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5 "Best" Features of Scrivener for Writers

Updated on June 1, 2016
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Scrivener for Windows.Scrivener for Mac.
Scrivener for Windows.
Scrivener for Windows.
Scrivener for Mac.
Scrivener for Mac.

What is Scrivener?

Scrivener is a word processor program created and produced by Literature & Latte.

It is available for both Windows and Mac users.

Actually, Scrivener is similar to Microsoft Word and the other word processors out there.

However, there is so much more to Scrivener than just being a mere word processor wherein you can type words for an article, a story or for whatever it is that you're writing about.

Scrivener for Writers

Scrivener has actually been designed for the use of writers to help them throughout the entirety of the writing process.

Scrivener for Windows:

Scrivener [Download]
Scrivener [Download]

Is this the best tool for writers? You can find more information about Scrivener below.

 

But of course, Scrivener can be used by anyone even if you are not writing a book.

Scrivener is actually very useful to have especially if you are planning to write stories.

This program has many different features that are available for its users, especially for those who want to write stories.

Scrivener and its many, many features

Scrivener has so many different features that some might not even know all of these features.

Scrivener for Mac:

Scrivener 2 for Mac [Download]
Scrivener 2 for Mac [Download]

Don't be upset if you're a Mac user because you can still use Scrivener

 

Or perhaps they're just not interested in knowing these features, at least not until they have need of these features.

Some, like me, prefer to just know the basic features of Scrivener including the ones that will be most often used.

For instance, if you're still in the process of writing your story, there is no need to know how to publish this story in Scrivener yet.

There will be time for that later on when you've finally finished your story and you're ready to compile it all together.

With all of the many features of Scrivener, here are the top 5 features that I consider to be the best. These are all certainly very useful as well.

The 5 "best" features of Scrivener

1. The binder

With the Scrivener binder, you can clearly see all the files that you have in one single Scrivener document. You can also move around the files in this binder such as interchanging text documents and folders.
With the Scrivener binder, you can clearly see all the files that you have in one single Scrivener document. You can also move around the files in this binder such as interchanging text documents and folders.

In Scrivener, you can have as many documents as you want and be able to keep them all in one single project file.

You can easily break down your story into any way you want to such as by scene or by chapter.

This negates the need to scroll through a massively-sized word document with hundreds of pages just to locate a particular block of text you're searching for.

The binder is a part of Scrivener that allows you to see a list of all the documents that you have in your project file.

You can easily select a document that you want to view via the binder. You can also easily move around these documents within the binder.

You can put anything you want in these documents and title them any way you want to. So you can have your research and your story organized and compiled in one file. It’s up to you how you want to arrange the documents in your binder.

Another useful thing about the binder is that it allows you to see the contents of your entire project with no trouble at all. It’s like looking at a book’s table of contents. In this case, you can select a document from the binder and then be able to read the contents of that document.

Scrivener's cork board view

Scrivener's cork board view is very useful as it allows you to see your entire project in a visual way. It looks just like a real cork board. Feel free to move the index cards around in whichever way you like by simply dragging and dropping them.
Scrivener's cork board view is very useful as it allows you to see your entire project in a visual way. It looks just like a real cork board. Feel free to move the index cards around in whichever way you like by simply dragging and dropping them.

2. The cork board view

What do you think about Scrivener?

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Scrivener has a virtual cork board that allows you to view the entirety of your project file in a more visual way.

In this view, you can see a multitude of index cards that corresponds to the number of documents that you have in your binder.

These index cards have the same title as the documents in your binder.

Writing with Scrivener using a pink-colored keyboard, perhaps?
Writing with Scrivener using a pink-colored keyboard, perhaps?

In the body of these index cards, you can put a short summary or synopsis of what each document contains.

You can then refer to these index cards when you're wondering what a document contains without having to open the document and re-familiarizing yourself with its contents.

You can even rearrange these index cards in any way that you please, moving them around any which way just like with a real cork board.

3. The split-view mode

Scrivener's split-view mode can either be horizontal or vertical. With this mode, you can easily refer to other files while working on the other without much hassle.
Scrivener's split-view mode can either be horizontal or vertical. With this mode, you can easily refer to other files while working on the other without much hassle.

This handy feature of Scrivener allows you to view two documents in a single Scrivener project file side-by-side either horizontally or vertically.

This makes it easier for you to work on two documents at once. You can type in one document while using the other document beside it as a reference for more information.

You can easily compare and contrast documents or add and transfer blocks of text from one document to another. With the split-view mode, you don't need to minimize one document just to refer to another document.

4. The full screen mode

The full screen mode is very useful especially to those who are prone to distractions. The default background color is black but you can change this to whatever color you like. You can also set just how faded you want your background to be.
The full screen mode is very useful especially to those who are prone to distractions. The default background color is black but you can change this to whatever color you like. You can also set just how faded you want your background to be.

Scrivener can be switched into what is called the full screen mode where the only thing that you can see is the document you're currently writing on along with your choice of a background color.

For all intents and purposes, it’s just you and the document you're working on. This is especially useful for those that might get easily distracted when writing.

Seeing just the paper you're working on allows you to focus and actually write something instead of doing other things. Since the only thing you can see is your paper, you won’t be tempted to minimize the Scrivener file and check out other things like search the Internet.

5. The Scrivenings mode

The Scrivenings mode is just like viewing an entire story in one single document.
The Scrivenings mode is just like viewing an entire story in one single document.

This feature allows you to temporarily combine your entire project file so you can view all its contents as if they were a single file without having to click all the documents that you have.

You can then read the entire file without having to switch from one document to another.

With this, you can easily see how your entire story flows and how it reads.

Conclusion

These five features show a lot of what Scrivener can do. But there are many more features that Scrivener has to offer its users and they are all useful in their own ways.

Do you use Scrivener?

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Another great thing about Scrivener is that you don't need to know all of its features to be able to make use of it.

You can dictate just how much or how little of its features you want to use.

If, for instance, you never want to use the full screen mode or the Scrivenings mode, then you don't have to.

By all means, feel free to ignore those buttons. You can tinker around with the Scrivener options and preferences if you want to such as changing background colors and the like. Otherwise, you can just go with the default settings and immediately start writing.

Image Sources:

  • All Scrivener images are printscreen by Ceres Schwarz unless stated otherwise
  • The pink keyboard image is by Adikos, CC-BY, via flickr
  • The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon

© 2013 Ceres Schwarz

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    • page1articles profile image

      page1articles 4 years ago from California

      Wow! A very finely crafted article, and I love that your photographs are appropriately cited. The program seems to be valuable in terms of what it offers writers, and the price is not bad. Well done!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      @page1articles - Thanks. And yes, it is a very useful program with a lot of features especially for writers. But even those who aren't planning to write stories can still make use of it.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've never heard of Scrivener. Is it well known? Interesting hub!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      @Victoria Lynn - Many know about it but I guess a lot more people don't. It used to be just available for Mac users but now they have a Windows version as well. Actually, I only found out about this when I was searching for programs that help writers write. It can be very hard to have to write pages and pages of words in Microsoft Word and then have to search for specific things in your document, among other things. Scrivener just makes things easier and you can break things down to better help you.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hmmm, interesting. I'm glad you wrote your first hub! :-)

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      @Victoria Lynn - Thanks :) I hope to be able to write many more like you and the other hubbers here.

    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 4 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      A fellow Scrivener user! I can't wait for them to release their app version, h has been 'under-development' for aaages.

      Although, I don't use it for my teaching material, it's perfect for all my other writing needs!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      @nifwlseirff - Hi. Glad to know of other Scrivener users like myself. I use Scrivener pretty much all the time now, even just to write hubs though I could make do with just using word for them. I guess I'm pretty used to Scrivener by now. And yes, I also think it's perfect for my writing needs.

    • CharronsChatter profile image

      Karen Robiscoe 3 years ago from California

      Very interesting, Ceres. I am a recently signed author (novel length urban fantasy titled SPIRITED REMIX) and have been writing seriously for 8 or 9 years. (published for poetry, fictions, CNF etc.) I am an avid collector of writing "tools", and have discussed Scrivener before with friends, but somehow never did get to try it. Those examples you show--specifically split screen view, and the "all in one" open for your entire project, seem super handy! (OMG you should see my icon-littered desktop) I am using all my thumbs on this--I have 5!--and would hit stars, too, were that choice offered.

      You are a great writer! Straightforward, engaging prose, and a good sense of sequence. Plus your layout is eye-pleasing.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @CharronsChatter - Hello. And thanks a lot for your comment and feedback. It's really well appreciated. You should definitely try Scrivener as it's a great product for writers and it is very handy. It makes it easier to write and organize your stories, among many other great features. Again, thanks and have a nice day. :)

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia

      I've never tried any programs for writers but this software looks helpful in doing writing work. Thank you for sharing this informative hub.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @agusfanani - hello and thanks for your comment. Scrivener is indeed a very helpful software for writing with all of its many features. But even non-writers can still make use of Scrivener. It isn't just for writing novels.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Very interesting hub. I have never heard of Scrivener. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful;-)

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @Thelma Alberts - thanks for the comment. Scrivener is a good software but it isn't just for writers. Anyone can use it. It's just like other word processors out there although it has many, many more different features that are useful for writers.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 3 years ago from Thailand

      Off to check this out. It looks like a very very useful tool for writers. Having a tablet, I'm curious to see how the full screen mode will work with handwriting ... could be very nice to use. Thanks for the tips.

      Shared with followers, on twitter and on Pinterest.

    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 3 years ago from India

      I didn't knew about it. Thank you for sharing. It looks great.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @Brett.Tesol - hi, thanks for the comments and the share. I do find Scrivener to be a very useful tool for writers but even those who aren't really writing stories can still make use of it. It has many more features that can really help those who are writing.

      @Sneha Sunny - hi and thanks for the comment. Scrivener is an interesting and very useful tool for writers with a lot of great and helpful features.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker suzettetaos 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Very interesting and informative. I hadn't heard about this before. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @suzettenaples - you're welcome. And thanks for the comment. Scrivener is a good writing tool with many useful and helpful features for writers but even those who aren't writing novels can still make use of Scrivener.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Ceres, great hub. I think this will be beneficial for my husband, who writes TV and film scripts. The cork board view will be very beneficial. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @Careermommy - thanks for the comment. Yes Scrivener can be very useful for writers as it has a lot of various different features that can really help writers.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Voted up and useful. This program would greatly benefit anyone working on a novel or other lengthy document. Good information about something I did not know. Thank you!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @FlourishAnyway - thanks for the comment and the vote. Yes Scrivener is indeed a very useful and helpful program for writers with all of its many different features that are designed to make the writing process much easier for writers.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Ceres, this is very interesting, I think I will check it out soon, I have been using Word from the first day of release before that I used IBM's WordPerfect and before that the stand alone IBM Word Processor, so you can see I would not be afraid to try something new.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @Shyron E Shenko - thanks for the comment. I think that Scrivener is definitely worth a try. It has many more other useful features and it really helps especially if you're writing stories but even those who aren't can still make use of it.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I've been hearing about this too, and was glad to stumble upon this review. Thanks, I will share!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @rebeccamealey - thanks for the comment and the share. Scrivener is a good program with a wide variety of features that can be really helpful and useful especially to those that love to write.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      This article was very insightful! It contains a great deal of valuable information regarding Scrivener. Thank you so much for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image
      Author

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      @rose-the planner - thanks for the comment and the vote. Scrivener is a great program and it has a whole lot of many different features that really help its users.

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