MacBook Learning Curve

Greetings, everyone, on this fabulous website :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Having recently acquired an iPhone I’m seriously considering the switch from using Scrivener 3 on Windows to Mac, especially as license-owners get a discount.
Can I ask if people think if it’s very difficult to get used to using Scriv3 on iOS after 16 years on Windows?
I do know that if I switch I’m going for a MacBook Air, judging by the comments on the ‘buying a laptop’ post.
Thank you in advance and best wishes to all.

While I don’t use or have the Windows version of Scrivener, from posts here I conclude that but for some details you probably won’t notice many differences. Probably somewhere it’s documented those differences.

I think you may find differences with how macOS and Mac application conventions work–keyboard shortcuts, icons, standard tools like Finder, There probably are some YouTubes and web sites which give guidance for Windows → Mac people if this if use to you. Otherwise, I’d say just go for it.

When you purchase your Mac, don’t skimp on memory as you’ll not be able to upgrade. I notice 8GB seem standard, but I’d try for more. I’d say 512GB minimum disk space and supplement with USB drives if necessary, but for the long term try for more. Just my opinion.


Please note: your MacBook Air will require Scrivener for Mac, not Scrivener for iOS. It is that to which the cross-platform discount applies, and, to benefit, it needs to be purchased directly from Lit&Lat, not from the Mac App Store, if I remember rightly.

In general, I’d second the 16GB RAM 512GB SSID recommendation.

I think the real question is how difficult you will find switching from Windows to MacOS; where you find things like Settings as opposed to Options, standardised keyboard shortcuts, and so on. That’s going to vary from individul to individual.

Scrivener itself, within that will seem pretty familiar, though there are differences:

  • Scrivenings works as intended on the Mac, allowing selection and actions across document boundaries;

  • You’ll need to set up your compile formats and, I think, your Settings (Options in Windows) on your Mac as they are not transferrable;

  • Scrivener is less customisable theme-wise on the Mac, if that is important to you;

  • Macs use a system-centred dictionary system, so your personal dictionary is available to all apps, not Scrivener-specific. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on individual needs.

There may be others that I can’t think of.




Thank you both so much, will make a note of your advice - I especially wouldn’t have thought of getting the higher amount of RAM/SSID.

Much appreciated :pray: looking forward to joining the Apple Corps :green_apple:(pun intended) :blush:


It’s okay to try new tools and look for what you feel most comfortable with. In general, those systems focused on the common user are thought through to be easy to use. Just a little patience is required at first.

In my opinion, Apple’s hardware is excellent, but its operating system is overrated. It is basically an integrated platform for advertising telemetry and money extraction through its store, since it has a strict control policies against intermediaries. I recommend that you buy the MAC version on this website and not in the Apple Store, not only this way you help the developers more, but to top it off, the Apple Store version has fewer functions due to Apple’s limiting policies on the libraries and how much nonsense with which they seek to keep you inside a pen to feed you with bales of hay.



Probably because you don’t need them. Please doublecheck before you blindly buy too little or too much.


Because upgrading these items in a MacBook is difficult, buying “too much” memory can still help to extend the life of the system. If there’s a universal software trend, it is that the next version never needs fewer system resources.

1 Like

More is always better, and if money is no issue, yes, just max it out and have a good time. On the other hand, for the average user with average pockets, the base model of every line is usually the best deal. Maybe opt for more storage space. The M-series machines handle “too little RAM” exceptionally well (my desktop Mac has four times the RAM of my M1 MBA and it doesn’t feel that way).

It’s also true that for most people and most projects, Scrivener will not be the most demanding application on the system. Large and complex Compile tasks can use a lot of resources, but most Scrivener operations are designed to be stingy with system resources.

You won’t need 16Gb to run Scrivener, nor a whole swathe of other apps simultaneously. I have use of both 8 and 16 Gb M2s, and the only way I could force the 8Gb machine to use swap was to load all my usual day-to-day apps and then load a game alongside them – Disco Elysium, as it happens – and even then, there was no slowdown on the 8Gb machine, because the SSD is so fast.


That makes sense. I would think 8GB would be plenty for my needs. And as I would get my MB Air refurbished, this keeps the price down, in case I end up not liking Scrivener on Mac.

1 Like

Thank you again to everyone. This is one of the best forums on the web, and I appreciate your kindness in taking the time to advise me :clap: :cowboy_hat_face:


@auxbuss I suspected that - thank you

PS I always buy L&L software on this website, a much better experience than the Apple Store & also to show my appreciation for the help I get on this forum.

Just be very careful, when going for used Apple laptops, to check on what kind of keyboard it has. For a few years they used a design that most people found unpleasant to type with for any length of time, and had a very high rate of failure on account of how fragile they were (to the point of public apologies, mass recalls and a class action lawsuit). The term to avoid is “butterfly keyboard”.

The subjective matter of whether a 0.5mm travel key press (or whatever it was; typing on a rigid sheet of plastic draped over foam core is how I’d characterise it) is fun to type on aside, that fragility and expense of repair is a much bigger deal when buying used. Just to put it into perspective, I had two laptops with this keyboard back in the day, and my sister had one. One had to have the keyboard replaced twice, and currently barely works. Her keyboard is broken and hard to type on, but too expensive to replace. The other of mine should be replaced as well, however to fix them all at this point would cost an unacceptable amount given they are years old.

It’s anecdotal, sure, but five failures from one person’s experience of buying new, is worth sharing as a cautionary note, when buying used.

P.S. I agree, 8gb is plenty for a writer! I have 8gb on my Mac Mini M2, and I never feel it, even with lots of stuff open and Scrivener compiling some heavy-duty projects. Like auxbuss, I’d have to open a substantial game to really see the memory graph get into a concerning place. Now if one had any interest in photography or other media, I wouldn’t go below 16—but I probably also wouldn’t be considering an ultralight at that point either.


Unlike most Windows laptops, you’ll likely find that your Apple laptop will last a long time. Hence my suggestion to get as much memory and disk space as you can afford simply as upgrading not easy–or even possible. All purely up to you as to how much you wish to future-proof.

1 Like

Thank you very much, Amber :smiley: it’s such a minefield but the company I’ll buy the MacAir Book from (joke, I know it’s a MacBook Air :wink: I got my iPhone from & know they’re trustworthy. Plus it doesn’t have a butterfly keyboard.

I just read Apple had to pay out on those butterfly keyboards.

The hardest thing has been working out the OS which is Monterey - if that’s 12 it looks like it will support Scrivener 3. Best not try using Inkscape on it, though!

I thought best to try Mac at a price I can afford and see if I like it before shelling out more.

1 Like

From what I’ve read, Apple laptops outlive everything else out there. Having tried Chinese Windows, I grow less and less enamoured of Apple’s rivals…

Using Scrivener itself is not much different. However if you are really committed to joining the Apple users’ club then when you buy the MacBook organise a session with one of the in-store genious who will take you through the user interface. Persauded my partner who was a long term Windows addict to swtich to a MacBook recently. They didn’t have a session with an Apple genious so weird things would happen — because they were lazy about where they rested their fingers (messed with the trackpad). After correcting they bad habits they are well on the way to being a power user and wondering why they did not make the switch earlier.


Yup. I had one of the first Intel based MacBookPros. It outlasted about 12 Windows laptops/desktops used by the rest of my household; they got through at least three if not four Windows-based hardware before I encountered any issues with my MBP. The purchase price of my MBP may have been higher but over the years I spent significantly less on hardware then the rest of the house.