Can I use Scr for layout instead of Word?

I am coming to the layout stage of the new book, and would like to see if I can avoid using Word at all for this bit.

Word allows me to set up the document in terms of mirror margins, gutters etc, and view it as it will appear on the page.

Can Scrivener do this?


No, this isn’t something Scrivener is designed for - because of the way it takes many components and makes them into one document, and allows you to choose between different formats for different outputs, there is no way of showing exactly how your output is going to look in the editor, so you cannot view it as it will appear on the page. You can set up mirror margins for exporting via Compile, but you can’t view how everything is going to appear in the editor. That sort of thing is only possible in a word processor or layout tool, where you are always working with the whole text.

All the best,

That literally makes me want to weep. Scrivener has protected me for the whole process up until now, and I’m thrown back into the nightmare hell-storm of random formatting lunacy.

Q: Can you recommend any (better) Word alternatives for mac?

As a wordprocessor to be used for academic manuscripts, I would suggest Nisus Writer Pro. Many like and use Mellel.

If I had to suggest a layout application for simpler book formats, I would suggest Apple Pages. Easy to use, quite nice in the layout and output options.

However, for professional layout, and superior typographic quality, you would need Adobe InDesign, maybe renting it for a single month. It’s not easy to use, but for the most basic layout it’s no impossibile to use.


Thank you Paolo, I will take a look at your suggestions.

It is for a non fiction book.

If you just want a Word replacement, LibreOffice is another contender for general page layout functions (for me it handles images and other inline content better than Word 2011, its biggest handicap is the non-existent opentype feature support).

Indesign is however the Rolls-Royce of layout, until Affinity Publisher comes out hungry to eat its lunch:

For anyone who hasn’t tried the Affinity apps, they are within spitting distance of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, yet with a small company, agile development, full-on Mac focus, and normal purchasing option (i.e. no subscriptions nor fragile cloud breakage). When Affinity Publisher is released I think it will be perfect for layout from Scrivener.

I’m waiting patiently for Affinity Publisher (due “2016” - prob towards the end of it). They’re making some great Pro focused Adobe alternatives. Designer and Photos are out at the moment and have announced that Publisher will be their InDesign. If it’s anything like the two programs they’ve produced so far, it’ll be very good indeed!

I’m also hoping they add a Lightroom / Aperture DAM to their development list soon, but that’s for another thread (and probably another forum).