Getting started with Scribener ...

I am a complete newbie with Scribiner. The reviews of it are so good that I decided that I wanted to try it on a long term project - writing the first draft of my autobiography. But I want to make it a proper hyperlinked text which includes papers, video clips, photographs etc that tell a story which goes back over sixty years. :smiley:

I use a mix of Windows, Linux and Mac computers. Today I write mainly using Google Docs. I have a personal website -

Tonight I plan to download the 30 day trial version onto my Windows workstation which I am in the process of adapting so that it works with dual monitors. But how would you recommend getting started? - i.e. which tutorials should I look at and who else has written an autobiography using Scribener

Hi Ali,

The strong recommendation is that you do the included Interactive Tutorial first – and certainly before you look at any external books or websites. I think I’m right in saying that you’re presented with the choice to do this when you first open Scrivener, but if not, you can easily get to it from the Help > Interactive Tutorial menu.

The tutorial is a fully working Scrivener Project which walks you through the basics of how the program is put together, and the concepts on which it is based. They’re not particularly difficult, but some of them are different from traditional word processors like Word and Google Docs and to get the best from Scrivener, you’ll need to have at least a basic understanding of those concepts. What’s more, you’ll get a simple overview of the features the program offer, some of which you’ll never need, and others which you’ll want to study in more depth later, given your specific needs.

The tutorial will take an hour or two at most to read and work through. Once you’ve done it, you’ll be able to start using the program with the best possible start, and to be able to make more sense of the help that you get on this forum and elsewhere.

It’s noticeable that much of the frustration that new users express when the first come on the forum is because they haven’t done the tutorial and so are making some false assumptions which gets in their way.

I hope this helps – and good luck!

Yes, please look through the Interactive Tutorial first. Among other things, it will tell you what the various parts of the Scrivener interface are and what they are called. That shared vocabulary will be enormously useful if you do need to ask questions.

After that, though, I’ve found the best way to learn how to use Scrivener is to use it. Start collecting and organizing your research materials, start sorting your notes into something resembling an outline. Working with your own data is a lot more interesting and motivational than working with someone else’s examples.

One small note about working across multiple platforms:

Linux development is frozen, and the final public beta for Linux Scrivener is not formally supported, It is also back-level, being compatible with Mac Scrivener 2.7 and Windows Scrivener It is NOT compatible with the current versions of either, and is NOT compatible with iOS Scrivener. More information here:

The current Windows version, 1.9.7, is compatible with the Mac Scrivener 2.9 project format. It is NOT compatible with Mac Scrivener 3.0, although a public beta of Windows Scrivener 3.0 is in progress. It IS compatible with iOS Scrivener, More information here: … ows-update

For that reason, you’ll want to be cautious if and when you download Mac Scrivener. Mac Scrivener 3.0 will automatically convert projects to its format when opened. You can use its File -> Export -> As Scrivener 2 Project to restore Win Scrivener compatibility if needed, but of course that doesn’t help if you’re away from your Mac with a project that won’t open. You may prefer to stick with Mac Scrivener 2.9 for the time being. More information about Scrivener 3 here: … crivener-3


Hello, I used a tutorial on Udemy that was really good to learn Scrivener. It is written for both Mac and Windows versions. I found it to be very instructive and full of intricate details of how to use Scrivener. If I may suggest, check out this link to Udemy. Note: I have no affiliation or connection with Udemy or the instructor of this course… … to-launch/

Hope this helps…

Can the Windows 1.9 version Interactive tutorial be downloaded seperately without having to (re-)install the Scrivener software? Can you supply the download link for that please?


The interactive tutorial is excellent - written by people who literally know the programme intimately,
No need to spend money (11:99!) at all.

Just delete the original tutorial from wherever you saved it on your hard drive, then go to the Help menu to open a new version.