Initial thoughts on Scrivener 3

I’ve just found a way to upgrade my old Mac to Sierra, mainly so I could buy Scrivener 3. I’ve just installed it today and haven’t found my way around it fully but have some initial thoughts. What attracted me most about the update was the Linguistic Focus facility for Direct Speech which works really well. Dialogue is often one of the weakest areas of novel writing . . . and one of the most important. To be able to review dialogue on its own is, for me, a great facility and worth the upgrade price alone. I was also excited to be able to check how many adverbs and adjectives I’d been using but in the tests I’ve done so far, I’ve been more disappointed in Scrivener’s ability to pick out other forms of speech accurately. But I will continue to try. In the past I have used bookmarklets I discovered online quite successfully for adjectives and adverbs but it was tedious creating the necessary html files. Maybe the accuracy of the Linguistic Focus tool for other parts of speech will improve in time.

A small point but I’m also pleased that separate backup folders can be created for each project. I probably didn’t use more than 25% of Scrivener’s potential in previous versions and the same will probably apply now but when someone brings out a manual on using Scrivener 3 I will probably read it and see what I’m missing. No doubt I will come to grips with the new compilation system in time. Finally, I will probably adapt to them but I do miss the old toolbar icons and the richer colours but I understand it was probably time to move on.

Thanks for the feedback; glad to hear you’ve been able to transition to it easily enough (OS upgrade hassles aside).

In fact we’re just providing a simple front-end to the Mac’s built-in linguistic facilities. The direct-speech code is an exception, that is all built in house, but the rest is up to Apple’s tools. We do also hope to see it improve in time, and broaden its language support beyond the few it currently offers.

As for compile, it looks wildly different, but in fact all of the old principles are still intact. That was something we wanted to preserve in the overhaul—it’s basically one level “deeper” than it was before, in that what was once “presets” is now a prominent way of controlling settings, and you edit those presets (now “Formats”) with what was once the “All Options” interface in v2. That, and separating the concept of folders/files/levels from the compile formatting itself, are the two biggest changes. We do have a tutorial for migration. It goes over, among other things, bringing in your old compile settings from an upgraded project.

Hope to hear the new update serves you well!