Register hell

My registered copy of scrivener works beautifully on my windows 10 desktop. I’m trying to also register it on my IMac Pro so I can write when I leave for Florida in 3 days, but I constantly get “invalid serial number or name” when trying to register it on my laptop.
on the confirmation email is written:
Serial Number Name: Xxxxxx Xxxxxx
Serial Number: XXXXXXX001-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX (Xs in place of real info)
I have duplicated this on my laptop to no avail, case-sensitive of course.

Apart from the fact that programmers should know better than to include 1s and 0s in registration numbers, which can easily be mistaken for ls, Is and Os, (I’ve tried all combinations) linking serial names and numbers and making them case-sensitive is ridiculous. A minor mistake in one or the other should not be enough to abort the whole process.

I’ve already spent two hours on this nonsense. Enough.

Moderator note: removed the actual real info in your serial number; you’d only obscured the generic SKU portion of it that everyone shares.

Have you purchased a Mac license?

Discussion of Mac vs Windows licenses… … ac-version

Store page offering individual or bundled licenses… … atalog.htm

The free full featured trial versions are good for approximately a month… if you haven’t used up that time on your Mac, you might try that.

I didn’t purchase a Mac license. No-where in the Scrivener manual does it state that it is necessary. Not even in section 4, which describes installation and registration in detail. In many parts of the manual, cross-platform compatibility is discussed and the Mac is mentioned many times, but the consumer is given no indication that an extra license is necessary to run the program on a Mac. I read this manual thoroughly before making the decision to buy.

It may be obvious to programmers and computer enthusiasts that separate licences are “common practice”, as noted in the forum link, but it is not obvious to the average consumer. I made my decision to buy based on the information in the Scrivener manual. Although Literature and Latte may not have intended to deceive, I feel that the omission of this important information led me to buy a program that does only half of what its advertising claimed it would do.

I purchased the Windows licence some time ago. How do I now claim a bundle discount from the store? I don’t see any options for that on the page.


Sorry, but I can’t help but laugh a little. When you buy a car, do you look in the car manual to learn about sales prices and conditions? :laughing:

It really isn’t obvious only to programmers and computer enthusiasts. I would claim to be neither, but would be fully aware that, in every case that I know of, purchasing a software license for one operating system will not work as a license for the same software on another operating system. The most high profile instance would of course be the MS Office suite. Separate software versions for Mac and Windows OS; the license I have for MS Office 2011 Mac will not work for any version of MS Windows. Nor would I expect it to.

I think that a good future rule of thumb would be that any software license you buy for your Mac Pro will not work for your Windows laptop, even if that software is available cross platform. I know that’s a bit like advising you to shut the door after the horse has bolted, but still.

I also always find approaching developers in private communication if I have a problem to be much more politic and likely to be well received, rather than launching straight on the offensive on the public forum. Especially for software such as Scrivener, where the developers very actively engage with their users.

Hope you find a solution that satisfies you. I don’t recall ever seeing an OS X/Windows license bundle offered before, but I may be wrong.

What I know about computers I can write on the back of my thumbnail with a laundry marker, but I would not expect my new copy of Microsoft Word to run on the wife’s Mac. Think your pushing it a bit there matey… Especially as at the top of the purchase screen it clearly states ‘Download for windows’ or ‘Download for mac’
Not wanting to be too rude but the righteous indignation did provide me with a good ten minutes of entertainment, so it was not a waste of a post.
Good luck and enjoy your writing.

Well, to be fair here: he didn’t try to install a Windows version on Mac or vice versa. He just tried to use the same registration key for both installations. And actually there are a few programs out there which offer this kind of licensing (e.g. a famous writer software from Germany called “Papyrus Autor”, which however costs three times the price of a Scrivener Windows/Mac bundle) but still, hardly will you read anything about licensing in the manuals.

Many of the programs I have bought on disk over the years can be installed on both PC and Mac from the same disk and the license includes both OSs.

Whether you wish to believe it or not, the downloadable trial version of Scrivener is a marketing product and the information it contains must conform to legal advertising standards. To be specific, the product must clearly state what the customer is entitled to for the price. Hidden fees are a breach of the law. Because it is not clearly stated anywhere in the downloadable trial version that separate licenses are required, it could be argued that this is a hidden fee.

I don’t think for a moment that this was intentional with the developers, but it is a legal deficiency that could be harmful to the company. Instead of treating the messenger with derision, it might save the company some future legal grief to simply fix the problem and make it clear in para 4 of the manual that separate licenses are required.

I don’t mind paying for software. I just like to know what I’m paying for.


Sorry for the confusion, but we couldn’t possibly include contingency clauses for every single thing you might try to do or think to look up, the manual would read like a legal document (though thank you for taking the time to read it, that is appreciated!). Speaking of which, the software licence is always the definitive resource for checking out the extent of our obligations to you, and yours to us. The licence clearly states that it is only applicable to a specific platform, and indeed there are different licences for each platform for that reason. Furthermore the whole concept of having to choose between Windows and Mac in the online catalogue you purchased from should have been a tip-off, and is certainly meant to be an effective enough communication beyond the legal requirements that we’ve fulfilled.

When installing the trial version you are required to accept the licence agreement before you can even continue installing the software. It’s pretty hard to make a case for us “hiding” this information when it’s in a text you really should be reading anyway (granted there is a tendency not to, but you can’t say that just because you tend not to read a EULA that it’s our fault you didn’t read it! :smiley: ).

For your reference, in excerpt, section 1, ¶1:

Upon accepting the terms of this agreement, the Licensor grants you, the licensee, (“you”) and your family that live with you at the same address (“family members”) a non-exclusive, non-transferable limited licence to use the accompanying Scrivener® Apple Mac version software, including (if applicable) electronic documentation and associated material (the “Software”) strictly in accordance with the terms and conditions of this licence agreement.

Emphasis added.

Locate the Mac OS X regular licence item in the catalogue and then within the product description, note: “If you already own the regular licence of Scrivener for Windows, please click here for a discount on the Mac version.” (Or just click on the link right here.)

Circling the wagons and shooting arrows at the customer may be legally sound, but it does not make good business sense. I’ll take your word that the small novel that is the licence agreement (what’s the word count on that again?) contains a clause that covers the issue. But if I were the only customer who had the mistaken impression that the cost of scrivener covered all downloadable versions, you would not have a thread explaining the issue at the top of your “Frequently”-asked questions list. Like many writers, I don’t just write in my office. The PC is my favourite desktop, but I prefer the iMac as a laptop. You are quite upfront about the ability to use the licence on a small number of different computers - which I appreciate. I’m simply suggesting that you be just as upfront in making it clear that payment includes either the PC version or the Mac but not both.

But how you decide to run your business is up to you. I now have a Mac licence (thanks for the discount) and am leaving for Florida hoping that I’ll be able to write poolside rather than stuck in my office looking out at snow and ice. Now all I have to do is drive the 2,400km to get there. 8)


Not really intending to pile on, but it does say right on the product purchase page that you have to buy both licenses if you want to use Scrivener on both systems.

Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence) — $45.00
Volume Discounts Available
Regular version of Scrivener for Mac OS X. This is a download product.
If you already own the regular licence of Scrivener for Windows, please click here for a discount on the Mac version.

Scrivener for Windows (Regular Licence) — $40.00
Volume Discounts Available
Regular version of Scrivener for Windows. This is a download product.
If you already own the regular licence of Scrivener 2.x for Mac, please click here for a discount on the Windows version.

I do agree that EULAs are not the place to put something that the buyer is expected to know. But you also said that this topic is at the top of the FAQ. FAQs are something I read for any software I’m thinking about purchasing. They’re questions that so many people have asked that there is a dedicated list of them, and the law of averages says that I am bound to need to know the answer to at least one of them. The information is in multiple places, so I’m sorry that it didn’t filter down to you, the person who was in true need of said information. I’m happy they were able to get you the discount, though. From what I’ve seen, they really do care about their customers.

To clarify, it seemed to me as though there were two different concepts being referred to here, and I was responding to both of these independent lines of thought, not with a universal statement but with two different comments, one for each:

  1. That we have at a technical level failed in our legal obligations to make the cost of multi-platform usage stated in print: it is declared in the EULA. That is not meant to be directed at any other argument. :slight_smile: I would never tell someone that just because we have it in the EULA we should make no further effort let people know of something like that.
  2. That we do not make the information easily available: in response to that I mentioned the various places it is printed, such as in the catalogue where you buy it via the product names themselves, in the descriptions below them; beyond that, in the FAQ as mentioned and the main product description page below the technical requirements (we probably have it in a few other places as well that I’m not thinking of).

Yes, people ask this question now and then, that is why we have it printed in these many different places, that is why we take so much care in how things are named and described, so that people can find this information as easily as possible—so again, I’m sorry that information did not make itself known to you, all I meant to convey here is that I’m pretty sure we’ve got our legal bases covered, and I would say that in most cases we’ve got the human element covered as well.

Hopefully my answer is more clear at this point. Safe travels and enjoy that sunlight; hope the Mac version treats you well!