Scrivener Windows Review

Scrivener is powerful and capable creative writing software. Though novice writers may be put off by the learning curve, from our testing we can say that the software is worth learning as its arsenal of tools and functions are an asset to any writer.

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Our Verdict

Scrivener can seem daunting at first but is feature rich, well-organized and effective at helping writers of all varieties.

For

  • It’s a powerhouse for organization, planning and brainstorming.

Against

  • The software is complex and may require extra time to learn, but it isn’t insurmountable.
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When you first open Scrivener, you can go through the tutorials or opt to open one of several templates and jump right in.

When you first open Scrivener, you can go through the tutorials or opt to open one of several templates and jump right in.
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This is the main view of Scrivener where you have access to the primary toolbar, the folder tree and the word processor.

This is the main view of Scrivener where you have access to the primary toolbar, the folder tree and the word processor.
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Scrivener let you customize settings for its appearance, importing, startup options and a myriad of other functions.

Scrivener let you customize settings for its appearance, importing, startup options and a myriad of other functions.
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The storyboard helps you stay organized by allowing you to add, edit or rearrange notes and plot points just like you would with a physical corkboard.

The storyboard helps you stay organized by allowing you to add, edit or rearrange notes and plot points just like you would with a physical corkboard.
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You can customize the toolbars to show all the functions you need and none that you don’t.

You can customize the toolbars to show all the functions you need and none that you don’t.

Scrivener is powerful and capable creative writing software. Though novice writers may be put off by the learning curve, from our testing we can say that the software is worth learning as its arsenal of tools and functions are an asset to any writer. Its organization capabilities help ensure all of your notes and character or plot details are tucked away safely, yet you can view them whenever you need.

Upon opening Scrivener initially, you’re given the option to engage in an interactive tutorial. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of software, we recommend you take the tutorial, as the writing software has a large learning curve if you wish to use all of the program’s abilities fully. Otherwise, you’re prompted to open a blank document, or templates for fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting and other types of writing. This wide variety of options suits writers of all experience levels and styles.

You can jump right in and start writing with Scrivener’s built-in word processor, or you can opt to flesh out your characters, locations or story outline. The handy corkboard feature works just the same as it would in real life, allowing you to pin notes and plot points or move them around as you see fit. As Scrivener is highly organized software for writers, all of your notes, descriptions and other related documents in a sidebar and can still be seen if you elect to use the split-screen mode.

The program automatically saves and backs up any work you create, which lets you stay focused on the task at hand. Additionally, Scrivener has a ton of options and settings you can toggle or customize, as well as a variety of smaller features like a name generator.

The word processor is powerful in itself, and hosts a myriad of editing and text formatting options like spell check and the ability to insert things such as images, headers, footers and comments. The word count tool lets you keep an eye on the size of your document and pace yourself for any word goals you set.

Direct customer service for the software is available via email. There are also tutorials and other informational resources available on the developer’s website, along with a community forum where you can interact with and ask questions of other writers and users of the program. Scrivener is available for all recent versions of Windows as well as Mac OS X 10.9 and later.

Scrivener is a powerful creative writing program that can help you write your story and keep all your notes organized and easy to access. You can opt for single- or split-screen viewpoints, manage your storyboard and even sync your documents from your desktop to the available iOS app. Despite having a bit of a learning curve to conquer initially, the software is actually easy to use once you understand it.