Scrivener 3: A Guide for Scrivener 2 Users

If you're a die-hard Scrivener 2 user trying to get your head around the changes in Scrivener 3 and what they mean for your projects, this guide is for you.

If you're a Scrivener 2 user familiar with features such as Compile and Project Notes, you might find that some of the changes in Scrivener 3 seem a little alien. Compile, in particular, has undergone a major redesign—it is now simpler to use and more flexible. However, the benefits of the way Compile now works might not be obvious to a Scrivener 2 user whose immediate concern is getting older presets and settings working with the new system.

We've therefore put together a guide aimed at Scrivener 2 users to help with the transition to Scrivener 3. This guide is only intended for users finding the switch a little difficult or who want to go into more depth. You don't need to read this guide if you're new to Scrivener, or if you found the update to Scrivener 3 plain sailing.

The Upgrade Guide is a project that was created in Scrivener 2 and has not yet been updated to Scrivener 3 format. The idea is that you open it in Scrivener 3 (which will update the project format) and then walk through the steps inside the project. As you do so, you'll be prompted to use new features and update a sample Compile preset. You will learn:

  • How to run Scrivener 2 and Scrivener 3 on the same computer.
  • How to bring in Preferences from Scrivener 2.
  • Where various features have been moved.
  • How to use Bookmarks to replace Project Notes.
  • How to update a Scrivener 2 Compile preset to work in Scrivener 3.
  • How Compile Formats can now be used with all sorts of projects.
  • How to access some of the main new features.
  • How to get the most out of Styles.

It thus provides a hands-on guide to migrating a Scrivener 2 project to Scrivener 3.

To get started:

  1. Follow the download link below. A zip file entitled "" will be downloaded.
  2. In the Finder, go to your Downloads folder. The zip file should have been automatically unzipped to a folder entitled "UpgradeGuide-macOS". If not, double-click the zip file to unzip it manually.
  3. From inside the "UpgradeGuide-macOS" folder, open "Upgrade Guide.scriv" in Scrivener 3.
  4. Follow the prompts to update the file format.
  5. When the project opens, begin with the "Start Here" document at the top of the project binder and then work through everything inside the yellow "Tutorial" folder.