My Paradigm

Hi KB - Kieth,

I’m about to buy your software; there’s a good start, right.

I thought I’d tell you what I use now, and then you will be able to see why your software will work for me, and make a lot of the things that I do manually now so much easier (read lazy b’stard). That will lead on to my three wishes.

I use very simple environments to write in: text editors and WriteMonkey mostly. I use a spreadsheet with links to my scene documents; the spreadsheet has all sorts of handy columns such as POV and Time etc. When I have some amount of words, in the correct order, I use a processor to process them into some format or other; I currently use Open Office, as why spend money, right.

So you see: I like things simple. So wish one would be that however feature rich your future product may be, I would be able to strip it down to make an uncluttered environment for myself (not just to leave things unused but to hide them away). Wish two would be that for the actual writing you gave me something like WriteMonkey; I mean naked but powerful. Wish three would simply be that the word processor part of the deal worked; It does now, but I kind of wish there was an option not to indent the first paragraph of a document without messing with the ruler. Don’t misunderstand: I can use a word processor in anger; I just don’t like them much and only write with them as an absolute last resort.

You know what: the first two wishes would do for me, but if you feel the need to package the formatting machine with the deal, it would be nice if it wasn’t missing anything that I would miss from OO.


Wish One: Uncluttered environment
You can do that now. You can hide the Binder, Inspector, Ruler, Format Bar, Menu etc in ‘normal’ mode, using the View menu or simple shortcuts. Once you’ve set it up like this, you can save it as a ‘Layout’ (Window menu) you can turn all the features visible/invisible at once.

Or you simply use the ‘Full Screen’ mode, which is essentially an empty full screen editor like Writeroom.

Wish Two: WriteMonkey
Not really sure what WriteMonkey is, but you can use Scrivener as stripped down RTF editor if you want (see above). It has some tools to work with plain text and Markdown, but it’s not a Markdown editor. (i.e. you can write in Markdown and compile it, but you it doesn’t do on-the-fly visualisation of italics/bold etc in the way that some Markdown editors do. Many people use Scrivener to write Markdown docs though – the Scrivener Manual itself is written using Multimarkdown in Scrivener: you can download the project at

Wish Three: Word Processor
You can do that now. Set the default paragraph in Tools > Options > Editor to be without a first line indent once, and that setting will be remembered for evermore in new Documents (and you can convert old documents as well).

Hi, and a Happy New Year in advance.

Wish one: Yeah, I know. I wouldn’t be buying it if it were not very close to my ideal already. I was thinking of the Inspector when I made wish one: I’d love to right-click it and ditch some of the things (like editing a toolbar); references, keywords and custom metadata are not interesting to me. The others are of great interest however.

Wish two: You may find that a free downloaded copy of WriteMonkey would raise your eyebrows. The full screen editor in Scrivener is absolutely fine and a requirement for me; I have checked it out at length and moaned about the ruler (see the technical support forum). WriteMonkey is something else again however.

Wish three: I had checked that options screen out at length, and I still can’t work out how to do as you suggest. I notice that you own the Mac version; might this be one of those features that the Mac version has that the PC doesn’t? If the PC version has this I can’t work out how to set it.


(W1) OK, but unused Inspector Panels (references / keywords etc) don’t have any visual overhead apart from a tiny icon do they? If you want to go straight to the relevant panels, give them a keyboard shortcut (in Options > Keyboard).

(W2) On the Mac, the Ruler setting is independent in Full Screen mode (called Composition Mode) so you wouldn’t have that problem – presumably the Windows version will move to this in Version 3. BTW, I downloaded WriteMonkey to have a look. At first glance, it looks like a Ulysses (Mac only) clone or vice versa (which is a really good thing to be…).

(W3) Changing the default paragraph works on Windows the same way as it does on the Mac… Click the dropdown box to the right of the Underline button and choose More… You get the dialogue below. NB: this only affects new documents (in this or any other project). You need to choose Documents > Convert > Formatting to Default Text Style to convert existing documents. Do this once and you’re done…

Hope you enjoy Scrivener – it’s a fantastic program, which will get even better with the soon to be V3. If you haven’t already done so, do yourself a favour and do the Interactive Tutorial (Help menu) – will take an hour or two and will give you a really good grounding in the concepts and features Scrivener is built on. Saves hours in the long run…

Enjoy and Happy New Year!


Thanks for trying, but I guess I wasn’t clear. I meant to have no indentation of the first paragraph only… only the first paragraph. Of course all subsequent paragraphs need an indent.

Thanks for the attempt, but it seems that we are talking about different things.

It’s not the end of the world by the way: all I need to do is get to the second paragraph when writing, switch out of full screen mode, turn the ruler back on, highlight the first paragraph in the document, set a zero indentation, turn off the ruler, go back into full screen mode… and then I get to start writing again in the second paragraph. I just find that I bit of a drag.

Anyway, I have to go and watch fireworks and all that now.

Thanks and regards

Right – yes you can do that in the Mac version. It’s a compilation setting. I imagine it’s in the next Windows version too.

Enjoy your fireworks…