Anyone Use Scrivener?

So, I am working on this show and our head writer/director of a couple of our episodes loves the program Scrivener. He is insisting we put our step outlines and character descriptions and our plot points, scene beats, Location Slugs, etc in this stupid program and it is driving me nuts.

I am used to just using word and maybe posting it in an internal shared server here in the writer’s office but this guy wants Scrivener files. It’s a massive pain in the ass and every time I launch it, it tends to make my Final Draft files freeze up and crash.

Any advice as to where the best place to learn how to use this stupid program is?

Look at youtube videos to start.
The program has an internal tutorial.
There are lots of resources; there a couple of ebooks on the subject.
Google is your friend.
You’ll find that for long projects nothing is better.
If you’re one of the few who has figured out auto-numbering in Word, you can certainly learn Scrivener.

There’s a whole section of tutorial videos here: … s?os=macOS

There’s also the Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu. That’s where I would start.

If your head writer is asking you to use Scrivener, you might also ask him for tips. Maybe there’s a template that he likes and would be willing to share? Maybe a quick tutorial session for you and other writers focused on the specific features relevant to this project?


Katherine’s suggestion is a good one. If he’s asking you to use Scrivener, he is the ideal person to show you how, since that is how he will expect you to use it. And there are many ways to use it.

Scrivener is not an alternate word processor. Scrivener is more like an operating system for document creation and management, a document studio, really an evolution of the CMS.

I’m not sure how useful it is comparing the relative complexity of Scrivener and Word on the basis of how the latter implements a particular formatting like lists. Scrivener is a far more functionally “complex” application than is Word – after all, Scrivener replicates nearly every important function that Word provides, before getting to the array of high concept functions that make it more than just another text entry program whose design idiosyncrasies/flaws need to be accommodated.

As for the complexity of auto-numbering or creating lists:

  • List formatting is one feature out of of many that you need to first realize you would like to use.
  • “Oh, I need numbered lists.”
  • You need to decide to look for it under a menu or button, or by right clicking or some other tool.
  • You need to identify the feature, click it, and hope it works by default in a manner adequate for your needs.
  • If it does, yay!

So far, that process is as true of Scrivener as of Word, and of this message board’s post editor as of Gmail.

If you wish to differ from the defaults, you will need to decide it’s worth engaging with the procedures offered to customize the UI…

It does seem asking for an example project from the writer/director would be the fastest, easiest way to get going. You could make fresh copies of it and replace its particular content components piecemeal.


P.S. As for the best place to learn Scrivener, well, the best (really the only) place to learn anything is in your head, if you know how to use the stupid thing. :unamused:

I’ve long resisted foisting any program on someone else, no matter how much I love it. Sorry you’re essentially be forced into this (though I don’t quite understand why, since you can’t work on it simultaneously anyway).

To your thread title “Anyone Use Scrivener?”, I’m pretty sure a lot of people do, and luckily, the people on the forums run by the maker of Scrivener make up a concentrated segment of Scrivener experts. Feel free to ask questions. The Technical Support forum is where most people will discover questions; the “Using Scrivener” forum is about sharing your tips and tricks, and is less likely to be seen by members of the forums.

Please keep in mind that we’re mostly just other users who like Scrivener, and we’re using our own personal time to provide help to other users, in addition to some light-hearted banter. Aggressively negative questions can get our hackles up. Again, I understand how being essentially forced to use a new piece of software that’s unlike most any word processor is irritating–Scrivener isn’t for everyone, and it should be self-selected based on a genuine enthusiasm for what it brings to your writing process. I don’t care for statements like ‘everybody should be using Scrivener to write!’, as even the developer doesn’t believe that:

In answer to the question “Anyone use Scrivener?” it might be interesting to take a look at the results of the survey that was conducted before Christmas: [url]].

So 25,000 people contributed to the survey, but I would imagine that there are many more who use the program.