The L&L Blog  /  Scrivener

3 - That's the Magic Number

It’s time to open Scrivener’s next chapter.

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 period 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 2020.

However! The good news is that the more intrepid among you don’t have to wait until 2020 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

And Finally...

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.

Scrivener 3 for macOS

Scrivener 3 for Windows



narrsd  /  27 JULY 2017

That's a very worthy announcement, Keith -- not to say, welcome...!

It's great to see what all the heads-down silence has apparently been about. And it will be great to work with the Windows beta -- very thoughtful to have provided that.

Most of all, to have the Mac features...the look even has me wishing there was a cross-UX skin for that :) From a Mac user many first years, gone to Win once to work with corporate Europe, and too much software to go back, though often tempted.

All the best, to the team,


narrsd  /  27 JULY 2017

p.s. meant to say, that local-cards-with-editor feels much a real-writing improvement -- thanks for the ongoing thinking...


Tomasz Raburski  /  27 JULY 2017

Great news! Will it include better handling of bibliography and external reference software (Mendeley, Zotero)?


Jim Heskett  /  27 JULY 2017

plugin support, like for Grammarly? Please?

George "Clay" Mitchell

George "Clay" Mitchell  /  27 JULY 2017

Do you need any beta testers?

I've worked as a page designer for newspapers for 20 years... I also help put together a monthly ebook series using Scrivener and will doing the ebook editions of printed books for a small publisher.

I've done other software beta tests and I'm willing to help out as a I can.


JSR  /  27 JULY 2017

Very heartening to see strides in development taking place - The new version screenshots look great!

"There will be free updates for those who bought within a limited time period prior to the release date (more news on that soon)."
As someone just beginning to use Scrivener (Windows), I'll be eagerly awaiting more information here. I'm currently half way through a trial period, and just this morning I thought to myself that, yes, I think I will use the software often enough to make the purchase worthwhile... But I would naturally be upset if I found out I would have to pay another fee after only a short time if I bought it now!


Dawn Doyle  /  27 JULY 2017

Any chance of being able to add images behind text?
Us Mac users don't have the ability to embed fonts with Word (I doubt we will ever be) and formatting a paperback in Scrivener, then adding the images in Word isn't possible because of the lack of embedding support.
I would, preferably, like to be able to do everything I need in one place.


ckrueger99  /  27 JULY 2017

Grammerly support, please.


PPJ  /  27 JULY 2017

Very happy to read about the Scrivener 3. I'm writing and thinking with that soft for many years now. I've tryed some others (for taking simple notes for example) and each time I was going back to Scrivener (or Scapple). Tonight I played with Microsoft OneNote, lost some time and said "oh go back to Scrivener, it's the best and the one I love" !

That's a wonderful news. Do you plan to have it in French quite soon ?

Can't wait !

Thanks guys !


PPJ  /  27 JULY 2017

The key features I'd like to see :



PPJ  /  27 JULY 2017

The key features I’d like to see :

A mix between Scrivener and Scapple : the possibility to draw line in Scrivener between notes and to have a clean window not only with text but also with notes

the possibility to have some previews from web pages (like Milanote)



eddiecoyote  /  28 JULY 2017

I'm stoked! Can't wait!

An easier time getting things into Wordpress (images, footnotes, formatting, etc..) would be super. But Scrivener is such a great app that I'm happy to use it even with the workarounds and extra work and editing and formatting and so on. Great app! Can't wait to see what's new in version 3.


Westermark  /  28 JULY 2017


Crucial for my buying decision will be
- Styles integration with and export/import to Word and perhaps LaTeX
- Zotero support


IaP  /  29 JULY 2017

@George "Clay" Mitchell: and to everyone else wanting to beta test, at this time we're all set on that but the sentiment is appreciated!

@Dawn: "Any chance of being able to add images behind text?": Scrivener will remain primarily a writing tool rather than a desktop publishing tool. As you note, this is something even Microsoft's massive attempt at being both at once doesn't do on the Mac. Focus is what makes good software!

@Jim Heskett: an SDK or plug-in architecture isn't going to be a part of 3.0, sorry to say---it would have pushed back the release by a substantial amount.

@PPJ: Yes, it will be in French (maybe not on day one though) and several other languages. We'll probably post more info on that once we're further along into the process.

Scapple and Scrivener use extremely different ways of working. One is a rigid outliner, where every item in the binder has one single parent (like a folder). Scapple on the other hand has no "parents" and no "children" and anything can be anywhere and linked to any number of other things. That is why we made two programs instead of making one with more features. :)

@Westermark: Stylesheets are definitely coming, and yes they will be useful to both word processing (in and out) and LaTeX users (though not specifically, rather the tools available will make styles useful for just about any kind of markup you can think of), and not only that---from the same source material in the editor; only the compile settings need change around the markings.

Zotero: as far as I know it has worked well with Scrivener for years now using the same RTF placeholder mechanism in use by Endnotes, Bookends, Sente, Papers, etc. There are probably some guides for doing so.


ralphsbiz  /  30 JULY 2017

What?! A PAID update! I never ...

Listen my dear friends at L&L, in all seriousness, I will gladly pony-up the dough for a major new release of the finest word processor, uh, document manager, uhmmm, all around and specific writing tool every conceived and executed by the human race. At this point Scrivener is the one and only software tool that I freely and unapologetically gush over, just ask all my friends and the poor developers who have to listen to my endless rants about why they didn't do a better job of thinking their stuff through. (By the way - apologies for all the gushing.)

Along with all of the goodies I know you have planned for us, here are the two things I hope are included: 1) Open and create templates in iOS; 2) Bring Snapple to iOS.



FrancescoF  /  31 JULY 2017

I hope there will be no costo at least for iOS. It's not so good to pay again both for MacOS and iOS (which I bough just one month ago :/)
Any news on File app, in order to say goodbye to Dropbox?


bewe  /  31 JULY 2017

The magic question: will it have better Markdown support? Please, please let me write in Markdown...

Absolutely happy to pay for it

Andy McKell

Andy McKell  /  31 JULY 2017

Any chance of voice-to-text?


Westermark  /  02 AUGUST 2017

Thank you for your answer – RTF scan is sadly no real solution for Zotero. After opening in Word, the citations are fixed and not linked to the Zotero database anymore. Any mistake, you have to go back to Scrivener and start over. There is the possibility of exporting to .odf, open in LibreOffice and keep Zotero linked there. And then in a second step save to Word. A cumbersome workflow, with the risk of messing up style sheets in the process.

So, you see, there is a need for a true Zotero solution. And I guess also for Endnote, Mendeley, and so on users. There's lots of us . . .


thanxal  /  03 AUGUST 2017

Oh, how I wish for "track changes". I absolutely cannot write in Word anymore (cue the fainting couch) but I find that I have to do so simply to be able to track changes for others who've not been Scrivenerized. Of course, I'll still be a loyal devotee without it but perhaps in some future update you'll possibly consider it?


PDC  /  03 AUGUST 2017

Is there any chance that Scrivener 3 will work a little better with Dragon Naturally Speaking? It would be wonderful to have ability to "Select and Say" with easy verbal navigation for those who have a difficult time typing or moving a mouse because of joint pains etc. For DNS compatibility, the program would need to be compliant with Microsoft Speech API. If not too late to do so, please consider this enhancement. Thanks.


PerlinP  /  03 AUGUST 2017

Great announcement !
Looking forward to using Scrivener 3 for Mac and Win.

Any approximate ETA ? One month ? Three ? Six ? "November" ?
I know I'm asking too much...

Some new features/tweaks concerning the Outliner ?
Some new tools for Novel-writing ?


Meg  /  05 AUGUST 2017

I'm a Windows user and I'm excited for this new version, but one thing worries me: the interface looks too polished. For creativity I prefer big and colorful icons like the ones I have in my current Scrivener version. It is something that psychologically increases creative thinking. An interface like the one in the screenshots makes me feel as if my work has to be perfect from the very beginning. It makes me feel Scrivener more as an editing and polishing tool than the creative and incredibly flexible tool I've been using so far. Would you have an option to make the interface look more like the current one in Windows?


RLWright  /  06 AUGUST 2017

I applaud the changes, but the timing of this teaser announcement is problematic. You've basically told new customers they'll either have to pay now AND later, or wait to buy later (assuming they don't just give up and forget you exist). There's a mystery date, after which purchasers will become eligible for a free upgrade, but that date is a secret. That's not a healthy marketing plan, since it will likely create an artificial slump in sales. It would have been better to either hold the announcement until dates are firmer (too late now!), or go ahead and open the eligibility window now for new buyers to get the upgrade free when it becomes available. I came here to purchase a license, but this announcement slammed the brakes on that idea. Now, I'll have to find other ways to handle the tasks Scrivener does, and every day I continue to work around not having Scrivener is a day that I have less reason to purchase Scrivener. Please don't slam the door on customers like myself. Open the window.


LouTheWriter  /  07 AUGUST 2017

I have to agree with RLWright: "That’s not a healthy marketing plan".

This is known as the Osborne Syndrome, or Effect:

Companies have been known to go bankrupt because of this.


Vinicius  /  09 AUGUST 2017

I have mixed feelings toward the announcement. On one hand I am excited about it. On the other, I feel very sad as I could pay for it only this year, months before this announcement came out, shortly before finding out it's gonna be outdated soon and I may have to pay again to keep it updated.
I can only hope I would be entitled to upgrade it for free... I love Scrivener, but if I knew I would have to pay again just a few months after buying it, I should have postponed my decision.


Russ Nickel  /  10 AUGUST 2017

I'm with everybody!

Just graduated from the Odyssey writing workshop this summer. Woohoo! And so excited to buy Scrivener and finally dive into a novel (everyone says it's the greatest!).

I'm working my way through the tutorial right now, and I can already tell that I absolutely love it. Can't wait to start using it! But now I have to wonder, can I manage my days of free trial until we get an announcement about when the upgrade will become free? I'm constantly debating, should I open it today? Should I try to build up more work in Word first so I can make my free days most effective and stretch them out?

Definitely can't wait to throw my money at you! But I'm fully immersed in the Osborniest of effects :P

Anyway, looking forward to the update! This program seems amazing!


TypewriterMonkey  /  10 AUGUST 2017

Great news. Scrivener could do with a refresh. I've always thought that the separate box for opening files should be incorporated into the main macOS app for a more streamlined and integrated workflow. Instead I tend to avoid that box completely and open files direct from Finder.

I think the Windows program looks fantastic, and it's nice to see a native Windows GUI instead of an ersatz macOS look and feel. Feature parity with the macOS version and being able to handle high resolution/PPI screens will be a huge win for users.

Along with the excellent Scrivener for iOS app, these new versions should be a winning combination, especially for cross-platform users. Can't wait!


Dreeny  /  10 AUGUST 2017

Excellent news and sign me up to be a beta tester. I look forward to seeing a polished scrivener.

Question: Will the app have an Android version when the next installment comes out?


Cal  /  11 AUGUST 2017

The fact that Scrivener is getting an update is welcome news. I don't mind the paid update, Scrivener is an excellent program and I have no problem doubling down on this fine piece of work.

But I just have one concern.

Ulysses, an app that I consider to be Scrivener's main contender in iOS writing apps, just went to a subscription model. They wrote a very good article defending their decision and I understand why they did it, and the subscription model is becoming the norm for a lot of major pieces of software. However, I hate subscription models and end any relationship I have to an app that goes that route. I don't like the idea of paying forever for an app. I'd rather pay one-and-done or even periodic paid updates for major updates.

So my question is: Will the designers of Scrivener ever go the route Ulysses just did and make Scrivener into a subscription model app? I purchased both Scrivener and Ulysses partially because neither is a subscription model app. Both Ulysses and Scrivener are almost indispensable writing apps and I would not want to have to go down this path with Scrivener if I don't have to.

Would the designers please comment on this? It might make the decisions I have to make easier. Much appreciated.


KB  /  11 AUGUST 2017

Thanks for all the comments, positive and negative. A couple of replies.

I won't give an ETA just because that was disastrous with our iOS version (I was always wrong). However, the situation then was different: in this case, Scrivener 3 on macOS is complete and has been solid in beta testing for months. We're actually just completing the manual and getting the updated website ready. The aim is certainly to get the macOS version out before NaNoWriMo, that's all I'll say for now. There's no ETA on the Windows version because that is still in development. The developers had to spend weeks just on the high resolution issues (something that "just works" for Mac developers).
Meg: There will be no option to use the old UI on Windows, I'm afraid. I don't think I've ever seen anyone complain of something being "too polished" before! :) We love the new look and hope that you will too once you are used to it. There's always a period of adjustment when the UI of software you use a lot gets a refresh.
Dreeny: The Windows version is built using Qt, and Qt can be compiled to run on Android - although, of course, the Windows UI would never work on a phone. The plan is for the Windows developers to create an Android version based on their core code but with a new touch-based UI based on the iOS version. They won't be able to work on this properly until Scrivener 3 for Windows is out, though, as our priority has to be to get our existing platforms all working as well as possible before we turn to a new one. So an Android version is definitely planned, but it's going to be some time yet before it sees the light of day.
Cal: To get a bit Sean Connery on you, I'll never say "never", purely because I don't know what the future will bring. For instance, if I say that I'll never go subscription-only and then Apple changes the App Store model so that it is subscription-only, then it will be out of my hands and I'll have promised something I had no control over to stay competitive. Likewise, if the entire industry moves to a subscription model and we are left an outlier, it might be something we have to do one day. Or maybe one day it will be the only way for us to survive, who knows? I can say that Scrivener 3 will be a one-time paid update, though, and that we have no plans to move to a subscription model. I'm not a fan of subscription models myself. If we used that model, I think I would feel as though I had to add big features or changes regularly just to justify the subscription fee, whereas a lot of my work is often on stability or refining what's there. We're fortunate in that our current model works well for us and has so far been very sustainable. Right now, were we to change to a subscription model, I can't see how we wouldn't be a lot worse off. But of course, all businesses are different, and the Ulysses guys have to do what is best for them - I wish them all the best with it, because they're nice guys who make good software and keep us on our toes. :)

Manuel V.

Manuel V.  /  13 AUGUST 2017

Si mejoraron la conexión con Endnote de hecho actualizo apenas salga.


Ray Ishido  /  15 AUGUST 2017

Awesome news!
2 thingd:
-Please include a dark mode
-Don't switch to the subscription model!


miller  /  15 AUGUST 2017

Any word on what the system requirements are to run each operating system?


Pam  /  17 AUGUST 2017

Looking forward to the new versions. I'd really, really like to see native pandoc support!

It would also be very nice to have better localization of scrivener and localization of scapple after all!


profjsethlee  /  18 AUGUST 2017

Will the updated instructions also include ones for using Zotero with Scrivener? I've watched a number of tutorials on the subject, but I've never quite been able to get it right.


BMillz  /  24 AUGUST 2017

To echo the other comments here: Grammarly support would be AMAZING. Or, of course, your own version of grammarly.


AEM  /  24 AUGUST 2017

SOURCE: This blog

Statement: "The aim is certainly to get the macOS version out before NaNoWriMo"

SOURCE: NaNoWriMo webpage

Statement: "November 1-30 • The world needs your novel"

SOURCE: My inner synapses

Statement: "booyakasha"


lmederos  /  01 FEBRUARY 2018

Hi ---

Just wondering what is the status of the 3.0 Windows release. I was hoping at least an announcement would have been posted by now (apologies if I missed it and it was posted somewhere).



mwade82  /  13 FEBRUARY 2018

@PPJ: It doesn't get to a complete combo of Scapple and Scrivener, but what you described in that note I'm pretty sure can be done with Tinderbox, by Eastgate.

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