Pre-Sale Question - Windows version worth it ?

Hello everyone,

I’ve read a lot of posts in the forum, and I was wondering if the windows version worth it? There is a lot of bad comments and posts on the forum about the software for the windows version. I didn’t understand the difference between 1.9 and 3.0.

So for a newcomer, does the stable version worth it?


It really depends on your needs. If you download the fully-functional trial version, you have 30 days to decide (and you can stretch those 30 days out because they’re 30 days of use, not 30 calendar days).

There’s a simple solution here. Download the trial version and take it for a spin.

I have been using the Windows version from early on in the development process. It has actually helped me to get my words onto the page, where when I used Word, for instance, I bogged down and couldn’t keep my novel organised. I would, however, suggest you concentrate your efforts and use the blank template option for the moment. The basic layout of draft, research and trash folders make it easier to get to grips with it.

No program appeals to everybody, but give it a try.

To the details of your inquiry (I hope you like details!): The difference between versions 1.9 and 3.0 is this: V. 1.9 is the current released version of the program. It is completely and highly functional, though it does not include all of the features that the Mac version does. (Scrivener was originally developed in the Mac world, and the Mac version has always tended to lead.) V. 3.0 is not yet released. When finished, it will be more or less on parity with the Mac version (which is already on v. 3, hence the skipping of Windows v. 2), although there will always be things that are more readily achievable on a Mac system and other things that are more readily achievable in Windows. V. 3 is in advanced beta; I believe the current beta release is v. 2.9.27 (i.e., beta release number 27).

I’d agree with the other advice given, that you download the trial version of Scrivener 1.9. That will let you explore its capabilities and its fit for your needs and manner of working for free for 30 days of use. By that time v. 3 may be nearer to release. If not, and you decide to buy v. 1.9, you’ll be eligible for a free upgrade to v. 3 when it is released, as I understand it. (I just hang out here, I don’t work for Scrivener!)

One of the great things about Scrivener, I find, is its enormous flexibility. It is not a word processor, and it’s not as good at showing you full print-ready formatting on your screen. But it is vastly better at gathering ideas and research and organizing and reorganizing your materials. It just does things that no word processor (especially MS Word, which was built for business, not creative use) can dream of, or wants to. For that reason, there is a learning curve associated with coming to Scrivener from a word processor, and most people recommend investing some time in the tutorial right at the start. But with all its unique abilities, Scrivener does not insist that you modify your work habits to suit the software, which I find crucial. You can use whatever of Scrivener’s capabilities you want and need, and leave the rest alone till you need them. You can in a sense adapt Scrivener to your working patterns rather than adapting yourself to the program.

As for the negative comments and posts on these forums: There are a couple of things going on. If you do decide to try out the beta version, there’s a whole forum for discussing it, and naturally that forum is filled with reports of issues that still need to be addressed before the software can be released. In other forums, there is a blizzard of complaints mainly related to how long it is taking for v. 3 to be finished. The Scrivener developers do not want to release a program that is not everything they and their users desire. However, they have sometimes unwisely made statements about how soon that release would happen, and then missed those stated timeframes. This raised some people’s hackles, while leaving others unperturbed. In the forums, the hackles-up and hackles-down factions fire off their pea-shooters at each other regularly (I’ve been guilty of a pea or two myself). Some of the hackles-up decry the lack of parity of the Windows version to the Mac version. We of lowered hackles point out that v. 1.9 is highly reliable just as it is and works better than anything else (for the purposes of most of the people who want what Scrivener offers), even if it doesn’t do everything the Mac version does.

Admittedly, there are a few points where v. 1.9 is lacking, in particular (IMHO) its inability to import Web material in dynamic fashion. If you need that specific function as a matter of necessity, then you might want to either try the beta, or wait till v. 3 is released, or look elsewhere for now. But v. 1.9 does marvels for many writers every day, and there is a 30-day free trial to test it out.

Sorry for the length! Hope that’s helpful.

Be aware that the stable (ahem) Windows version relies on functioning licence/activation servers, so is not a one-off purchase that you’re guaranteed to be able to use for the rest of your life. If you’re comfortable with that then I’d say go for it, it’s an excellent writing tool.

Yes. Get the trial. Run it for a month and make up your mind.

I’ve had it for years on Windows and, although I look enviously at the Mac version from time to time, I am very happy with Scrivener for Windows.

Can’t work without it these days, if I’m honest.