I've come to massage someone's ego :)

Hello KB & Co., guys and girls,

first post, first-time Literature and Latte customer here.

I bought Scrivener a few days ago, and although I’ll probably have a lot of dumb questions and suggestions in the future, right now I just want to say that this is an awesome piece of software.

I have seen many text editors, word processors and layout programs during the last 25 years, but it seems they were always concerned with irrelevant aspects of the writing process - lots of fluff, distractions and feature bloat. Someone said (I’m paraphrasing here) that Word was doomed when they added templates for birthday cards and newsletters. I think it started way before that.

Now when I started playing around with the Scrivener demo, it wasn’t love at first sight, either. Many times I thought “No, that’s not the way to do this!” or “something important is missing here”. But now that I am working on a serious project using Scrivener 2.0 and MultiMarkdown, things really fall into place. Whenever I think “It would be nice if I could…”, it turns out the feature I’m looking for is already there.

However, I might not have bought and learned Scrivener if the trial period had been shorter - or a month instead of “thirty days of actually using it”. There’s so much work to do and so much interesting stuff out there that a lot of demos I download expire before I get to actually do something with them. Giving the user enough time to play with a product (and get hooked) is the key to Scrivener’s current success, I think.

OK - enough praise; I’ll head over to the Wish List forum and leave some half-baked ideas. :slight_smile:

No, seriously: Great work. And I’m looking forward to using Scrivener more and more each day.

Thanks for buying! And many thanks for the kind words!
All the best,

OK, I just have to bump up my previous praise to the proverbial 11.

Scrivener is awesome.

I’m forty-something. I’m handicapped, and my handwriting is hardly legible even to myself, so I started using my grandfather’s typewriter at an early age. My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20, and my first text editor was a long-forgotten, odd German software running on a C64 called Textomat. As I said before, I have seen and used quite a few text editors and layout programs since then.

I have always been looking for tools that would narrow the gap between idea and text. Now, after about eight weeks of seriously using it, I can safely say that Scrivener is the most innovative, most useful text editor / outliner / writing environment I have ever worked with – at a tiny fraction of the price that even an InDesign update would cost me.

It took me some time to realize that Scrivener is exactly what I had been looking for even in the Eighties of the last century: A tool that discards the paper-based cliches of writing, the old way of structuring documents, allowing you to focus on thoughts and words (aka content) instead.

E.g., I panicked when I realized Scrivener has no paragraph styles – something I deemed essential for structured writing. Then I found out how to split and arrange document sections in the binder, and MultiMarkDown. And now, for the first time, I’m happy without a rigid set of styles. I can zoom into documents to paragraph level (by hoisting) or step back to see the big picture. I can work with a complex, HUD-style interface showing structure, meta-data and separate views – or focus on a simple stream of words in full-screen view. And after creating and memorizing dozens of useful keyboard shortcuts, Scrivener feels less like a software/tool and more like a part of my mind and body each day.

As for workflow optimization: I now write in Scrivener, compile to HTML (via MMD) and link the resulting docs to a set of optimized stylesheets and useful JavaScripts. For printing purposes, I’ll soon buy Prince XML (currently using the version 8 demo) and generate PDFs from those HTML files. For research, I’m using Objective Development’s Launchbar. It has “modifier tabs” that let you send a text selection from Scrivener e.g. to Wikipedia or a translation service by a simple keystroke. Work that required jumping through a lot of hoops now seems to do itself.

This is the best workflow I ever had.

Keith: Thank you again for creating Scrivener, for leaving out a lot of baroque nonsense and cruft that other developers companies are obsessed with – and focussing on what is really useful for writers.

Hi Wintermute,

Sorry for not replying earlier - I read your message a couple of days ago in the middle of coding fury for Lion, and it cheered me up while tracking some problematic code. It’s great to hear that Scrivener is working so well for you - it sounds like you have an interesting workflow sorted out, too.

So - once again, many thanks for all the kind words. I never say no to having my ego massaged! And it’s always nice to end the week on a high.

Thanks again and all the best (and have a great weekend),