‘Scrivener’ word processing tool: it’s not just another writing aid


Did you know there’s a substitute for Microsoft Word? The UK-based company Literature & Latte’s ‘Scrivener’ word processing tool is an alternate to MS-Word, & incidentally, at the moment, V-2 is available at less than half price through a special deal.

In their own words,  Scrivener is a “powerful Content-generation tool” for writers that allows them to concentrate on composing & structuring long & difficult documents. While it gives users complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping them get to the end of that awkward first draft. This new writing tool simply takes away the pain of using MS-Word while working on long-form text. Literature & Latte, as it says on their Site, was founded “with the sole purpose of creating software that aids in the creative process of writing long texts” & Scrivener is their flagship product in this regard.

What makes this writing software different is that it’s all about collecting & sorting research & the ideas & thoughts for what you want to write, & then having it all available & easily accessible as you write, structure, edit & revise.

scrineverScrivener, as a word processing tool, makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in a single application. The left sidebar allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, & research materials without having to switch between different applications. You can keep all of your background material—images, PDF files, movies, Web pages, sound files—right inside Scrivener.

You can add tables, bullet points, images & mark up your text with comments & footnotes. Restructuring a draft is just as easy with drag-&-drop functionality that allows you to rearrange everything without the complicated cut-paste routine in MS-Word.

But the most useful feature, in our opinion, is the ability to break up a long-form project into smaller & more manageable documents which you can then index & shuffle around within the long-form text. You can enter a synopsis for each document on a virtual index card & then stack & shuffle the cards in the corkboard until you find the most effective sequence.

You can also do it the other way round, by hammering out a 1st draft & then breaking it apart later for rearrangement on the outliner or corkboard. It’s obvious how useful this can be when you’re writing something like a research thesis or novel where chapters are connected, but evolve as you go forward.

Once you’re done, Scrivener provides loads of functionality in terms of formatting & publishing options. You can control everything from how footnotes, headers & footers appear to fine-tuning the formatting of each level of your draft.

You can print using standard manuscript formatting. You can export your finished document to a variety of file formats including Microsoft Word, RTF, PDF & HTML. You can self-publish by exporting to ePub or Kindle formats that will allow you to publish your work via iBooks or Amazon, or for reading on any e-reader.

The Scrivener word processing tool was developed by Truro, UK-based Literature & Latte. The company was founded in 2006 by Keith Blount. Incidentally, Scrivener works on both, Windows-based PC & Apple Mac.

 
Image Credit: Literature & Latte

 

 

 

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