Name Generator

I’ve come to really enjoy the name generator built into Scrivener. It would be nice to be able to leave it open while continuing to work in Scrivener. Right now, you have to close it to be able to do anything in the main program.

Excellent suggestion. Maybe a floating toolbar that would allow the use of several different components would be useful. If not that, a space in the Inspector pane where such things could be placed as needed.

I generate lists of names and store them as research documents. If I use a particular name, I put it in bold type to remind me that it has been used. I have to say that some of the combinations have given me a chuckle… I’m curious where the database came from. (Robert Smith has yet to appear)

Excellent work, as usual.


I don’t usually use the Scriv name generator. I don’t like having to close it. I like using this:

It’s free and has some cool options. You can choose if your name is an adult or child, popular or obscure (for both first and last names), and what nationality the names are. All the names are taken from census records, so names for adults are different than names for children. I really like it.

I think danwdoo’s suggestion is still valid since the program you mention only has an “American” nationality setting, which I imagine is only useful if your characters are from the American demographic. Scrivener’s Name generator is infinitely more diverse in terms of nationality, and it also has names from Arthurian Legends and Ancient Civilizations. So, seconding danwdoo’s suggestion

It says that in the next update they will be adding other nationalities, so that will be added. It’s pretty new, so it doesn’t have a whole lot of features right now.

My issue with the name generator is it seems a little incomplete. For example I can generate names of characters whose first names are Irish but not last names. I can generate characters with Paraguyan last names but not first names. Things like that kind of negate the tool somewhat for me. I definitely would like to see the nationalities expanded.

Oh hey, I made that list. I need to make sure Lee includes it. :wink:

We would certainly like to add more names to the generator, and hopefully after 1.0 is out and the initial rush with updates has calmed a little we’ll have more time to create new lists and build the database.

A sticky topic on the appropriate board (for both versions of scrivener, assuming the file formats are compatible) would be a great place to:
A) Provide instructions on creating your own name lists and installing them ( or reference the manual’s instructions at least ).
and B) Give us a place where we can upload lists to share with others who might be interested in names that are a bit too esoteric for inclusion in the Scrivener installation package.

While a list of Irish last names from the current day is useful to a lot of people, much less generally wanted/needed is a list that only includes names popular in 1890’s Ireland, or 1920’s America, or 200BC Rome. There will always be someone who needs a list of names that aren’t available in Scrivener as distributed, so having a place to learn about the process and share the results will (I think) be useful in perpetuity.

Excellent idea; problem at the moment is that there’s not a way for users to add their own lists to the name generator; Lee has to do this at a deeper level. It’d be great to have that function in the future, but it’s not a simple issue, so while I know he’d like to revisit at some point, it’s going to be a while.

For people using Linux, the aforementioned “Character Name Generator” will run under Wine 1.3 if you configure it manually to run in “XP” mode. Out of the box it crashes. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Having run it, however, in its defense I would say that it does distinguish “popular,” “average” and “obscure” names, which is a useful distinction, as well as “young” and “adult” names, though I haven’t looked those over much. So it’s an interesting tool that might provide something useful. The Scrivener tool is much more interesting for the kind of writing that I do, though I think I’ll make use of both of them. Not an either-or situation in my book.