For our second post on the upcoming Scrivener 3, I’m excited this week to show off a new corkboard layout that takes advantage of one of my favourite features in Scrivener: coloured labels. Labels have always been helpful for organizing your project—you might use them to mark a scene’s viewpoint character, to indicate a document’s main topic, or to track locations for a script. In Scrivener 3, you can further use labels to visually chart your project’s structure by the points important to you.
Use labels to monitor the tension level of your scenes? View ▸ Corkboard Options ▸ Arrange by Label will quickly give you an overview of the pacing. For a story with multiple narrators, creating a label for each viewpoint character will let you see at a glance whether any character goes too long without a scene or has too many too close together.
Just as on the regular corkboard, you can rearrange cards by drag and drop. Moving cards between label lines will update the card’s label without changing its order in the narrative. And of course you can create new cards and edit them, all as you’re used to doing, making the label view great for both initial planning and later reorganizing.
When we first started putting together The Big List of what Scrivener 3.0 was going to be about, high upon it was the nebulous goal of making the overall experience more cohesive and streamlined. We may spend a little time going over some of the many finer points of that project in a future article, but for now I wish to focus on one aspect of that, something that some might consider to be a smaller adjustment, but one that has changed how I organise work inside of my projects—and reintroduced me to a feature that I had let languish in my own daily use of Scrivener.
Scrivener 2.0 for macOS was released in November 2010, and Scrivener 1.0 for Windows in November 2011. Since then both have seen plenty of new features and refinements added in free updates, and more and more people have used Scrivener to write their books. But we’re not standing still: for a while now we’ve been beavering away on the next big release of Scrivener.
I’m talking, of course, about Scrivener 3—coming soon to a screen near you.
Featuring a refreshed UI and some major overhauls, our focus for Scrivener 3 has been not only on new features but also on consolidating and simplifying what’s already there. We’ve taken years of experience of writing in Scrivener, both our own and that of our users, and poured it into Scrivener 3. The result is the best version of Scrivener yet, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of our users.
Soon, we’ll start posting a series of blog posts about what you can expect. For now, here’s what you need to know about the release.
Scrivener 3 for macOS
Along with the updated features and the revamped interface, Scrivener 3 on macOS has been rewritten as a 64-bit app and to take advantage of new Mac technologies under the hood. Scrivener is more than ten years old now, so for 3.0, whole swathes of code and UI elements have been recoded and rebuilt from the ground up to stand Scrivener in good stead for the next ten years. As a result, Scrivener 3 for macOS will require macOS 10.12 Sierra or above to run.
I’ve been working on Scrivener 3 for a long time, but it’s now in beta-testing and is nearly ready. We’re finalising the updated manual and preparing for release later this year.
Scrivener 3 for Windows
“Wait!” you cry, “Can you guys not count?” Well, we can, but, mavericks that we are, we are eschewing all sense of sequence and jumping straight from Scrivener 1 to Scrivener 3 on the Windows platform. Why? Because our daring duo of Windows programmers has been working very hard to attain parity with Scrivener 3 on macOS. It will look every bit as beautiful as the macOS version, has been reworked to better work with high resolutions, and will bring the feature set much more into line across the two platforms.
Scrivener 3 for Windows is still in development and will follow a few months behind the macOS release. As much as we’d love to release both versions at the same time, the only way we could do so would be by artificially holding back the macOS version for several months. The Windows team has always had to battle not only with the macOS version having a five year head-start, but also with having to write a lot more custom code because of platform differences. So Scrivener for Windows is catching up, but our Windows users still have a little longer to wait. Because we want to make sure it’s rock solid and everything our users have been dreaming of, for now all we can say is that Scrivener 3 for Windows will be released when it’s ready, most likely some time in 2018.
However! The good news is that the more intrepid among you don’t have to wait until 2018 to try Scrivener 3 for Windows. We’ll be releasing an early access beta of Scrivener 3 for Windows on the same day that Scrivener 3 for macOS is released for sale. Anybody who owns Scrivener 1 will be able to run the beta (although it will initially be a work in progress with missing features, which is why I say it’s for the more intrepid). The Windows beta will also allow cross-platform users to upgrade their Mac version and continue to work between platforms with the updated file format.
Scrivener 3 is a Paid Update
Scrivener 3 is the first paid update in over six years. This means that if you own Scrivener 1 or 2 and want to use Scrivener 3, you will need to pay an update fee. (We haven’t yet set the price, but it will be around the same as it was for going from 1.x to 2.0 on the Mac.) There will be free updates for those who bought within a limited time period prior to the release date (more news on that soon). Two notes on this:
Windows users won’t need to pay the update fee until Scrivener 3 is released on Windows. Owners of Scrivener 1 will be able to use the Scrivener 3 betas for free until then, at which point the betas will stop working and you’ll need to pay for the upgrade.
Mac users who bought through the Mac App Store will need to pay full price again simply because Apple allows for no way of providing upgrade pricing on the App Store. We’ll be happy to provide a discount on our own store for any Mac App Store users who email us with proof of purchase, but you won’t be able to get the update on the Mac App Store without paying full price. We wish it weren’t so, but we have no control over how the App Store works.
We hope you’ll find the update cost worth it. There’s some cool stuff a-coming.
Scrivener for iOS
Scrivener for iOS is already set up to work with Scrivener 3 when it’s released. And we’ll be continuing to update Scrivener for iOS, too, of course. At the moment I’m focusing on iOS 11 support and improvements, such as the new possibilities that Files app brings.
…has not been forgotten! Scrivener has taken a front seat for a long time, but once Scrivener 3 is out, we intend to spend some quality time with our Scapple code.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll start talking about what’s new in Scrivener 3 and what’s been changed. Until then, I’ll leave you with a couple of screenshots, one from macOS, one from Windows. We can’t wait to show you more.
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!
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.
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!
Many thanks to the lovely Apple folk at all the stores that have included Scrivener for iPad in their “Best of 2016” app picks. It’s been a great year (for Scrivener, I mean – clearly it’s not been a great year for celebrities), and being picked as one of the Best of 2016 is a spiffing way to end it.
My sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us this year and all the past years, by giving us nice reviews, telling your friends about Scrivener, or just, y’know, buying it and using it and creating books and scripts and games and words with it.
I suppose I could get all Matthew McConaughey Oscar-speech-emotional on you, but I think we all know that the best speech of gratitude ever given was that of Hightower when he graduated Police Academy:
Drilling through a hefty binder of hierarchical files on an iPhone can be a chore, so Scrivener on iOS lets you bookmark documents to make them easily accessible. Just tap the ribbon icon in the editor footer to add the file to a special “Bookmarks” group at the top of the binder. You can also swipe left on a row in the binder and bookmark the item from the “More” menu.
Bookmarked folders appear in the path menu from the binder navigation bar, so you can jump to them directly from anywhere in the binder. The “Move To” menu also lists bookmarked folders at the top to simplify restructuring your project. When you no longer need an item bookmarked, swipe its row in the binder for the “Remove” option (under “More” if you’re not viewing the bookmarks list), or tap its bookmark icon again.
Bookmarks on iOS sync with the “Favorites” list on Windows and macOS, so you can quickly load your documents no matter where you’re working.
Scrivener can contain all sorts of different documents: whether you need to gather together notes, research, character sheets, to-do lists or, you know, some actual writing, Scrivener is a big bucket of everything for your writing project. With all those documents ready to hand, you might want to make some of them stand out a little, so that you can see them at a glance as you browse.
In the Mac and Windows versions, you can apply custom icons to your documents. And in this funky world where one of the biggest cheers at this year’s WWDC was for the announcement that emojis are getting three times bigger in Messages, I think it would be remiss of us not to provide some gratuitous graphical goodness in our iOS version. Which is to say: custom icons! In the iOS version! Three times bigger! (Disclaimer: not actually three times bigger.)
I love custom icons, because when my writing is terrible, I can at least make the document it’s in look purdy (I have a lot of pretty-looking documents). You, however, cool professional that you are, will no doubt use them as structural markers and navigational way-points. Which also works.
In Scrivener for iOS, the sidebar usually shows the binder (the list of files in the project). However, the sidebar can also be used to show the inspector and, on iPads, a Quick Reference editor for referring to research.
So that you don’t have to disturb the sidebar if you don’t want to, Scrivener gives you multiple options for navigating your project directly from the editor: you can switch documents using the Previous/Next buttons, select from the Recents list, or follow a Scrivener link to another document.
If you ever lose your place, simply tap the document title in the editor navigation bar to reveal the document in the binder. A further tap on the container title in the binder nav bar will show its full path in the project outline.
A writing app wouldn’t be much use if you couldn’t get your work out of it. In an earlier blog post, we talked about Compile, which allows you to export or print your entire Draft folder (or a subfolder of it) as a single document, piecing together the fragments of your text into a complete manuscript.
Sometimes you’ll want to export (or print) individual documents from Scrivener, however. Fortunately, this couldn’t be simpler: just tap on the “share” button at the bottom of the editor, choose a file format, and off you go. You can choose to email the document to someone, print it, or open it in another app.
Scrivener allows you to export to PDF, Word (.docx), RTF, plain text or Final Draft (.fdx) formats, which means that you can easily share a document with someone on a PC, open a text document in Pages, or send a script document to Final Draft for some final touches.
One of the principal concepts behind Scrivener is that you work with a long document by breaking it up into as many smaller chunks of text as you desire, rather than keeping it all in one long file that you have to scroll through. While the software makes it easy to work with your text in this fashion, you will still need a simple and effective method to create a single document out of all of those little pieces. In this way you can share some or all your work with others, save backup copies to text files, print out your work to paper or even quickly create a PDF for proofreading in your favourite viewer.
We call this process compiling, for it not only combines the many pieces of your project into one document, but can also be set to reformat the text in whole or in part, insert headings such as numbered chapter breaks, convert italics to underscores and quite a bit more. While the flexibility of the compiler can be more fully explored using its simple stylesheet system (which we call Scomp files), you will be pleased to hear that, with a number of provided built-in presets, exporting your work to a single file is only a few taps away.
We support RTF and Word formats for working with a variety of word processors on or off iOS, as well as FDX (Final Draft) for scriptwriters, PDF for easily storing and sharing printed copy, and finally, plain old text for use in the many plain-text editors the iOS platform has available for it.