Usually, I used to write with the help of Microsoft Word. There are many options to use synonyms, tools to change the size, font, etc, and many other options that are necessary to save a writing. As I am new to this software, I would like to know how it will help me in writing. If you think it is better than MS word, then let me know what makes it special than a word file.
Hello ellamaynard - welcome to Scrivener and the forum.
I’m probably not the best person to answer this question, because although I have MS Word on my computer, I seldom use it now. But I’m sure that others will chime in.
There are many advantages that Scrivener has over Word. But fundamentally it seems to me that Scrivener is designed for ease, focus and security of use when writing longer documents (i.e. more than a few pages), and Word is not. Word is ideal for use in business, for writing letters, memos, short reports and so on. I still use it for such purposes, although I also use Scrivener for them too (and Scrivener has the tools that you say you used in Word in the past).
But writing longer documents often requires, in addition, tools for storing research, structuring, planning, drafting and re-drafting, re-structuring, comparing one version of a document with another, backing up securely, and outputting in various formats (e.g. for different sorts of e-book), all in a writing environment where your writing format won’t constrain the final appearance of what you’ve written, and within the security of a reliable file-format where a problem in one part won’t corrupt the rest and make it inaccessible. Those are some of the things Scrivener does better, sometimes much better, than Word.
For me the number 1 feature of Scrivener that has it beating all word processors is the Binder. So easy to restructure a document by dragging and dropping the documents into their appropriate places rather than messing it all up with cut-and-paste. And the number 2 feature that really pushes Scrivener to the front of the pack is Collections. Want to try a different order before committing to it use a Collection. Can’t do that in a word processor. I also use them for editing/revision.
Then add in Index Cards, Project/Document notes, meta-data, keywords, and the cork board. Word processors are a very poor alternative. I haven’t used a word processor for several years now; even my copies of the open source LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org languish in virtual dust along with Apple Pages, which in my opinion is a better word processor than Word not that I’ve used Word in more than decade since switching to Macs (and probably a decade before as I used Linux).
Others will give you their favourite features but really Scrivener knocks all word processors—not only Word—in cocked hats.
You might want to have a look at the Usage Scenarios forum, too. There are also several case studies here: literatureandlatte.com/casestudies.php
I would say that it’s important to remember that writing and layout are different tasks. Scrivener has tools to change the font, font size, and so on, but it doesn’t come close to Word’s page layout capabilities. On the other hand, Word doesn’t come close to matching Scrivener’s tools for planning, organizing, writing, and editing a large project.