Scrivener "Reader"

Hi, I’ m just new to this forum and I have to apologize for my english.
I am a Scrivener addict since I discovered this wonderful software. I often get a lot of new addicts everytime I show my works to new people on my computer. I think that Scrivener IS, with no doubt, the new frontier of professional writing.
Casue of my job I’m showing it to writers, officers, lawyers and judges. All of them are surprised about the capabilities of the software. Obviously even if I’d like to deliver my work in .scriv format to my editors, not all of them have the software (no one of them have it!), so that I have to offer compiled versions of my texts as usual.
I think that should be very useful a Scrivener “Reader”: a reduced set of the software, unable to make any changes to “.scriv” files, but fully able to read them. Capable of reading texts, binder folders and search attachments. Maybe also a full working “search” feature would be useful. But most of all, this reader should be free & “redistributable” (a single portable exe file?) and roialty free. This should make us able to deliver a different quality of our works to editors and this would make scrivener known everywhere and surely everyone would fall in love for it. Every professional editor or writer would be enthusiast of how is possible to collect searches, referral stuff and writings in ONE PLACE. Surely they would desire the full software, need it and buy a licence!

A simple reader: a fully free and portable reduced set of scrivener, able to manage “.scriv” folders in read only mode and to make searches and to use the binder in read only mode, to show boards, texts in single and scrivenings mode. Maybe it should be made disabling every “saving” feature, disabling mods in editors and disabling every menus.

Let’s make scrivener more known everywhere… Let’s make editors fall in love for this masterpice… Let’s be able to deliver a different quality of our works…
Let’s scrivener!

What about the free trial version? The trial runs for 30 days of actual use, not 30 calendar days, so it should be more than adequate for short-term use related to a particular project.


Yes, it’s what actually I try to do but there are several problems connected to a trial installation:

  1. the occasional host has to install the whole software - and he (or she) would deal with all the features that, apparently, make scrivener a complicated software.
    2. the occasional host, with trial version, can modify the project (and I don’t like this)
  2. the reader should be a single executable (can be obtained with tools like vm ware), a portable version that I can copy from a USB drive to his computer without installation

But probably, as I see, I am the only one needing a reader for scrivener software


I do see value in the idea but it is pretty limited value. Most of us just compile or print to PDF for sharing. No binder to be seen, but most folks don’t need to see the binder materials.

Again, the idea is good. Just not sure there is a practical use.

I’m sorry, I am confused. If you don’t want people to be able to modify the project, where is the advantage in giving them the project file, rather than a compiled document?

As an editor, I don’t have much interest in the workflow that led to the document that’s in front of me, and sending me a document that I can’t modify is a complete waste of my time. I’m not going to install a new tool unless it allows me to do something new, which in this case means actually using Scrivener’s many features to more effectively communicate my comments to the author.


I was thinking about the usefulness in an academic “advisory” context. “Send me your scrivs and I’ll se if you are getting the general research and organizational ideas there.” Problem is that Scriv is now being used prescriptively in the organization context.

That’s as far as I got. Hurt my head stump past that though…

well, so far so good…

I understand that there is only a modest value in this idea.
Only a few words to explain my matter:

If U refer to scrivener in the context of editorial-writing, book-writing, novel-writing, I understand that the idea of a “reader” is in contrast with author’s creative-process. Why sould a writer bring out his secrets (researches, bibliography, etc) ? No way, he has NOT to!

If U refer to scrivener in the context of academic world, attonery-offices, lawyer’s studios, police-reports and so on (and I understand that scrivener was not created for such contextes!), U would find that this software has A LOT of useful features that no other tool has!

Now, I don’t want to waste your time (we need it used for new useful features…), but I’d like to explain how I use scrivener: I am a police officer. My job is to collect evidences, depositions, investigation stuff and so on, then to summarize the whole stuff (and I speak of hundreds of megabytes of docs) and after to bring the resulting report (a compiled one) with all the attachments to attonery’s office.

I have made the experiment to bring a .scriv project to some lawyers and all of them were enthusiast of how easy was to stand trial with a macbook 11" with scrivener installed (and my files, obviously!): a complex judical investigation made of 700 pages of report and several hundreds of pdfs (scanner stuff) was condensed in 300MB of scrivener’s project and everything was reachable in a fingertip (scrivener-link docet) !
The only matter was that everyone not trained to scrivener’s use was afraid to mess up things with the project (so I thought to a read-only tool).

Now I understand that writers have no interest in sharing their creative process, but in the context I spoke of… It should be very very useful. I think that scrivener wouldnt be confined to writers world. It can be used with profit in a lot of other ways. A reader would be like a trojan horse (once seen what is possible to do in read only mode… a professional should immediatly fall in love for scrivener)

Thx ( I excuse for my english…)

I was wondering if there was more “data container” concept in your idea. You definitely have a neat idea for the particular use case. We will have to see what L&L think about it.

That said, a simple idea might be to use a zip file backup for sharing. The opened project will be writeable, but folks could always just unzip the new copy if they think they altered the project. Kind of clunky, but better than nothing for now.

If you export a Scriv draft as a doc or docx file,
You may then import (drag) it as a Google Docs file
And then share. Editors make revisions or comments,
Writers read, et voila, we have zee Scrivener Reader.

I would be a lot more interested in Google integration
Even though they will steal all my ideas and sell them
to advertisers, snoops, and potential customers. :mrgreen:

Note that I don’t speak for L&L on this, just myself.

I think Jaysen is on to something with his idea of working with a ZIP backup. Perhaps a series of them, taken at different points in the process. Then, instead of being a static document, your collection of evidence is augmented by the attorney’s preparation notes, notes from the trial, and ultimately even trial transcripts, appellate briefs, and so on. The user doesn’t need to worry about “messing things up” because they can revert to the backup as needed.

You might want to post about this application in the Usage Scenarios forum. I think we have a few attorneys on the board who might be willing to share their approach to these kinds of issues.


Just think Jaysen got it: Scrivener IS a powerful data container. It has also the feature to have data store (research folder) and synopsis (project text itself). Synopsis, with “scrivener links”, can bring the user to the doc that is needed in that moment (of the trial…)

I will post something in using scenario topic, with some links to pictures of what I’m speaking about

Thx for your time.