Question from Word user about customization & macros


Scrivener looks quite nice, and though I haven’t downloaded it yet, I almost surely will, to see how it works under Windows 7. But I wanted to find out about its customizability and macro functions before I did, so that I can adjust my expectations. I’ve searched the board but didn’t find much that really answered my questions… and what I did find didn’t seem too promising.

I’ve been using Word for ages and am currently using Word 2007. I have a few hundred custom VBA macros, with a few dozen that are used “all the time” and that are mapped under key combinations. These perform special functions, usually through a combination of native Word commands and specific key strokes. Most are really quite simple, but they’re convenient and can really speed things up.

I am wondering if Scrivener has or will have a VBA-like macro facility that can record key and menu commands, preferably in realtime, for later editing if necessary.

I’m also wondering if it has what in word is called Auto Correct, which allows you to create abbreviations that when typed expand to the full word or some other string of text.

At this point I’m pretty dependent on these features and my customized templates, which makes the prospect of switching from Word something like a bad dream. But I refuse to participate in Microsoft’s new licensing scheme for Office, so I know that sooner or later I’ll need to find another document editor.

What appeals to me about Scrivener, based on what I’ve seen, are its document management and meta data functions, as opposed to basic text entry, though it looks nice in that department too. But the truth is, despite its idiosyncrasies, I quite enjoy using Word for writing, editing, formatting and so on. (I’ve even developed an appreciation of the infamous Ribbon, which made me have to re-think all the menu customization I’d done on Word menus over the years.)

All that said, I have no real “loyalty” to Word and am always interested in alternatives.

I’d appreciate any and all info and insight related to switching from Word to Scrivener on Windows.

Thank you!

I can say this much.

They both have pros and cons… and I could expand upon this directly here but there are numerous comparisons already on the Internet that will do a MUCH better job than I in the space I have here.
I will give you a few highlights I enjoy.

  1. Easy setup of character names that allow auto fill. I type the letter “M” and I immediately get a drop down list of character names in my book to choose from that being with that letter. Locations can get auto fill(ed) as well. In fact, any word you choose. Press enter and the word is filled in for you and spaced. Word has this, but it really works better in Scrivener.
  2. Scrivener has a template for Character bios and Setting bios. Quick and easy access for reference.
  3. Quick backup into zip format and stored to any place or site desired.
  4. Compile options to put your perfected manuscript into industry standard Editor or Publisher formats. Seriously, this is very nice.
  5. etc…