is scrivener for ipad worth it?

i don’t have a laptop or computer. my mom just gave me her old ipad mini 2 because she got a new one and it’s a little slow but not too bad. i have been wanting scrivener for a while but there’s a lot of people that say it’s not worth it for ipad so i’m a little weary.

i usually just write in the notes app, but 2 of my favorite writing youtubers use scrivener so i’ve been thinking of purchasing it. i found a bluetooth keyboard for my ipad too so i would use that if i get it. thanks in advance!!

Yes it’s worth it.

I have a very early model iPad air with a bluetooth keyboard and I use Scrivener whenever I’m traveling. I’m considering making the iPad my main writing platform because there are less internet/email distractions - for me anyway.

If you’re relatively new to Scrivener, then the caveats I’m about to mention may not be an issue. On the iOS version there’s no keyword or custom metadata support and the compile options are very limited. For me, this isn’t an issue as I sync to my MacBook and where appropriate use those additional features on the Mac.

Apart from e-Readers, Scrivener is one of three apps I consider essential in my iPad.

Hope that helps,


For the past year, I have been writing exclusively on my iPad Pro. While I miss a lot of the features from the Mac version, I find it keep me focused and writing. With that said, there are some frustrations to Scrivener on the iPad. Editing can be a chore. When selecting sentences or paragraphs, the enter thing jumps and you end up selecting more than you want and trying to stop it from jumping around is almost impossible. You will need to keep typewriting scrolling on as your keyboard, if you’re using the virtual one, will not keep up with you and some of your text will be hidden behind the keyboard until you scroll up. I don’t use Dropbox to sync as I find it doesn’t work most of the time and gave up when I kept losing my work. I use Airdrop between devices and copy backups to my iCloud folder. As for compiling, I don’t need a lot of options. I self-publish and therefore I just need to compile to a word document and I have a service that creates my ePub/Kindle formats that I can upload to the sites.
I love Scrivener. Lately I’ve been working with one of the support persons as I have been having issues of the app crashing on me every time I open it when I want to work on my project. We may have it all worked out as I have not had it happen today. I am hoping it will get a much needed update, maybe to sort out the issues we’ve had the last couple of years, and some new features. Overall, it works for me and despite some of the issues (all apps have them), it really is worth the money.
I hope this helps.

Just want to quickly address the sentence I colored in the quote. See the following forum post that shows how to make the selection process easier. Also see @AmberV’s (L&L support) acknowledgement and advice in the subsequent posts made this year*.

*There’s about a three year gap in the posts. AmberV had seen that I’d elsewhere linked to the selection method and kindly offered his attention/thoughts to the matter.

This is a timely post for me, as I just ordered a Bluetooth keyboard for writing with Scrivener on my iPad mini.

I started out with keyboard & case from Logitech, and this was perfect when I traveled for work. Then the case fasteners broke, and since this was a shrunken down keyboard anyway, I opted for a full keyboard now that I’m home all the time.

Because it’s totally worth it.

So much of the functionality of Scrivener on my Mac laptop is there, it is simply accessed in a different way. If you are starting with the iPad version, that won’t even hold you back. Part of this is my Mac getting old and I’m branching into other devices to keep it going longer, part is my own tricks of using different devices for different stages of the work.

This will be just right for drafting, and beyond.

Hi. Until I read your post I thought that I was the only person in the world using an iPad mini 2 WITHOUT A LAPTOP OR DESKTOP.

I have almost stopped asking for help on Facebook groups because almost without fail, people ignore the fact that I don’t have a laptop or a desktop and they tell me that the answer to all of my problems is to sort them out on the Mac., then come back to the iPad for use while travelling… I feel like screaming that I said I don’t have one!

Be warned. There is no help available from the makers of Scrivener for people in our situation. I know this because I emailed them and that is what they told me in the reply. They do not have tutorials specifically for people in our situation. I think this is REALLY BAD.

The reason I have found your post is because I have now decided to try here as a last resort - but am rapidly losing hope.

Having said all of that, I really do want to use Scrivener. I have made good progress already (it took about 3 weeks to get to grips with the basics). And it is true, what everyone says, scrivener is brilliant.

I accept I can’t access all of the functions, but it is unforgivable that Scrivener has put users like us at the bottom of the pile when it comes to support.
I would be very interested to hear from you if you do go ahead and get the app - and I would be more than happy to support you with what I have learned. In fact, I have created a Facebook page for people in our situation where I will be posting links to any sources of information which are helpful to those of us who don’t have a laptop or desktop.

Please let me know how you get on.

I checked your thread in our support queue. This statement is not accurate. The response to your query referred to:

  • The Tutorial in the iOS Scrivener app itself.

  • Three different video tutorials on our support page.

  • Our article on Dropbox syncing with iOS.

Since you did not – and have not – ask a specific question, I’m not sure what more assistance we might have offered.


Hi Katherine, thank you for your reply.

I think that we may be off on the wrong foot here and I would like to get back on an even keel. Here is an abbreviated copy of what I wrote to Scrivener, on this copy I have highlighted what were my questions and needs - though I didn’t highlight them in the original email. I fully accepted that perhaps I could have worded my query more clearly and I apologise for the misunderstanding. I am grateful for your assistance in my other thread, I will post again on there because I have followed the steps, but the result is not what I hoped for and I would be grateful for further help. Many thanks.

Hi Scrivener People

My husband bought me the Scrivener app as a gift a few weeks ago. I am tearing out my hair trying to work it.

It is the first time I have used Scrivener.

I completely understand that not all features are available on the app, and I am happy with that.

However, I simply can not find tutorials (written or video) for someone who is using the app on its own.

I have my husband’s hand-me-down iPad mini 2, software version 12.4.8

So far I have managed to: create a project; create files and folders which I can name, re-name, delete, and move; create templates. I understand the process of syncing to Dropbox, though I can not complete the process. I have used the correct default folder. I can save from Scrivener into Dropbox, and I can save from Word into Dropbox, [b][i][u] but I can’t get the files out of Dropbox into their relevant destination[/u][/i][/b]*. I have created an account on the Dropbox website to ask for help. I did receive one kind response, but got no further (I do appreciate that people are answering in their own time and have other commitments).

The written tutorial that comes with the app is very, very difficult for me to understand - even though English is my first language and I am reasonably intelligent. [u]]*I have tried the introductory video on the Latte site which was a bit useful, but not specifically for my iPad-only requirements.*[/u][/i]

I have been on the various Facebook groups, people are kind and try to help - but they mainly just refer me back to the written tutorial or your website.

Am I missing something? *Is there a section on your Website which deals with people who only have the app and an iPad? If not, why not? I, surely, can’t be the only person in the whole world in this situation *:-)

I am determined to learn how to use the app on the iPad to the best of my ability, within the limitations of not having a desktop. I am certain that it has a lot to offer me, if only I can work out how to do it.

By the way, to add to my tale of woe, I am also not computer literate. I know my age is not a barrier to being technology-literate, but in my case, it simply is! Tutorials which talk about ‘meta data’, etc, just go right over my head.

I would be so, so grateful if someone from your company could help me to find the tuition materials that I so desperately need. I will then be happy to pass them on to everyone else (assuming that you would like me to).

Your thoughts will be warmly welcomed and I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Your other thread seems to be answering your question in detail, so I’ll just put the short version here:

iOS Scrivener manages its own file area. A project that appears “In Dropbox” on the iOS Scrivener project list exists both on the local iOS device and on the Dropbox server. Since it was created by Scrivener and Scrivener still manages it, you don’t need to do anything special to “get the files out of Dropbox.”


Hello Again
I just wanted to let you know how I am getting on. With help from the wonderful people on this forum I have made huge strides. I wonder if you have an iPhone? If you do, that would be a massive help to you in backing up your work.

I don’t really understand the system, but by installing Dropbox and Scrivener onto both devices, I can be sure that my work is backed up (against loss or theft of the iPad). I am overjoyed. If you have a phone you can do this as well.

As for the app itself, now that I am getting to grips with it, I love it, just as everyone said I would. So, yes, I do think it is worth it even without a laptop or desktop.

If you go ahead, do get in touch with me and I will walk you through the very painful first steps if you would like me to.

I’m of the opinion that 20 dollars is not that much money for a good app and I do consider Scrivener iOS a good app. It hasn’t gotten a lot of extra features since it’s release in 2017, but at the time it was one of the most full featured apps available on iOS, so I still think it has a lot of features.
It doesn’t have everything of the desktop version but it has a lot of important features.

I think multiwindow could be better on the iOS app, and it hasn’t kept up with the changes in iOS 13 in that regard, and if you want automatic sync you have to use Dropbox. Those are my main pain points with it. But still I think it’s worth the 20 dollars if you like to work in Scrivener. I don’t use the mobile version anymore these days, but I woud still recommend it to most people.

I just got my first iPad a few weeks ago for some music stuff I do, and while I was at it decided to test out Scrivener on it (I’ve had it on iPhone for years, mainly to help do testing and interoperability checks, etc.)

Holy crap. I now have a BT keyboard and mouse and a stand, as Scrivener for iOS on the iPad is DEFINITELY going to be a great writing environment for me. I sync it back to Windows and Mac for additional work, but taking the iPad along with me (whether on a trip or down to the couch) is a much lighter-weight solution for me in getting words input into my project.

Yes. iOS Scrivener was life-changing for me. First tool I’ve ever used that convinced me to switch from pen on paper for notetaking.


I know the iOS version of Scrivener lacks many of the bells and whistles of the Mac app, but in my case, that relative simplicity actually turned out to be more more feature than bug. Depending on your needs, you may find the leaner version simpler and easier to use than its fully featured fellows.

Sure, I’d like a bit more feature parity (requests are documented by many users in this forum), but even now, when I can use the iOS version, I prefer it, workarounds and all. (Hint: you’ll use the ‘recent files’ function a lot.) I’d actually like the Mac version to adopt some of the iOS version’s streamlined approach, but I’m sure what’s superfluous to me is essential to other writers, so I understand why the original has so many options and features. Be sure the iOS version has the features you need for your projects.
I think I’ll use it even more when iPadOS evolves to play better with external displays. Right now, my iPad’s limited 10.5” in screen space is the main reason I prefer to Scrive on my MacBook with external display.
One caution: I loved my old iPad Mini 2, but I think I’d traded it in for this regular sized iPad Pro just before iOS Scrivener came out. You might find the Mini’s screen to be a bit too small for extended Scrivening, but it can certainly be handy for working on a single document at a time.
Oh, and as Devin wrote above, get a separate keyboard and stand of some kind so you can take advantage of another iPad advantage — the ability to separate the screen from the keyboard and raise it closer to an ergonomically healthier level. Good luck!

Is scrivener for iPad worth it?

100% Yes. I’ve had Scrivener since 2015 on my computer and around then I also bought my iPad mini along with a Zagg hard case with bluetooth keyboard. I got Scrivener for the iPad, and have used it in conjunction with my Windows. I save all my drafts to cloud storage (Dropbox) so I can access the latest file from that.

Since my computer is a desktop with two monitor setup, it’s a bit bulky to lug around for writing purposes. My wife and I enjoy long vacations, often to places with limited if any cell signal and power. So a handy battery backup, a car charger, and my iPad with Scrivener on it makes a perfect way to write while I’m on vacation.

I store the files on the local dropbox on my iPad, then sync when I get back to Wifi, and then when I’m on my Windows machine at home, I get mostly seamless transitions.

About the only problems/issues I have had with the iPad/Windows transition are a few (very minor) formatting issues that are easily corrected by the more robust Windows version. I assume the macOS version would be similarly capable of handling any issues with formatting with no problem.

Happy writing! :smiley:

I am using Scrivener on iPad Mini 5. Certainly it is much more limited than MacOS or Windows versions but it allows me to read and edit some of my Scrivener project texts anywhere, anytime. Also, it has very nice dynamic scaling of text size on the display which helps readability in outdoors.

I think I have to echo many here by saying Scrivener iOS is a wonderful and wonderfully useful tool.

Just to add, though, I came back to projects using it recently, and found it had no issues at all running on an original iPad 2, predecessor of the minis…

It runs just as nicely on a brand new iPad Air 4 – no difference between the two,

It sounds you should do just fine…

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