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 2.0 for Mac and Scrivener beta for Windows Intro Videos

Here is an introductory video that shows you how to get up and running with Scrivener. There are two versions, one showing Scrivener 2.0 for Mac and the other showing the Scrivener beta for Windows (Mac users will relish how much more polished the Mac version is, but Windows users can take solace from the fact that the Windows version still has a way to go before it is released early next year, so does indeed have a lot of rough edges at this stage).

If you’re already a Scrivener user, you won’t see much new here, but you will see Scrivener’s 2.0 interface in action. I’m hoping to put together a short video going through new features soon-ish.

Here’s the Mac video:



And the Windows video:



You can also view them both on YouTube here:



I hope the video helps new users see that the basics of Scrivener shouldn’t be too difficult to pick up.

Credits: Although I created the Mac video (and program the Mac version) and did the voiceover for both (which sounds a bit like a recorded message thanks to my poor editing in a couple of places), a big thank you to David – who makes most of our screencasts – for creating the Windows version of the video, and of course to Lee, who is the Windows developer.

All the best, Keith

Scrivener 2.0 Release Date

Official release date time:

Scrivener 2.0 will be released for sale on the 1st November.

Yes, that’s a week later than planned, but fear not. We’ll be releasing a preview copy for download on the 25th October, so you’ll be able to start using it in just a few days. We need to take the extra week to add some finishing touches, that’s all. The preview copy will be short on a few things (such as project templates) which will be added for the on-sale version on 1st November, but we want to make sure that those participating in National Novel Writing Month this year are able to get their hands on Scrivener 2.0 a week before NaNoWriMo begins.

So, I’d better get back to those project templates and finishing touches right now…

Iron, Lion, Zion

(The title of this post literally has no relevance except that it has “Lion” in the title.)

So, Apple previewed Lion yesterday, and made some rather interesting announcements along the way. Although my heart initially sank when the Mac App Store was announced – out of fear that it may be a portent that the Mac will eventually become a “closed” platform like the iPad and iPhone, which I would hate – over all it was exciting to see some solid Mac-related enthusiasm coming out of Apple after what has seemed like years of the Mac being neglected in favour of iOS. (Of course, the absolutely most exciting part of the whole thing was seeing Scrivener’s icon make an appearance in the Launchpad demo…) I love the Mac platform, and getting a glimpse of Lion, and finally being given a real netbook alternative in the form of a MacBook Air that weighs not much more than my AlphaSmart, has renewed my belief that Scrivener for the Mac runs on the best, most vibrant platform out there. (Although that may just be last night’s wine and lack of sleep.) It’s great to feel that I’m developing for a live and evolving platform once more. In short, I can’t wait to get 2.0 out.

So, here is what I’ve taken from yesterday’s keynote in terms of how it will affect the Mac version of Scrivener over the coming months:

1) After 2.0 is released in just over a week, I’m going to make it a priority over the following couple of months to try to get Scrivener approved on the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store could, I hope, introduce a lot of new users to indie apps like Scrivener and it would be insane not to try to get on there when one of our constant struggles is simply making people aware that we exist.

2) The main focus next year will be on ensuring Scrivener 2.0 works well on Lion, when that’s eventually seeded to developers. I’m looking forward to playing with some of the new features (such as the full screen maximise button) and seeing how Scrivener can take advantage of them. In the meantime, I’m really happy with 2.0 and I don’t want to try to cram in lots more features (which isn’t to say that there aren’t other refinements I have planned for the future – there are). Instead I want to let it mature and focus on stability and minor refinements over the coming months. (I also want to at least try to write that novel…)

3) Those 11″ MacBook Airs look awesome, and I’m getting one. Okay, that bit has nothing to do with Scrivener – er, no, wait, I’m buying it for testing purposes, to ensure Scrivener runs well on it, of course.

Scrivener 2.0 and iPad Syncing

I have recently mentioned that Scrivener 2.0 features the ability to sync documents with Simplenote for the iPad and iPhone, and also that PlainText for the iPad works with Scrivener 2.0’s new folder-syncing feature. Additionally, Notebooks for the iPad by Alfons Schmid works very well with Scrivener 2.0’s new syncing features too. David has just finished putting together a video showing Scrivener 2.0’s folder syncing feature in action, using PlainText and Notebooks as examples (although it also shows how you can use the feature to share documents with Word):

(I’m aware that there are some other nice Dropbox-syncing writing apps for the iPad such as Elements and IA Writer, too. At the moment however these two programs require all files to be in a single folder, whereas Scrivener’s syncing places text files in a subfolder created especially to hold documents from the Scrivener project, so currently the sync feature doesn’t work with Elements or IA Writer. I’ll look into that, but it could get very messy and difficult to manage if all the files from different Scrivener projects were placed in the same folder, both from an organisational and technical perspective.)

Oh, and in case you missed it, here’s the video David put together showing Simplenote sync:

Together, these provide some great ways of editing your Scrivener documents on the iPad or iPhone.