I have yet to purchase Scrivner, but I’ve been told it is the best. I will be writing in BOTH Latin and English, so I need to know prior to purchase if Scrivner will support Latin as a written language. God bless. Gail

The Spelling options allow you to download a Latin dictionary for spell-checking (Vatican City State-la is the dictionary name), but I don’t know if that’s what you are referring to by “support Latin.”

What I want to know is will I be able to type in Latin as I will need to place accents over some of the letters in a sentence as well as type diphthongs as well. If adding another dictionary to my computer is required, then how do they interface with Scrivner’s program? I really am not computer savvy and if it requires technical knowledge, I do not have it. I am not doing this to learn technical stuff. I really don’t want to have to work for a few hours learning all the things I need to to make a program work. I could care less and don’t have the time to spare to invest in it. I want user friendly. I NEED user-friendly. I also need to know if what will happen to all the files I have stored in Word? Are the two programs capable of cohabitating on my computer and will Scrivner read them so I do not have a ton of stuff to copy into a new database? I do NOT have time to spare on computer stuff. I want up and running and capable of use within a short period of time. God bless.

If you’re wanting to use macrons (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū), then this is a problem which affects all Windows programs, not just Scrivener, because most keyboard layouts don’t have those letters included.

There are a number of solutions to this, the most convenient of which is to enable an alternative keyboard layout for a language which does have those letters. The usual suggestion is Maori (it’s the one I use on the Mac for the same purpose).

This web page How can I type macrons? - Latin Language Meta Stack Exchange has instructions on how to enable the Maori layout (it’s in one of the answers to the questions, so scroll down to find it).

Once you’ve done that, all you need to do is switch to the Maori layout when you want to write in Latin, and back for English. There will be a keyboard shortcut to do that, but I don’t use Windows and don’t know what it is.

As for your second question: the documents you store in Word are completely separate from those in Scrivener.

As you say that you are not computer savvy, then I very strongly suggest that you need to spend some time understanding what Scrivener can do, and why it is different from Word, otherwise you could end up being frustrated, and wasting more time.

The best way to do this is to open Scrivener and start the Interactive Tutorial. It will take you about an hour or slightly more to read through the main parts, so you’ll have an idea about what you can expect very quickly.

Scrivener is a tool designed for a specific purpose and it’s important you understand its basic ideas and methods. You will waste far more time trying to use it without this basic understanding than if you spend the short time necessary to do the tutorial.


In addition to what brookter said, keep in mind that Scrivener is not a word processor, though it has some word processor features, so if you try to use it like Word, you will be frustrated and disappointed. Scrivener is more of a document assembly program where much of your writing is typically done with minimal formatting.

When you want to compose the final document, Scrivener uses what is called the Compile process to take everything you have assembled - text, images, tables, etc. - and produce a final working document. The Compile process has options for you to control formatting, including font, font size, page size, page margins, and many others. Scrivener separates your text from its presentation so that you can present it many ways without changing the text, all by using the Compile options.

Your Word documents can be imported into Scrivener so that you do not have to retype everything, but you need to read the user manual about the specifics.

Scrivener is not a program where you can just install it, start writing, and understand just about everything you need to know. That is why brookter recommended the Interactive Tutorial.

Brooker, I can already type with accents over letters for the purpose of pronunciation and also have some of the diphthongs. I have a list of special characters along with instructions on how to tell the computer to print a special character. For instance, if when I am typing I hit the ALT key and add the numbers 0230 after hitting the ALT key, when I release the key, it will type the diphthong, æ. ALT plus 0250 will put an accent over the letter “u,” ú as you can see, and ALT plus õ gives a tilde, etc. I do not have the codes for the other diphthongs particular to Latin. It would be very nice to have them. I will be writing in both Latin and English, so I need a program that won’t highlight all the Latin words as if they are spelling errors and try to turn them into English as Word does when I use it! Grrrr. I print something out I’ve added the Latin to, and find the auto correct has turned my "et"s into "it"s and my “hic” into “his.” Sigh. Thanks for you input. Perhaps I can talk to someone who knows the Scrivner program. It would be a waste to purchase it and find out I’m as limited with it as I am with Word. God bless.

Thank you so much for your reply. I am aware that I will need to learn the program.
My question regards whether or not it will allow me to type Ave Maria, gratia plena…without saying everything is a spelling error like Grammarly does and like Word does. God bless.


Are you writing a lot of Latin, or only a few words here or there in the midst of mostly English? It sounds like you are.

If that’s the case, then the ALT+Code approach is workable (though inconvenient and clunky). If that’s what you want to do, then this page will give you the macron codes: Symbol Codes | Latin Language.

However, if you’re writing mostly Latin, then installing the Maori keyboard is much much more efficient.

All spelling checker programs will pick up some Latin words as errors if you’re writing predominantly in English. The only thing you can do is turn auto-correct off. Then, when you run the spellcheck, click on the ‘errors’ and add them to your dictionary or just ignore them.

How you do these things will depend on which program you’re using. Again, this is a problem which isn’t confined to Scrivener: it’s just how auto-correct and spell checkers work.

Finally, Scrivener comes with a trial period of 30 days use before you need to pay for it. That’s actual use: if you only use it one day a week, then it’s free for 30 weeks… So there’s no cost to downloading it and trying it out. But please do the interactive tutorial right at the beginning so you know what it can do.


In the finished book, approximately 20% will be Latin text. It will appear on every page. So, it is important that the writing program accept it. I do not want to have to be switching back and forth while typing between one keyboard set up and another. For instance, I type a sentence out in English and want to set the Latin next to it. I will have to stop and take the time to switch keyboards and then switch back for the next sentence to continue in English! It would become a great lag and slow me down. UGH. But if that is what I have to do to make it work, then that is what I’ll have to do to make it work. I just checked the Word settings and I will not allow me to add Latin as a language nor will it allow me to upload into Word any spell checker or dictionary in Latin. There is a huge list of allowable languages in the settings, but Latin is blocked by Microsoft from uploading. When I use Word and put the Latin next to the English, everything is underlined with the red squiggles as if it is nothing more than spelling errors and occasionally it changes the text itself from hic to his or him, thinking it is correcting my bad typing. It’s a real pain. I’m hoping Scrivner won’t do this. If I use it, will I be able to install a Maori keyboard toggle key on my keyboard to switch back and forth? That wouldn’t be too bad if that how it will have to be. God bless.

Then use the Maori keyboard for the entire document! You don’t have to switch for individual words: you choose the keyboard which fits the document best.

Here you need the macrons, so the Maori keyboard is better for the entire document: it has all the same letters as English, so you won’t be missing anything and you’ll still have access to the macrons: ā ē ī ō ū ĀĒĪŌŪ as well as aeiou AEIOU.

You can’t tell, but I’ve written this entire post using the Maori keyboard … Admittedly that’s on the Mac, but the principle should be the same. You will almost certainly be able to change the keyboard layout with a shortcut (though I don’t personally know what it is), but as I’ve explained, keyboard layouts operate at the Windows level, not at Scrivener’s level: it will be the same for most programs you use.

I don’t know for certain whether a Latin spelling dictionary is available for Scrivener on Windows, but if I were in your position, I wouldn’t bother with a spell checker while you’re writing the document at all – turn off check as you type completely and that way you won’t be bothered by false positives. And turn off auto-correct – it’s a pain in every language!

Then, when the document is complete, deal with spelling as a separate step in two parts: first check it for English, then for Latin. Every spell checker allows you to navigate quickly between errors using a shortcut, so this is easy to do.

One thing occurs to me: there is a word processor which is specifically designed to cater for multiple languages with different layouts. It’s used a lot by biblical scholars for that reason and has good support for classical languages.

The program is called Nota Bene (, but be warned, it’s very expensive ($350, $250 for students. It’s a heavyweight academic suite, including a full text database and bibliographical program, as well as the word processor. But if you have really extensive needs, this may be worth checking out.



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Wow. Thank you sooooo much for all your help. I did check out NotaBene, but unfortunately, Latin is not one language it supports. Arabic, Coptic, Greek, and Hebrew, yes, but no Latin. I’m sure there are programs that provide word processing and manuscript layout that supports Latin, but I’m gonna have to dig to find one. In the meantime, the bare bones of Scrivner may be some place to stop along the way. I’ll probably start the trial copy next month, for by then I’ll have the first few pages ready to place into a manuscript format. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but if I give myself a deadline, I respond better. God bless.

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If you have a university or college nearby, you might check its website to see if they have a Classics department. From there, you might see if the department has any information for its students about recommended software or other tools.

Alternatively, you might be able to contact one of the faculty members to see if they have suggestions for keyboard interfaces and/or programs that support writing in both English and Latin.

Please follow @brookter’s advice and do this. It’s the best way to determine whether Scrivener will meet your needs.

Actually, Nota Bene does have a mechanism for inserting macrons and it does have a Latin dictionary, but it’s a complicated program and not always intuitive — I would suspect that unless you need their full range of academic features, Scrivener (or other Word Processor) plus Māori keyboard will do what you want at a fraction of the price and complexity.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do …

Why would you wait? Scrivener is primarily a writing program, not a layout program.