Is there a good Windows substitute for Scrivener?

I have to work on a Windows computer for a month so what’s the Windows equivalent to Scrivener?


Check the Scrivener Links section. There is a large list of alternatives to Scrivener, including a focus on the Windows platform. There isn’t anything quite like it anywhere else, but some can get you in the ballpark.

I think the closest thing to it would be Liquid Story Binder. The learning curve is hellish, the user interface is a severely outdated, and it’s beginning to creak under its own weight, but it does do the job once you get used to it.

Liquid Story Binder is undoubtedly a powerful piece of software in a tiny 5 Mb package. I bought it sometime during the 1st quarter of ’08. Some sort of special sale tempted me to try it for $15.95 for a lifetime license. But the learning curve is so steep it should come packaged with pitons and a climbing rope. It has a very unintuitive UI. The developer is a really good guy though and works hard to fix any bugs that pop up and is constantly improving it.

It was one of the things that finally sent me screaming for relief toward OS X and Scrivener. Although, to be honest, it was probably Vista that sent me to the Mac. The final straw was a man I saw in the local library using Scrivener on his MacBook. I just had to ask him what he was using and when he showed me how Scrivener worked, I just had to buy a Mac. He was very convincing — you know how people proselytize for Apple, they’re shameless. And tireless.

Go ahead, give LSB a shot, it’s got a free trial period so you can see if it works for you. It is very possible that I was just too dumb to figure it out. After an hour with LSB I’d get twitchy as a cricket on a skillet but using Scrivener is calming as pudding.

Yes, I think I was a bit unfair on Jesse there. He’s the most responsive developer I have ever come across, and does a remarkable job with LSB. However, I think it’s in dire need of an overhaul; the learning curve is just too steep for busy people.

If you find LSB somewhat heavy-going or overwhelming, at the other end of the learning-curve spectrum (learning-curve spectrum? Hmm…) there’s another simpler possibility, also on Keith’s Scrivener Links list, PageFour. PageFour has always seemed to me to be following more or less in Scrivener’s footsteps, but a long way behind.

BTW, RoughDraft, yet another binder-style Windows drafter that’s also on Keith’s list, hasn’t been developed for a good while.


I was looking at the features in Liquid Story Binder and I really like their approach to typewriter mode: “The Liquid Story Binder Typewriter is the ultimate tool for distraction-free writing. [. . .] users are prevented from editing previously written text. There are no specific formatting options, no scrolling, deleting, or revisions. The Typewriter tool doesn’t even allow you to use the backspace key. It forces you to write, to move forward, to add new words. It halts the temptation to linger, revise, and correct.”

I wonder if this a mode that could be implemented in a future release of Scrivener (added to the already excellent full screen mode)?

Just a thought,



Although I would hasten to add that it was released earlier and that its “snapshots” feature was the inspiration behind Scrivener’s, not the other way around. :slight_smile:

If you are interested in Liquid Story Binder, it is on sale today at Bits du Jour:

I am totally devoted to Scrivener which I see as the cockpit from which I fly my project. But I would love one feature from Liquid Story Binder and that is the Typewriter capability that -B described which when switched on disallows editing and backward movement of any kind, forcing the writer to move ahead word after word. I need this. I am weak and easily distracted. This would give me a narrower channel that I think would make the flow forward more powerful.

Other than this I consider Scrivener to be the ideal and the only.