Legendary Reviews

Scrivener

Rating: 10

Scrivener Logo
Genre: Office Suites
Platforms: Windows and Mac
Written by: Imogen Reed

Ever felt like writing that one great novel everyone has inside them? If you have ever wanted to try your hand at writing a book then Scrivener is the top choice for helping you organize structure long, complex documents. It is powerful content generation software that makes plotting your story and changing the order of scenes incredibly straightforward. Top marks all round to this modestly priced piece of software, which has taken the writing world by storm.

Design: Scrivener has a sleek, pared back design, which complements Apple’s Mac design theme. Initially the software was only available for Mac users, which its Apple-like in appearance. It could in fact be mistaken for Apple software looking at the website. The interface also has Apple-like intuitive design and great graphics. It’s a joy to look at and to use.
Score: 10

Compatibility: Scrivener have recently launched the long-awaited PC version of their writer’s software. The product has been making waves, quietly, for some years now and its popularity has seen it grown from a small home-grown product to something world beating in the writing tools market. Scrivener for Windows requires Windows XP, Vista, or 7 (32 or 64 bit) with DirectX. 1GB RAM; 1ghz; 100mb disk space; 1024 x 768 screen; Internet connection is required just for the activation process, prior to registration. Thereafter it is a stand-alone tool. Scrivener for Mac requires OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or above. Scrivener 2.1 is fully compatible with OS X 10.7 (Lion). There are sensible and substantial updates to the program, which is remarkably not buggy, and comes with an excellent handbook. Tutorial videos are also available on the website.
Score: 10

Features: Scrivener is popular with professional authors. Check out the developer’s website for a list of famous users. The program helps the writer to manage, tag, edit and organize large quantities of information and research without getting muddled. It does this with the use of the quaint ‘corkboard’, and index cards, which can be pinned on it, allow you to get a bird’s eye view of the project you’re working on, change the narrative structure around and edit at will, leaving you free to tangle up your plot as much as you wish without losing the thread. It’s hard manipulating text in this manner in a long Word document, but by breaking it down into ‘scenes’, Scrivener gives the writer the freedom to work without constantly scrolling. Quite simply it’s a Godsend to anyone who needs to work on a long piece of text, be it a film script, a college essay, or a novel. It’s useful from the first draft stage right up until the piece is finished. At this point it can be printed in professional manuscript form, which meets industry standards. It is compatible with industry standard film screenwriting software Final Draft. You can export your finished manuscript to a wide variety of file formats, including Word, RTF, PDF and HTML. A recent innovation is the addition of an ebook format export option, ePub or Kindle formats. You can publish your work to iBooks or Amazon with ease.

Scrivener provides statistics for you as you write, including word counts. It allows you to import diagrams and images for inclusion in the document. It allows you to take snapshots of your work in case you wish to return to an earlier version. It even provides a ‘random name generator’ to help you come up with great names for your characters. If you just need to get down and write with no distractions, you can opt to use the full screen option, which leaves you with just a document and a keyboard at your disposal. Many writers find this one of the most useful functions of the software, allowing their thoughts to flow more freely. Full details of the range of features can be found on the developer’s website, which is friendly and easy to follow. Sometimes software is just as good as it purports to be. Scrivener is a perfect example.
Score: 10

Put away your bank statements and your company insurance documents; throw your filing out of the window. Ditch it all and unleash your creative side. Get writing.

You can download Scrivener here. For Mac the price is a mere $45 or £31. There is an educational discount for students and educators, bringing the cost down to just $38 or £26. You can download a free trial, which you can use for a month. For Windows, the price is even lower.

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