Is Scrivener for PC worth it?

After winning NaNoWriMo , I’ve kept the 50% discount code pocketed until I decided to use it. I’ve heard people say a lot of good things about the program, but after a little bit of research and some personal experiences, I’ve heard that the PC version is nowhere near up to par with Mac. I only have a PC, so is it worth me buying it?

Scrivener is amazing for organizing your projects into multiple levels, and breaking them up into as many pieces as you need. It may not do much for composition, but you can get the most important stuff underway with this software.


I would not condone paying $50 for it. I wouldn’t even condone paying $25 for it on sale or discount. For utility software, that price is absurd. Also keep in mind that they haven’t yet updated the Windows version to Scrivener 3, which has been promised to be in the works for a while. There isn’t even a peep of an Android or Kindle Fire release. In the long history of the Internet, software has time and time again followed this pattern only to fall by the wayside, neglected and forgotten, the commitment and integrity lost. In a world where people demand money before work through avenues like Patreon and Kickstarter, this trend is only going to worsen.

You would do better to peruse for software that can accomplish a similar function that has better support and attention paid to it by its developers. Keep in mind where your hard-earned money has come from and remember all the other expenses already paid for electricity, a computer, and the Internet to even get to the point to consider their software.

Did you use iOS Scrivener for NaNoWriMo? If so, the PC version is much more powerful than that.

The Mac version (3.2.2) is more powerful than 1.9 (the current Windows release) — 2 major version upgrades more powerful. Still, if you’re a Windows user in general, users tend to think 1.9 is better than anything else they can buy.

Another option is the Windows beta for v3. It costs nothing until the full release, is much more powerful than 1.9, and generally compares to the Mac version. It has a few bugs to be ironed out, and there may always be cosmetic advantages on the Mac, but many users say they’re happy with the beta for now.

Utility software? But also amazing?

I’ll just link to a couple of Notions demonstrating things Scrivener can do, but Word cannot.

and, from the same content, a very different export:

Word cost over $300 back in the day (when Microsoft still improved it occasionally).

Today it’s $139.99, over 3 times the price of Scrivener.

Have you used it? If not, download the trial (it just has a “buy me” prompt window when you launch, and isn’t usable past the 30 days-of-use duration), and try it out. If you don’t like it, just compile/export your work to whatever writing program you’re currently using.

That’s the only way to be sure if it’s going to be worth it to you. Also of note; once v3 comes out (they’re skipping a release number), you can upgrade from version 1 for free at this point. Major upgrade versions usually cost between 50 and 60% of the un-discounted version.

That’s not exactly true. Scrivener for Windows 1.0 was a mix of functionality that was present in Scrivener 1.x and 2.x for Mac, so 1.9.16 is more like Scrivener 2.5ish for the Mac. But the main point stands – it’s a perfectly good application as it stands, and a lot of people rely on it daily to get their writing work done.

Honest to Pete, am I the only one? I’m a writer. Even if my writing were a hobby, which it isn’t, I spend money as necessary to enjoy my hobbies, and for something that brings in needed income, you bet I spend money to make it better or easier. I don’t consider myself profligate either. Vellum, Trackerbox, VPN, backup solutions. Scrivener is a bargain.

As to the OP - download the latest Scrivener 3 for Windows beta and you have a free trial of the software. It’s good till the end of the month, at which point you’ll probably know that you like the program enough to keep updating the beta until it’s available to purchase or that it’s not for you. Don’t let the penny-wise and pound-foolish influence you.

Yes, it’s an awesome app. Not as awesome as version 3, but yes. Awesome.

It doesn’t have the two major add-ons of version 3, though:

  1. named section types (no more fiddling with Binder levels, document types) and
  2. Word-equivalent styles that export as Word styles.

You are by no means the only one who feels this way. $45 for a fully featured application that handles research and writing, especially with a free upgrade to the new release thrown in?

Tell you what–you’re welcome to buy me a copy.

Why would I do that? You’ve made it clear you don’t like it.

If you’d tried it for the trial period and loved it but couldn’t afford it, that’s a different story. But you have a total of two posts here, one of which is claim that Scrivener’s price is somehow a rip-off, and the other to demand that someone pay for a copy for you when a bunch of us point out that your allegations are sus AF.

It would be a bargain at 3X the price.


Hmmmm! Is there a Troll on the Forum? They joined on the 1st Feb, Two posts on the 2nd Feb and nothing since? Interesting :slight_smile:

That 50 bucks a year that Ulysses demands for the privilege of using it comes to mind immediately. Now there’s a real bargoon.

Also, you forgot grub and likker.

So… let me get this straight; Scrivener is amazing, it’s not worth $25, yet you still have the audacity to complain that Windows version 3 hasn’t been released yet (despite there being new FREE beta builds every couple of weeks).

How exactly do you think software development is funded? Having worked in software development myself for the thick end of four decades, I can assure you that it’s both a) time-consuming and b) expensive. A job made even more difficult by people like you who wrongly believe we should be doing it for free. Do YOU work for free? Or do you expect a wage at the end of the week?

I really cannot begin to comprehend which moon of Jupiter you live on if you think Scrivener is both amazing, yet NOT worth $25.

I have never posted on this forum, but I have been a long time lurker. My first experience with Scrivener was the PC trial version during 2015’s NaNoWriMo. I will admit, I spent a great deal of time confused about how to use it to organize my work and used it primarily as a word processor mainly due to the fact that I don’t like writing in Word. Luckily for me, I won NaNo and received a code for 50% off and decided to purchase the program. I then spent time learning what I needed to know to make the program work for me. Which is where I think many of the complainers regarding Scrivener’s cost make mistakes, in my opinion.

Since 2015, I have used Scrivener 1.9 to write four novels, various short stories, a thesis project for my MFA in Writing, and now I’ve moved from Scrivener 1.9 to both Scriveners for Mac and the iPad. I’ve tried the beta for PC, and it was awesome, but I changed to Mac for personal reasons that have nothing to do with Scrivener. Do I recommend Scrivener to every author who asks about the best writing programs…definitely. Do I sympathize with those who feel they’ve been waiting too long for the PC version of Scrivener 3…meh, the beta is awesome and I think (translation: hope) it will be available soonish. What I cannot sympathize with are those who think the price point is too high when other programs expect yearly and/or monthly fees when Scrivener is a one-time cost with a fairly decent chance for a 50% off code if you participate in things like the NaNo events. To me that makes no sense. Before any of you jump on me and try to tell me Ulysses and others are so wonderful and all I need to do is try them; I have and they aren’t better than the overall functionality and organizational capability of Scrivener, especially for large multi-book projects. Again, that’s just my two cents, take it or leave it.

Thank you for posting, Your opinion comes at an opportune time for me. I’m currently deciding between various software.
What were the biggest advantages of using beta over version 1+ for you?
Have your experience changed much after switching to MAC?

  1. Scrivener 3 has styles (not just presets), and they export to Word as styles.

  2. v3 has named section types, not the old structure-based Compile.

My chapters include 5 kinds of documents. Their section types are “epigraph” for what it sounds like (centered), “setting” for a document with(place, time in the title (centered and bold), “first scene” (no indent, first 5 words small caps), “scene with prefix” (stars at the top for separation), and “scene no prefix” (no visible separation or distinguishing marks).

In Scrivener 3, that’s 5 documents or more at the same level, doesn’t matter if they’re folders or files.

In Scrivener 1, it would be a total mess. Big difference.

3-∞) Too many to mention.

Sounds like I should be praying for S3 to come out on PC soon.
Thank you clearing it out for me.
I’m on the fence about buying, but it’s growing on me