Just to let everyone know that although the Windows section of the Scrivener forums mostly has the same sub-forums as the Mac section, it is currently lacking a “Wish List” area. This is simply because we are unable to consider suggestions for the Windows version for the time being, while it is still in beta and has lots of catching up to do with the Mac version. Over the next few months, the focus will be on stability and matching the features of version 1.x for the Mac, and then after that the focus will be on catching up with Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac. So we’ll be adding a “Wish List” area next year sometime, when we’re in a better position to consider new ideas for the Windows version.
That said, if you feel strongly about a feature that you think is missing, you are welcome to have your say in the “Feedback” forum - we’ll always listen to what users have to say.
I would add that the search tool would be good to use whenever you think of something that might benefit Scrivener. The Windows version is new, but this thing has been around for nearly half a decade now, and there have been many hundreds of ideas submitted. Since many ideas are philosophical in nature, the odds are good it’s already been made and discussed here on the forums.
No wishlist? That read, I have just trialed Beta2.1 for a day. I am attracted to it because (without all the confusion which accompanies MSWord) this package seems to offer the ability to set down one’s thoughts as they come in separate notes and one simply drags the notes into some kind of logical order which can be finally compiled into a document. I like the British approach. These are the immediate outstanding issues which prevents me from saying “this is how I write from now on” :
I cannot see how to set up a default format. The style for every new note is one using lots of space around the text, which doesn’t fit with my precious screen real-estate, nor my desire to be able to see several such notes arranged vertically at one time. I haven’t found a way of not having to change that style for every note. And when I try it is not straightforward. Killer for me.
You are targeting literature. That’s fine. But for serious academic writing there must be the possibility of integrating a reference manager, such as ProCite or Endnote, and having a ‘cite-while-you-write’ kind of capability. Killer.
I am also required occasionally to deliver my text in LaTex format. I guess this is possible within the current capability, but I’d like confirmation(?) The whole notion of minimising formatting at the stage of getting ideas down, and having your compiler figure out appropriate formatting according to a style you define, would also hone the creativity stage.
The key problem with MSWord is that one is flying blind most of the time. By contrast an essential advantage that WordPerfect has always had is a window for “Reveal Codes”. You can mostly find the exact spot in the text where formatting is changed and change it with some confidence and efficiency… it removes the trial and error. By all means bypass the need for this with an smart compiler.
Forgive me if I’ve jumped in too soon, but a comprehensive help file might have answered my questions already. You may not be ready for this wishlist, but until you address these key items, I don’t see how Scivener offer me enough advantage for me to be ready to switch. Given you fix them, I’d be prepared to pay more. It is shaping up really well. Maybe you’ll become the “Sibelius” of text?
Check out the Editor tab in Edit/Options. This is where you can set up default formatting for the main text area. Once you have that set up, you can use the Documents/Convert Formatting to Default Text Style to fix up those sections which you’ve already added—this can be done in bulk by selecting many items at once in the binder.
Definitely agree, and there is no need to wish list this one as it is already a Mac feature and so thus slated for eventual implementation. What you can do now is use your citation manager to produce placeholders and paste those into Scrivener in the right spot. After compiling to RTF, use the citation manager’s scanning ability to format the citations and produce a bibliography in the style you require. Scrivener’s integration is going to mostly likely mainly be adding convenience to this workflow, so it’s a safe direction to move in for future compatibility. Full integration is a lot more complicated and time consuming to do, and offers few benefits over the placeholder+scan model.
Right now it’s not a part of the interface yet, but there is a method for using MultiMarkdown already, which is what the Mac version uses to produce LaTeX files. Since there is no interface for it (yet), you’ll need to compose your manuscripts completely. In the Mac version you can leave some implementation details (like footnotes and header names) to the compiler, but for now you’ll need to type them in as if you were typing in a plain-text file.
Since this feature is somewhat advanced and not yet completely integrated, you could probably do well by reading the Mac PDF chapter on MultiMarkdown (ch. 22, pg 242) to get a better idea of what MMD is, and of course Fletcher’s documentation which is linked to from that chapter.
The advantage of using MMD is that you can get things other than LaTeX out of it, and since Scrivener for Windows will eventually be fully supporting it as a compile method, it’s a safe direction to move in the same way citation placeholders are.
Again, if you like “codes” you’ll probably like MMD, which basically works like Reveal Codes, but with simple and easy to read markers that are intuitive from long-standing plain-text traditions, such as the use of asterisks to denote emphasis.
For rich text, I’m definitely on the side of keeping this sort of fine-grained tweaking to the compiler. A major point for Scrivener’s approach is that you can write without fiddly word processor style tasks getting in the way. MMD is just a more technical approach to that whole philosophy. This will only improve with time, but take a look at the chapter on compilation in the Mac manual to see where things are headed.
Thanks. Ah yes I see; I didn’t register the Editor tab hiding away on the right.
Lots to look forward to. I can tighten the L & R margins but I cannot do anything about the 3 lines of blank space before the end of any note. I’d like successive notes down the page to more or less look like they belong to the same paragraph.
As for grabbing and dragging frame edges, I don’t know whether it’s Scrivener or Windows, but you need to wield your mouse with deadly accuracy… the grab region must be one pixel wide. Nil desperandum. Practice makes perfect…
Been using Scrivener another day and it is growing on me. I better understand the background now, but I think your range of applications is far broader than generating prose. I want to be able to use the program by encapsulating much smaller chunks of thought. I don’t want to (just) dedicate a note to a couple of paragraphs, or even one paragraph. I want to be able to close-pack individual phrases so as to (aim to) completely do away with highlighting, cutting and pasting. The scenario is to be able to see that there is a phrase half-way down the page which better belongs further up, or vice versa. So I just grab it and drag it to where it belongs; ideally be able to drag the note itself or the tag. The result is a seemless repositioning of the thought-chunk. Then, finally, say, in the Binder, I just highlight the individual notes and join – all the while having it remember where those splits were.
So this is the reason I reckon the concept would fly as a scientific article writing tool; indeed it would fly in real time in a brainstorming session where people might be gathered around a projector (once a white board). Typically you’ve produced an outline; a point list and you decided you need to change the order of the items on the list (when once the white board would have become very messy) Scrivener with some tweaks can do this.
Some folks are geniuses who don’t need to rework stuff, but I think most folks are like me, they need to read a section, and work (and rework) the flow of ideas (as I have done with this very entry). With time one would become very adept at entering the chunks in such a way that the software itself looks after the delination of the ends of the chunk, because you’ve mostly taken care of that in the entry process. Scrivener is half-way there. But you still “think” traditional word-processing within your notes as the tutorial illustrates. Not complaining. Just stretching the boundaries of the concept a little more.
So Lee, by all means go for it! Object: To prune out most of the vertical white space, except of course where the writer decides it should exist by inserting a para symbol etc. You’ll make one new user very happy. ELeP