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.

How Do You Use Scrivener

We’re running a quick survey to find out how our customers are using Scrivener. This information will help us plan and prioritise new features, and to work out how to reach potential new users of Scrivener in the future. It should only take a few seconds to fill in, and we’ll be very grateful to anyone taking part:


Scrivener 1.7 for Windows Now Available

Hello Scrivener Users,

Nine months ago we decided to lay the groundwork for the biggest free feature update for the Windows version of Scrivener to date. We had an ambitious goal to bring as many of the features you’ve been asking for over the years as we could, all the while going through piles of existing code, refining and optimising along the way. It has been a long haul, but we are finally ready to make this available to all current Scrivener users on Windows. We hope you find the new version to be as much of an improvement to your writing projects as we have.

Special thanks go out to all of those beta testers that helped make this release as solid as it could be. We really appreciate the help!

Here are just a few of the things you can expect to see after you update:

Formatting Presets
If your writing calls for a lot of formatting, then you know that in the past it has been difficult to keep a consistent look without using a lot of settings. You can now save formatting into presets, making it easy to apply that same format over and over to different parts of your text. Additionally, we’ve added a feature that will make it easier to compile special formatting while also taking advantage of the compiler’s unique and powerful features for cleaning up your draft. Check out Preserve Formatting and Formatting Presets.

Special note: if you’ve customised your Format Bar, you’ll need to add the new preset button yourself, using the Tools menu.

Custom Meta-Data
Have you ever found yourself wishing you could track even more details in your projects? We’ve got an answer for you. It is now possible to add as many meta-data fields to your project as you wish. These can be displayed as columns in the outliner, or easily accessed in the Inspector sidebar. Keep track of dates, characters, names of flowers, who dunnit in the drawing room with the candlestick, and other matters of dire importance.

Custom Icons
Spruce up your binder with a broad selection of useful icons (or add your own). Nothing says fix me now! like a big yellow caution icon on the chapter you’ve been putting off. Or give yourself a gold star when you finish a scene. Sometimes it’s the little things.

Document Templates
They are kind of like project templates, but for documents in your projects instead. Set up boilerplate texts or even whole folder and file structures for easy duplication. It’s like adding new types of items to your Add menus, such as character sheets, references, to-do lists, or whatever else you can imagine.

Binder Favourites
There are some things we just keep coming back to. Now you can add those things to all of the main navigation and selection menus (such as the Move, Scrivener Link and Go To menus), giving you top-shelf access to these, no matter how buried they may be in your outline.

Multiple Project Notes
Open your project notes in a separate window, and create new notepads as tabs in this window to better organise your thoughts. You’ll still have access to all of them in the Inspector sidebar as well. No more lumping everything in one place!

PDF Display
This one has been a long time coming. We’ve completely replaced the PDF engine in Scrivener with a much improved system for both reading and exporting PDFs. Copy selections of text, or even whole pages at once with a simple right-click. You can also quickly navigate within larger PDFs that have a built-in table of contents, or by clicking on internal links.

Better Web Import
By default, websites will now be converted to PDF using the new engine. The result will faithfully preserve most websites into a stable format that will stand the test of time. We’ve also introduced support for Microsoft’s MHT website archive format. Although Scrivener cannot view MHT files (yet, don’t worry, it’s coming), you can easily open them in compliant browsers with a click of a button. If all you want is a selected piece of a page, you’ll find that copy and paste now works even better with most modern browsers.

Compile Support for Scrivener Links
It might sound arcane, but the ability to link from one piece of your draft to another has important implications: It means you can now cross-reference in a format that will be more useful for your readers, and it also means you can create a table of contents directly in your RTF files. We’ve included a special tool for easily creating a ToC. If you have MS Office installed, links are also supported for the PDF, DOC and DOCX formats.

All Project Templates and Compile Presets Updated
We’ve gone through every project template and compile preset to update them with the new capabilities in this release. You’ll find many more options in the compiler’s Format As menu, and project templates will come outfitted with convenient document templates, among other improvements.

There’s a lot more! If you want to review the full list of changes, please review the official change log.

Special Update Notice

We have identified an issue with the automatic updater that may cause it to fail on some configurations. If this happens to you, don’t panic, all is well! Just head on over to our main website and download the regular installer.

Once that is downloaded, you can run it against your current installation to upgrade it seamlessly. It is safe to run this .exe file without uninstalling first. As with all software updates, your work will not be disturbed.

This update is recommended for all users. You may use the Help menu to check for updates, and let the automatic updater run. However if you are running behind a proxy, would like to set aside a copy of the installer for safekeeping or have problems using the updater, you can always download a copy of the full installer using the link above.

Best wishes,
Ioa Petra’ka
(Documentation; Support; Design)

Scrivener 1.0 for Windows now available

At long last, it’s here – Scrivener 1.0 for Windows is now available for download and purchase. Please see the product page here:

Scrivener for Windows costs a mere $40 ($35 for students and educators) – slightly less than the Mac version simply because it still has a little catching up to do, given that the Mac version has been in development for five years longer. That said, Scrivener 1.0 for Windows has shipped with far more of the Mac 2.0 features than we had initially planned (including epub and Kindle mobi support), and Lee (the Windows developer) has done an amazing job on it. If you’ve used Scrivener for Mac, you’ll feel right at home in Scrivener for Windows; if you haven’t, then rest assured that Scrivener for Windows has been built from the ground up as a native Windows program (i.e. it is not a dodgy port!).

Thanks to everyone who has shown such enthusiasm for a Windows version, and to all our beta-testers who have helped improve Scrivener for Windows no end over the past year. 1.0 is just the beginning, of course – there are lots of free 1.x updates in the works. Anyway, we hope you like Scrivener for Windows and that you find it useful with your own writing endeavours, as we do in ours.

(And by the way, bestselling author David Hewson has updated his ebook, “Writing a Novel with Scrivener”, to cover the Windows version too – details available here.)

Scrivener for Windows: Release Pushed Back One Week; Available for Pre-Order Today

One of my favourite Douglas Adams quotes is this:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Well, we’re hearing a bit of a whooshing sound ourselves today. We have been telling people that today, 31st October, would be the official release date of Scrivener for Windows, but – at the last minute – we have made the painful decision to postpone for just one more week, moving the release date back to 7th November. However, as a thank-you to beta-testers, and to make up for this slight delay, we are today making Scrivener for Windows available as a pre-order, with a 10% discount which will be available until the full release on 7th November. So, for the next week, you can buy a licence for $36 instead of $40 (or $31.50 instead of $35 if you are buying the educational licence). Any other discounts floating around (cough NaNoWriMo cough) can be applied on top of the 10% discount for the regular licence, too.

The Scrivener for Windows pre-order page is now up here:

Thus, you can buy today at a slight discount and enter your serial number next week when Scrivener 1.0 for Windows is released (you will receive your serial number immediately after pre-ordering). Or, if you don’t like pre-orders, you can wait the extra week. And for those beta-testers worried about the expiry date of the current beta, remember that we have a special trial version available for NaNoWriMo that lasts all the way up to 7th December:

So, why the delay? Lee, the Windows developer, has been working around the clock to meet this deadline, which we decided on a couple of months ago based on the state of the Windows version at that time. He has been killing himself trying to fix the bugs reported by our excellent beta-testers, and in his attempts to meet the exacting standards we set for ourselves. But as of last night, there were still a few issues that we felt needed addressing before we could truly call this a 1.0 release; things we weren’t comfortable leaving for a 1.0.1 update. We know that pushing the release date back – again – risks annoying some potential users who have been eagerly waiting for the release (which we appreciate, and we hope the discounted pre-order helps), but we’d rather get shouted at for being late than for releasing software with minor glitches we could have ironed out had we taken a few extra days.

Scrivener 1.0 for Windows is nearly ready, then – but that “0” signifies only that we’re at the end of the beginning; it’s just the proverbial line in the sand. 1.0 will – we hope! – be awesome, but following 1.0, there will be a 1.0.1, a 1.0.2, a 1.0.3 and so on, as we continue to address any minor issues left over, and then a 1.1 and a 1.2 and onwards as we continue to refine Scrivener for Windows and make it into the best program for writers – and for ourselves – that we can.

Please let me take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our beta-testers, everyone who has blogged about Scrivener for Windows, and all those who have been eagerly awaiting its release. We hope you’ll enjoy using Scrivener on both platforms – hopefully see you back here next week. Thanks!

Scrivener 2.0 NaNoWriMo Preview and Windows Beta

For those participating in NaNoWriMo this year – or who are just curious about the features in Scrivener 2.0, which will be released officially next Monday (1st November) – we have just posted a special NaNoWriMo preview version on the following page, as promised:

(Please bear in mind that as this is a preview copy, the Help file still needs some final polish and most of the project templates are missing.)

Windows users can download the Windows beta from there, too, or by visiting our Scrivener for Windows page at:

Scrivener for Windows

In among all the excitement of getting Scrivener 2.0 ready for release (which, to remind you, will be out in late October, just in time for NaNoWriMo), we have another rather large announcement which we’ve been keeping under wraps for the past couple of years:

We have a Windows version of Scrivener on its way.

You can find full information on our Windows page, but in short we’ll be releasing a public beta of the Windows version in late October and hope to have it on sale in early 2011. We have screenshots and a five-minute preview video available here:

If you’re a Windows user, I recommend heading straight over there and skipping the rest of this post, because all the exciting stuff for Windows users can be found there and the main thing I want to do here is reassure existing Mac users that, despite this bifurcation, we remain as dedicated as ever to the Mac platform.

The Windows version has actually been in (secret) development for the past two years, but it is a completely separate development effort by another developer who has now thrown his lot in with L&L. Lee Powell was a Mac user of Scrivener who approached us back in 2008 wanting to create a Windows version, and his enthusiasm for Scrivener and writing made it too good an offer to pass up. Meanwhile, I’ve been beavering away on Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac, looking up from my code occasionally to see the fantastic progress he was making. We agreed from the start that the Windows version should initially have the 1.x feature-set with some of the Scrivener 2.0 interface refinements, so the Windows version will lag behind the Mac version for a while. And of course, given that I’m the Scrivener designer, program for the Mac only, and have no intention of going back to Windows, the Mac version will continue to forge the way. (So if you’re one of those who bought a Mac just to use Scrivener, don’t fear – you’ll still be using the best version on the best platform!) At no point will I hold features back just because we can’t do it on the Windows version (after all, Scrivener 2.0 harnesses plenty of Mac-only technologies, such as QuickLook), and my hope is that the two versions will grow to differ to best suit their native platforms.

All of which is my way of saying that I hope Mac users won’t resent us too much for having someone work on a Windows version. It’s all a little nerve-wracking because the community that has built up around the Mac version is brilliant, and I hope it continues.

At this point, I know what a good bunch of you are thinking:

“What! A Windows version but no iPad version? How could you?”

Er, yes, I know. That’s timing for you. The fact is that the Windows version has been in the works for over a year before the iPad was even announced. The only reason the Windows version came about was that we were lucky enough to be approached by someone passionate about Scrivener and about taking it to Windows – I had no interest in doing it myself. And that is what we are hoping will happen with the iPad version, too. In fact, we already have someone in-house (known to anyone who visits the forum) who will be looking into the iPad version in much more detail over the next year, once 2.0 is out and stable. Some initial design work has been done, but at the moment the person involved is so bogged down in documentation and website overhauls that he hasn’t had as much time as we would have liked to start in properly. So it will be many months before we have any news on this score (we kept the Windows version secret for two years remember :) ), because if we do it we’d much rather take the flak and eventually release something well-thought-out and integrated with existing versions than try to rush things.

That said, as I’ve mentioned before, Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac has some great syncing features that will allow you to take your notes with you on the iPad, which for many will obviate the need for a dedicated version entirely. Next week we hope to post a preview video showing how you can sync a Scrivener 2.0 project with notes in Simplenote, so if you are one of those hoping for a good way of going between the iPad and Scrivener, stay tuned.

In summary: We’re excited about Scrivener 1.0 for Windows and Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac, and can’t wait to get them into users’ hands. And a massive thank you to Lee, who has done such a superb job on the Windows version.