch.

Keeping a Book List

Toward the end of last year, fed up with my failed attempts to keep track of books I’d read and books I wanted to read, I created a Scrivener project to manage my reading lists. It’s proven so successful, I thought I’d show it off.

Corkboard with image synopses

Clicking the index-card icon in the inspector “Synopsis” header switches to image mode, allowing you to drag cover images onto the cards.

I renamed the Draft folder “Library” and gave it a fitting custom icon via Documents > Change Icon. Each book title goes into this as a new document, so the book can have unique meta-data and a synopsis (or synopsis image). Notes about the book, anything from a few thoughts after reading to a full review, go into the document text.

Although I tend toward filing systems, I’ve kept my Library as a flat list rather than pigeonhole entries into folders. Instead, I use keywords to mark a book’s genre, which lets me tag it with multiple terms–a book might be “YA”, “steampunk”, and “mystery”, for example–and then use project search to filter my list.

In the Project > Meta-Data Settings, I’ve repurposed the Label and Status settings to show the book’s state–read, unread, or shelved–and my rating. I tint the icons in the binder with the label so each title’s read state is immediately visible. I colour the index cards with the label as well.

Label and synopsis in the inspector

Label is renamed “Status”, with its colour shown throughout Scrivener via the View > Use Label Color In submenu. The default Status is renamed “Rating” and uses 1-5 stars, added from Edit > Special Characters on the Mac and Edit > Character Map on Windows.

Most other form information I enter as custom meta-data. Since I use dates in multiple fields, for first read, reread, potential release date, and publication date, I prefix the date, year-first, with a letter so I can search for a particular field. For example, I can assemble a list of all new books read in 2015 by searching meta-data for “r2015” or list all books total for the year by searching for both “r2015” and “re2015” (rereads).

Custom meta-data

Searches I run frequently I save as collections, via the magnifying-glass menu in the project search bar. It’s quite gratifying to load my “read” list and see it growing over the year!

If you keep a reading list, what details do you record and how do you keep it organised?