Number of users, editors?

Just as a general question, how many Scrivener users are there? I’m asking because I’m still surprised by how many editors still require Word.


I don’t have an answer for your specific question, but I do have an amateur’s opinion on why Word is the industry standard and Scrivener is not.

Based on the below, there are likely tens of millions of MS Word users, if not more.

Word is an established, entrenched product from a massive, publicly traded company. It’s not going anywhere.

In comparison, Scrivener is a relatively niche product.

The other thing is, Word’s file structure is easier to deal with. Attach a doc to an email and hit send.

And, last but not least, there’s track changes.


I’d guess that it is because editors don’t write – they edit. They just want the text, and nothing else. Anything else is a distraction.

Based on my experiences in the technical publishing industry, a large part of it has to do with the various toolchains being used at every step of the way. From good old FrameMaker to the latest layout programs, there’s pretty much a solid, tested way of pouring text from a properly styled Word document into the layout program where most of the layout work is already completed based on matching Word’s styles and markup. It’s why every publisher has their own style sheet and corresponding Word document template with specific instructions on how to mark stuff up – much of the editor’s job is to get the right Word styles and formatting applied so that the document imports into layout with as few issues as possible.

There’s just not any other program out there that has the wide spread support across the industry. Some of the OSS publishers have tried, but last I knew, many of them still have work flow based around Word because it works.

Yep. When I was working as an editor, the first thing I did with any manuscript was strip out everything but the text, and normalize the text to my preferred format.

Scrivener didn’t exist at the time, but even if it had I would have had no interest in it whatsoever. I’d have a Compile Format set up to give my preferred output formatting, and I’d get the manuscript out of Scrivener as quickly as possible.

Writers, editors do not care about your process. They do not care about your research, except to the extent it helps make your manuscript better. They do not care what notes to yourself or organizational aids are associated with your Scrivener project. They do not care about anything except the words on the page and your ability to meet your deadline.