Scrivener for iPad?

I use Scrivener for everything that has to do with writing on my MacBook Air. Mostly for projects that includes planning, writing and research (I am a singer, pedagog and researcher).
I use DropBox for all my documents and love the idea of having everything available everywhere and still be in sync, and it works.
Now I have bought an iPad and it would be absolutely perfect to be able to edit my Scrivener document on the iPad as well. Is this possible or will it be possible?
Hopefully, Susanne

If you search the forum you will find there are lots of posts on this subject.

Cheers, Martin.

Martin is correct, we’ve discussed this topic ever since the iPad first appeared.
The short answer is that an outside developer may be interested in creating a Scriv for iPad.
But Keith et als cannot devote their resources to building one themselves.
The best workaround now is to use an iPad text editor and synch to Scriv periodically.
Examples: PlainText, SimpleNote, Index Card, Notebooks, Noteshelf, Writers App
A major drawback: except for Pages, most iPad apps do not support rich text.

…and watch this space. :slight_smile:


Keith’s hints are becoming more and more definite. See:

[url]Just gave up on Scrivener - #4 by KB]

I have no insider knowledge, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say something is in the works already–maybe even imminent!

Definitely not “imminent” - I wouldn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. :slight_smile:

I will just add my own hope that Scriv will be iPaddable in due course - even if only as read only version. I can quite easily add items on the iPad through Evernote, and then cut and paste across [I use this capability a lot in respect of other programs] - but only if I know what is already there.

Yes Please I plan to get an IPad.
Cross Platform Apps as well?

If its possible to have an iPad Scrivener, here are the things I would ideally like it to feature (I’d settle for less to begin with though…)

  • All files and folders respected in the binder
  • Sync with external files ( individual text files) via Dropbox or
  • Use Scriv file in Dropbox and then use this on desktop Scrivener for repeated editing in Mac and iPad
  • project stats
  • current doc stats
  • cards
  • choice of fonts
  • bigger and smaller fonts
  • text colour
  • paper colour
  • some people would probably want support for images, personally, I wouldn’t
  • compile and email as PDF, TXT and RTF
  • compile to Dropbox in those formats - sub folder of the Scriv folder would be best
  • simple on/ off typewriter mode
  • half size row of custom keys with the following keys:
  • Previous word
  • Next word
  • Line up
  • Line down
  • Colon
  • Semi colon
  • Brackets (as in IA Writer)
  • Next letter
  • Previous letter
    (A user defined list would be best but also unrealistic)

On txt and rtf
Most editors are txt only on iPad because they say, Apple hasn’t released the rtf framework/ api (whatever specific technical term) but there are editors like Docs to Go that create rtf files… This may be by some extended chicanery and not true rtf editing but then couldn’t iScrivener do that too?

I’m not a programmer but have worked with some and I know that this is probably an outrageous, unreasonable and unlikely set of wishes full of impossibilities but, it would be good and if you don’t mention it you can’t have it, can you?

Hope this is helpful

If you want nothing more than a read only version and the ability to add texts easily, you can do that right now by using other apps and syncing to Scrivener. My favorite is Notebooks. Once its correctly set to sync, it downloads to the ipad every new documents you’ve created in the binder, and it uploads to the binder any new documents that you’ve created on the iPad. You can’t write RTF formatted text, though, but unless you overwrite a paragraph created on Scrivener, it won’t eliminate whatever formatting you apply from Scrivener.

Notebooks can be configured to emulate night writing mode and you can choose whatever font you like to display text. Nevertheless, it’s interface is not as nice as iWriter or, more recently Daedalus. You may also want to try Daedalus. Both will be certainly better than Evernote. :smiley:

If you also require to change things around and reorder the documents, you may want to try Index Cards instead. I don’t use that app much, though, because I believe it has syncing issues. Too many steps for each sync for my taste, and I have to create and update collections in order to make it work; but the app has grown a lot since its first version, and the most recent updates from both Scrivener and Index Card have improved the app a lot.

If you’re going to copy and paste, and you won’t need any formatting at all, the fastest and easy way is to use Notebooks. Sometimes I even use iWriter for initial writing and then paste it into Notebooks to upload it into Scrivener.

If you do require formatting, such as bolds, italics, and bullets (no more than that), you would have to use Pages, and copy and paste from the desktop versions in the Mac. There is also another solution, wich I use as well, but Keith requested not to mention that particular software on the forums. It also requires a high investment, since it definitely needs its desktop counterpart in order to fully work; and, at this point, it would be wiser to wait for a Scrivener version for the iPad.

Just for the record: I’ve been so fund of night mode view on the iPad and of apps such as iWriter, that I would also love something like that in the Scrivener for iPad version. When I’m in a low light environment, the “night mode” (or the full screen mode on Scrivener) are definitely the best choice.

Thanks for all of the ideas and feedback. Watch this space. :slight_smile:


Another strong request is the ability for a Scrivener for iPad to respect footnotes. I am in the throes of completing a PhD thesis and I am at the stage where I do a lot of editing of completed chapters, which are filled with footnotes. The iPad is ideal for going off to a quiet corner somewhere and make edits, except that I have not found a method that allows me to retain footnotes without having to do a lot of retrofitting when I move the changes back to Scrivener. As a result, I tend to print off copies and edit the printed version, but I would far prefer to do it on the iPad.

I expect, as there appears to be a fair number of academics using Scrivener, this requirement for footnotes would not be an isolated problem and would be a way of further differentiating Scrivener from the run of the mill text editors on the iPad.

Bill Stewart

Bill, that’s a very good point - any theoretical iPad version would definitely have to allow footnotes and comments.

Moved to Scrivener for iPad/iPhone subforum.

That sounds like future good news :wink: , thank you. I feel like an aunt expecting a new baby in the family. :smiley:

My lips are sealed. Nice to see you round these parts still. :wink:

You won’t get rid of me easily, Keith… I’m in love with Scrivener, even if I must evaluate all possibilities when it comes to the iPad :laughing:. And besides, I love testing new software and reviewing it.

I’ve been using mi iPad a lot in these months, and other software as well. In the end, I’m still in love with Scrivener (as I’ve always been), but I’m also in love with my iPad, that is kind of becoming my favorite writing tool, even at home.

So I get creative, jump from one app to another, from one device to another, from one desktop application to another and, in the end, I have a lot of backups (from copy and paste, and back and forth syncing), and the best of both worlds, always updated everywhere. When I write on my Mac, Scrivener is my tool of choice; no doubt of that. But on the iPad, it depends on whether I need or not formatting tools, or distraction-free tools, and even of my mood. Yesterday I spent the whole day writing on Daedalus and Write or Die, coping to Notebooks and syncing to Scrivener (I don’t trust Daedalus on syncing yet, since I’m just starting to seriously using it).

A couple of weeks ago I even had to spend five days without my computer, in mid of NaNoWriMo… Believe me: I loved every iPad app I could use at that time. I had already decided to write the novel on my computer and I was forced to move forward against my will. I didn’t stop writing a single day (no one can afford that on NaNoWriMo), I still had my word counts, and even my italics. When my computer came back, I updated my Scrivener project, which will be the place where I rewrite the novel, and I will need every editing and annotating tool available. But, I had a very complex academic project that couldn’t be moved into the iPad… so I put that one on hold.

I use what I have at hand, but iScrivener would simplify my chaotic-multitasking workflow a lot. Needless to say I would support that hypothetical non-existing Scrivener app in every possible form. You may even include me in a top secret non existing beta testing program :wink: .


There are a few things that would be important to me.

  1. Scrivener for iPad must sync by using iTunes (don’t trust using the web)
  2. The writing envorment should be as clean as possible
  3. The extra row of keys would be great and customizable would be perfect (only half size to give more document room)
  4. Word counts that are the same on both Mac and iPad versions

Most anything else would be bonus


An iPad application would prove to be most productive to all writers who cross platforms from their macbook pro or macbook air to their iPad. I would like to see, and almost expected when I ordered the Scrivener application, an iPad compatible program. It is necessary to be able to cross between a laptop to a tablet for most mobile users.

Additionally, to date I have not been able to copy any Scrivener files to dropbox. I can convert the file to .rtf or .doc formats then download them to dropbox, but not a Scrivener file. Not a convenient way to operate. Any changes you make to the dropbox copy while on the go has to be re-entered into Scrivener separately, duplicating your effort. This is one main advantage of having the tablet application: Seamless updating available from a laptop or tablet without any duplication of effort required.

I have really enjoyed the Scrivener application for my MacBook Pro and will continue to use it to generate my manuscripts, publications, and to work on my dissertation. However, an iPad application needs to be made available to provide service to mobile users, and to keep up with the competition. Everyone is moving to offering applications that prevent duplication when switching from a laptop to a tablet and back again.

Scrivener files can be used on Dropbox - you may wish to post to the Tech Support area for help if you are having problems, but I work from Dropbox myself.