Scrivener doesn't play nice with Office 2003

I’m really loving the software and I am a working professional author. I especially like the split screen feature, and the ability to keep my notes in the same place as the manuscript. I also like the ability to work with scenes instead of huge documents. Scrivener is now my word processing program of choice when writing a novel.

But . . .

I’ve reached the point where I simply can’t use Scrivener at the same time that I have components of Microsoft Office 2003 running on the computer at the same time. In particular, Scrivener does not play nice with Outlook. The two programs are at war with one another, probably because I use Microsoft Word as my text editor in Outlook. And I’m not about to change that.

Not only do the two programs fight over the document template, with is mostly an annoyance, but Scrivener will stop working whenever Outlook downloads new messages – about every fifteen minutes or so in my current setup. The system doesn’t crash exactly, but if I’m typing away, suddenly scrivener will stop responding for as long as it takes for all the new email messages to be delivered.

The only way I can use Scrivener without going utterly mad is to turn off Outlook and Word and let it run all by itself. I suppose that’s a good discipline for me, but it’s very annoying if I’m waiting for an email response on something while I’m also working on a manuscript.

It would be great if you could upgrade the software so that it plays nice with these other elements of Microsoft Office.

For the record, I’m operating in Windows XP, service pack 3, with Office 2003. I’ll be upgrading my computer shortly and will see how the software works with Windows 7 and office 2010 and let you know.

Concerning Word, maybe you could post your findings here, to keep them under one hood and to supplement existing information:

I’ve got the same setup you’ve got. Office 2003, SP3 and WIndows XP (Professional). I’m not having your problem at all. I’m not having any trouble using, importing or exporting from WORD to Scrivener or the other way around. I keep my browser (CHROME) , Outlook and WORD up at the same time I have Scrivener up, too.
Could it be a memory problem? Hope you find a solution, soon.

Have you considered tweaking the settings for Word and/or Outlook? One thing you could do is to set up Word to use a custom template to avoid the problem you’re having with; either use a different template, or change the location of the template that Word uses. If you aren’t familiar with the way Word organises its templates and their various locations, this may be of interest: … se/6084899

I prefer not to use Outlook at all and, because I avoid it, therefore may not be au fait with the available options, but I have a notion that there is an interval setting that can be used to determine how frequently Outlook polls your mailserver. If you change this to something like forty minutes or an hour, you’ll be able to get more done before Outlook puts you on hold.