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.

37 thoughts on “Scrivener for Windows”

  1. In future, I have a plan to make a jump into mac. Right now I can’t do the switch because Mac is very costly. I prefer linux over windows and Mac over anything else. :D But thanks for setting up the windows version. I can at least take a look at what it is. Who knows maybe I’ll become one of the hardcore Scrivener user someday. :)

    Thanks for letting him design it for windows. Some people still prefer windows (while some other can’t switch because of Mac’s expensiveness), this is like a mercy to them. :)

  2. Thanks Sajib. We don’t totally rule out a Linux port one day – the Windows version may actually open that door in the long run, though with a lot more work in the future!

  3. So, wait, it is possible to port Scrivener to Windows, but an iPad version, which would allow your existing customers and iPad users access to their projects on the go, is too time consuming?

  4. Steve,

    KB addressed this pretty clearly in his blog post. The Windows version has been in development for two years, long before the iPad was even announced. Even then, it only came about because an independent developer stepped forward and volunteered to write it. As for an iPad version, sounds like they are getting the resources in place, but it’ll take time to develop, so just keep your pants on.

    Try to remember that this is a very small company that (up until this announcement) only had one software developer.

  5. In some way, a Linux version is not really needed. I mean, Wine could work in this case, maybe not. So these news can be also good for Linux users.

  6. YAY, THANK YOU! ^___^ I’ve been hoping for a windows version of this software since I first heard about it a year ago. (being I do not own a maz)

  7. Excellent news! It always seemed highly likely that probably the finest writing software yet designed should one day become available for as many people as possible.

    No doubt Scrivener for Windows will be welcomed by many PC users with an interest in writing, so a big thank you to all involved in making this a reality.

  8. I’m a Multi-platform (Snow Leopard & Win7) user and was just wondering: do we know if Scrivener 1.0 for Windows will be able to open/read Scrivener projects that were saved by the Mac version, and vice-versa? I’m envisioning having a dropbox folder that I would write on the Mac, save…and still be able to open/review on a Windows PC. Just curious… BTW I’m happy to beta test if ya’ll need any more Win7 testers.

  9. Julian – The file formats will be compatible between Scrivener for Windows and Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac (but not Scrivener 1.x for the Mac, which relies on some Mac-only formats). There will be some settings – such as Compile – which will be different, but they will just get saved into the project for each platform, so you can work between machines.

    Thanks to everyone else for the kind words and support. We’ll post some more screenshots soon.

    Best, Keith

  10. Thanks, Julian and Keith, for clearing up the file compatibility question. This means I can finally buy a cheap, light little netbook for working on away from home, rather than dragging my lead-weight MacBook around, and work on the same (Dropbox-synced) document on both that and my iMac at home, which is fantastic!

    Because I often travel with a hefty camera, adding the MacBook on top makes my bag stupidly weighty, so being able to replace it with a tiny Eee PC or whatever will make a real difference for me.

  11. No answers? I didn’t see “edit scrivenings” in the video preview. If it’s not in this version, you plan to add it in a near future?


  12. @Matt: The netbook option will be quite nice. I’ve acquired an Eee PC for Windows testing and usage, and so far it’s working great. The program is very lightweight, so doesn’t tax the smaller computers at all.

    @Arnold: Sorry for the delay in response. We are all so busy getting these new versions out! The answer is sweet and simple: Windows version will definitely have Edit Scrivenings available for use. In fact, it already does and works quite well.

  13. OMG. OMG. (Dance of joy) I am a long time Mac user, but had to downsize for numerous reasons. I now create on an IMac and… a Motion Le1600. I worked for weeks to turn in into a Hackintosh just to use Scrivener on it. And now I don’t have to. I am so excited by this news. Thank you for doing this, and if you need a beta, let me know. You rock. Don’t let others tell you otherwise.

  14. So… it’s early 2011. Where is it!? :)

    I’m actually not trying to rush or hurry anyone (well, okay, actually I am sort of, but I know it’s best to have it right, not fast heh) I am, however, excited about the notion of this being available for Windows, and haven’t seen any updates, so I figured it doesn’t hurt to ask how things are progressing…

    And – please tell me Scrivener will run in older versions of Windows? I would think so since it’s been in development for some time, but it bears asking I guess. For reasons of other software I need to continue using, I’m in XP Pro still, until I can get a Win7 Pro machine with XP emulation (and perhaps even past then), so XP functionality for ScrivWin is a must for me.

  15. Just noticed the post by Rian who is also eagerly awaiting ScrivWin. So, I’ve not missed it then? I know it cannot be easy to code workable programs for people standing around waiting… and since I was so impressed with the NANO beta I’ll keep waiting until you have it exactly the way you want it. Almost makes me wish I had a MAC computer but I don’t. You have a great version for MAC. It does everything a writer or researcher needs. I’ll keep waiting for the WIN version though even if it takes until next NANO. :) Well worth waiting for!

  16. No, you haven’t missed it, Heather :) Not a chance; I look about two to three times a week now, so if you’d missed it I would have too. I’m in the final couple weeks of editing a ms. for contest; fortunately just a 2500 word intro plus synopsis, but I suspect I’d have easier going with ScrivWin even for that short. Still, enough time to use Scrivener on the whole thing, win or lose, after the fact. Now, which computer is that beta on…?

  17. i just download the beta version for Windows, and found a number of difficulties. First, the drop-down in the compile function staggers; not all files can be chosen. Second, the comments can not be compiled along with the text, although the export option in ‘footnotes and annotations’ is set. Thank you for making this version!

  18. I download this version for Windows and found two things. First, the drop-down in compile function staggers; not all the files can be chosen to be compiled. Second, the comments in the selected files cannot be converted into the form of comment in Office, even though the option in ‘footnotes and annotations’ is correctly set.

  19. chien, if you haven’t mentioned those over in the forum threads, you might want to do that. Or at least look to see if someone else has. Look here:

    and check the known bug list here:

    I’m assuming you mean in the 0.2.4 beta, since it didn’t expire until yesterday… which is why I’m here today, hoping there’d be signs of the new version (even if I never did get the old one installed (so many writing projects, so little time… heh))

  20. Like others who posted comments here, I, too, have been eyeing a MAC but the rest of the computers in our house are all Windows-based and that’s what I’ve used for years. I have a relatively new Windows 7 PC and like it well, but when I found the Scrivener for Windows BETA I was thrilled!!!! I love, love, love the graphical organization functionality of this program. Am pleased I can make my Windows computer more Mac-like for organizing my fiction writing at least!

    Thanks so much for doing this! U guys R the Best!

  21. Hello Wade. Yes there will be a beta update. Scrivener for Windows has been under continual public development since October 2010, with fairly regular beta releases. There will be a new beta provided on or before 30th September 2011, with any work you have completed in the 0.2.9 beta being readily available to you. Thanks for your interest. All the best, David.

  22. An odd question: The last update I saw on the Nano 2010 winners code said that the extension (and new code) was good through Sept 9, 2011… but of course it’s past then now, and the full Windows version isn’t released yet. Is that going to be extended, out of curiosity, and is there any new idea on the timeframe for the release?

  23. Tried to download Scrivener for windows Beta Version, download unsuccessful. My computer, Windows 7, does does recognize the software as safe. No way to bypass it since my system only gives two choices and “download anyway” is not one of the them. Any suggestions?

  24. Hello Theresa Simpson. Possibly depending on the internet security package that you are using, but with Norton you will have a “more options” button hidden away to the lower left. Pressing this will lead to the option of running the application anyway. We have gone through the process of authoring our Scrivener for Windows 1.0 release, so issues like this should be a thing of the past come 31st August 2011. :-) I hope that helps. All the best, David

  25. D’oh! Lee’s good, but I don’t think time travel is an option for coders. Let’s make that release date for Scrivener for Windows 1.0 the 31st October 2011. :-) Cheers, David

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