Needing Advice

Greetings friends: I’m currently using Scrivener Version: for Windows. As one who works at a university, I’ll have some time between Christmas and New Year’s to continue to fiddle with the program (I’m working on a book.). Would you recommend downloading and using beta version 3, so my on-boarding, once the version is officially released, is smooth? I can also wait if there is a steep learning curve or if the beta version is a bit unstable. Thanks for any advice.

At this point, I would not call the Beta unstable. Some things don’t work quite right, and some things you may be accustomed to having in 1.9.x aren’t there any more.

However, it’s a Beta. That means it might destroy your work if you do something unexpected or hit the wrong key combination (unlikely, but possible).

As for the learning curve – it still looks like Scrivener, more or less. It still works like Scrivener 1.9 (mostly). There are some gotchas (don’t edit while syncing to the cloud, for example). There are things it does not do as well as I’d like (for example, copying metadata from one project to another). And the compiler… well.

I’m not sure I’d change programs in the middle of a major project. Otoh, if you’re not too far along, convert the project (drag from 1.9 binder into 2.9 binder and rearrange; I can’t recommend the automated converter at this time [it causes issues later on]), and see if it works for you. Several contributors here are using it for production (despite the advice not to).

I work at a university too, and am close to finishing a book, all written using the beta. This is absolutely not recommended by L&L, so make sure you have made various backups. But I decided to take the risk because all the text in the project is still in RTF format, which can be opened by lots of other word-processors, so as long as you have a separate copy of the Scrivener project, you should have a way of reconstructing your work, if the worst happens. Having said that, I’ve not had any problems at all with the beta. As the previous poster said, some things don’t perfectly work yet, but nothing critical (to my work, at least).

I just wanted to add, however, that I use Dropbox to sync my work and it’s running continuously as I write, as Scrivener auto-saves, etc. Haven’t had any problems with that either. But (obviously) your mileage may vary.

So, personally, I would take the plunge. Scrivener 3.0 is much better looking, easier to use and has better features than 1.9.

Best of luck.

Many thanks friends for your prompt and insightful comments. I think I’ll stay with my current version and simply wait for the Scrivener 3 official release. Again, much appreciate your time and advice.

Not trying to convince you to install and work your present product into the Beta from 1.9x, but…

You could install the Beta version into a NEW directory, e.g. Scrivener3. If you do that, be sure to keep it updated in F12 / General / Startup / Automatically check for updates.

Drag a couple of Folders/items from your 1.9x Binder into the Beta Binder purely for experimental purposes only. Have a look. Fiddle around. I think you’ll be impressed once you become accustomed to the interface.

I don’t use the compile functions beyond export as .txt files and .docx files for editing purposes, so I can’t speak to compiler functionality for other formats.

A very good idea. I think I’ll give it a try.
Thanks again for your time and insights.

Scrivener 3 has been in beta over 2 years!!! Admittedly it started early, but … As far as I’m concerned it is more stable and in better shape than many programs after a couple of updates to their released software. After a year or so of Beta’s I cautiously went in and took a couple of non-critical projects and did the dual thingy, but after a couple of months I moved everything including all production work over to the Beta because

  1. I like it better
  2. It offers some features I use that the old version didn’t offer
  3. It has never given me any issues with losing data etc.
  4. It wasn’t worth the hassle of maintaining 2 versions.

There were times when it didn’t do something I would have preferred it did, but even those have been fixed for me.

I have found the compiler in v3 extremely difficult to use compared to the one in v1. In fact, having spent several hours trying to make it work, I gave up and resolved to do the work in v1.

The Scrivener 3 compiler is quite a bit more flexible than the earlier version, but there is definitely a learning curve. I’d recommend having a look at our update guide, here: … date-guide

(Written for the Mac version. The general outlines are the same in Windows Scrivener 3, but commands may be in different locations and, in the beta, may not be functional yet.)