I’ve been using the Scrivener 3.0.9 beta for the past few days and I’ve been blown away by how many additions and improvements have been added to a free update. I’m amazed and humbled by Keith’s dedication to making truly first-class software.
The changelog is extensive, so I thought I’d dig through and single out some favourite changes:
Widow and orphan control. This is a huge one (as evidenced by how many related entries in the changelog).
Compiling scripts to PDF keeps elements with their appropriate siblings. This really has made a huge difference for me. Previously, although you could write a script in Scrivener, you really needed an additional app to actually get it out to someone. (And despite what some may think, FDX is not a way to exchange screenplays!) Compiling to Fountain then to PDF was okay, but it meant that any rich text additions would be stripped out, and one of Scrivener’s biggest strengths in my view is that it is a native RTF editor. And more often now screenplays are making use of rich text (e.g. Nightcrawler, Deeper, Arrival, etc.). Being able to write a script in Scrivener, and compile it as WYSIWYG really is a game-changer.
Compiling scripts to PDF avoids breaking sentences across pages. This is awesome. There’s nothing worse than someone doing a reading of a script and pausing mid-sentence to turn the page.
(MORE) & (CONT’D) for dialogue split across pages. Again, very important in the paper-based world of performance. You don’t want an actor learning half a line because they were missing the previous page!
Widow and orphan control in page view! When I first heard widow and orphan control was coming in 3.1 I expected it to be only calculated at compile time — having this in page view struck me as “nice to have but inessential”. In script mode especially it’s fantastic to see where your page breaks are likely to occur.
Ability to output script dual dialogue to PDF. I’ve only recently realised the benefits of dual dialogue (thanks to reading Kenneth Lonergan screenplays), so the ability to output dual dialogue is very welcome.
Ability to change a document’s created date. This took me a while to figure out as the created date field does not look clickable — you need to right-click the created date and select Change Date from the dropdown menu.
Option for images in Corkboard to use regular index card proportions. I saw this request in the forum and was a little disheartened when it seemed to be shot down, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see the option. Now my corkboards with images and index cards look much nicer.
Ability to centre the Quick Search bar. It’s a curious thing about macOS’s toolbar customisation that you can “balance” a toolbar so that something appears in the centre, but few apps actually have the options to centre toolbar elements.
A new cleaner/sleeker look for the Composition Mode footer.
Focus to line / sentence / paragraph in Composition Mode. Another cool little addition — some apps make this one of their main selling points, but with Scrivener it’s just thrown in as a bonus!
I’ve checked the changelog for the 3.0.9 beta and I don’t see the compile changes to ePub that would fix the output so it validates:
ePubs (3 )don’t validate with this error:
• Undeclared prefix: ‘ibooks’. (ERROR)
Right now I have to edit the output files manually.
I thought this would be addressed. (and Maybe I missed it)
…is so elegantly efficient (and I suspect took so much work to achieve), and offers a flexibility no other app I’ve seen for Mojave offer so far. This really sums up the attention to detail that is found throughout Scrivener’s design. :love:
It would be even better if I could record Macros on it like Microsoft Word. I can’t change the keyboard shortcuts in Scrivener for Windows, nor can I record a Macro. I have to repeatedly use long pharma names and it would help if I could use keyboard shortcuts for them in Windows.
Among the countless improvements of an already excellent application this new version brings us, is the fact that keyboard shortcuts are now shown in the styles panel. Would it be an idea to show them also in the format bar?
Have a look at the Auto-Complete feature: it may help.
Basically, once you’ve added a word to the auto-completion list and you type the first couple of letters of that word, then a popup appears and you can accept it with tab or enter. If there’s more than one match, you can use the arrow keys to select, or carry on typing till it’s unique.
Having just completed the first draft of my first playscript in Scrivener this month, these changes arrive just in time! When printing out the draft to show our newly hired director, I spent probably half an hour exterminating widows and orphans (writers are so cruel…) and throwing in extra blank lines and page breaks after exporting to Pages for printing. I was dreading having to repeat the process this week when I rewrite and move things around for the table reading script. I’m so glad this update will make that unnecessary! Dark Mode will help too. Much appreciated!
The biggest obstacle for scriptwriting in Scrivener for me now is the lack of support for collaboration, since this one is co-authored. I know some other Scriveners out there have worked around this limitation by syncing to an external folder so that both writers can at least see each other’s work in progress, but what we want is to be able to work on a single document separately. At the moment, we’re using Google Docs, which messes up the formatting that Scrivener scriptwriting mode so carefully implements, so I wind up going back into Scrivener to make edits, then re-exporting to Docs. Suggestions welcome.
I know collaboration has been discussed on these forums thoroughly, so I don’t want to re-tread old ground. Thanks again for the update — I’m going to use several of these additions every week.
Personally, I think the desire for Google Docs style collaboration is a red herring.
My suggestion would be to keep your locus of collaboration on the PDF, e.g. you and your collaborator discuss changes to a scene, you make changes to the scene (possibly using Scrivener’s revision mode), export the scene to PDF, then return to step one.
Since some technology makes it possible to see a collaborator’s writing the very instant it is typed, I think some writers believe that they need this technology in order to write collaboratively. But if you take a step back from this idea you may find it is not only unnecessary, but better without it.
Thanks for that suggestion. I agree that the greatest value of any scriptwriting program applies at the initial drafting stage, where the quick formatting saves so much time indenting, italicizing, etc. In this case, I did the entire first draft (in Scrivener), and now most changes are small enough that even using Docs isn’t too onerous. (We thought about using a PDF as you suggest, but we both like being able to actually write our ideas down into the script separately, according to our own very different schedules, so we needed an editable format and a single document either of us could update any time.) So for now that workflow (draft in Scrivener, collaboratively edit and rewrite in Docs, export to Pages, print) is OK.
But in future projects, we might want to jointly work on a first draft, or we might have to rewrite more extensively (introducing a new character, say), which would be clunky and inefficient at best in Docs or Word or Pages or whatever. In that situation, the current workaround is to work on a single file we email back and forth, which of course requires that we don’t work on it at the same time. Doable, but again, not the best use of our limited time.
My co-writer just alerted me to this possible solution. If it works out, I’ll let the Scrivener scriptwriting community know, but in a more appropriate thread than this one. If anyone else has suggestions about collaborative scriptwriting using Scrivener, I’d love to hear them, but probably not in this thread, which I’m happy to keep for singing the praises of Scrivener 3.1!
**Update: we’ve found a couple of new-ish scriptwriting extensions (‘Add Ons’) for google docs, Fountainize and Screenplay Formatter, and will be trying those out, along with an app called Writer Duet. But I doubt any of those will automatically incorporate Scrivener formatting on import. Still, they may not have to, as Scrivener is most useful at the initial draft stage.
And in case you are posting topically (this being a thread about the latest Mac version), then there is no need for “support” of iCloud Drive, from Scrivener 3.1 or likely any future version. If you save your project into an area that iCloud syncs, then it will show up on your other Mac, just like that and with no further ado.
We also do not recommend using the drive space optimisation option for iCloud Drive. It’s probably a bad setting to have on in general, but we do not have any good data on how safe it is to use with large-scale multi-file formats like Scrivener’s. Will it delete files from within the project because it has deemed them as “old”? And if it does delete them, is it smart enough to download them all again when loading the project? We don’t know—and it’s extremely difficult to test it given how the whole feature is automated and in theory only kicks in once the local drive is full.
I’m afraid that on that score, you will have to wait until Apple changes iCloud to work with hybrid shoebox/document applications such as Scrivener. We’ve written lots about that in the past, so I won’t repeat myself here.