Scrivener Viewer for REVIEWERS

I noticed there is an icon to put on a top level folder as “Reviewer’s Comments” which is nice. The problem is, I doubt anyone would give the whole Scrivener project to anyone else that can potentially screw your project.

It would be nice if there was a FREE (basically a very limited version of the same software) version of Scrivener for reviewers.

The reviewer would be able to go through the project reading (but not copying) the manuscript and have a sibling Reviewer folder in which the reviewer can make comments and linked them to the scene/chapter in question.

All the other folders (Front Mtter, Research, Templates, etc.) would not be exported in the Reviewer’s version of the project, perhaps with the option to publish the Character folder in case the reviewer wants to explore the actual characters and comment on how true the manuscript is to what is described for each character.

As a software designer I remember one complex piece of software I used to design they had a viewer version that did not require buying the software to view the design (in this case Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect).

Scrivener has a fully-functional 30-day trial version. It runs for 30 days of actual use, so should last a reviewer several months.


Scrivener has some great inbuilt functionality that enables you to generate a shareable copy of whichever documents you like from the binder which can then be read (and indeed annotated) by others without them impacting the original file, using commonly available and free readers.

You can even set it up to generate the shareable copy in a specific alternate formatting style to suit your reviewer’s preferences, which I’ve found very useful in the past.

Any tutorial of a “shareable” copy?

Pigfender is referring to the Compile function, I think.


Reviewing is typically done in the publishing world via Word documents, Word being publishing’s lingua franca. Compile your manuscript to Docx, ask your reviewers–if they are reviewers and not editors; editors will tell you what they want and how this will work–to use Word’s (or Apple Pages, or any of the other word processors that read .doc, .docx, or .rtf) highlighting and comments functions.

When they return your manuscript, open it either in its own editor or copy it into Scrivener and open it beside your manuscript, and scroll through the two, noting their changes and either making them or not, as you see fit. This, of course, doesn’t apply to editors who are paying you, as opposed to editors you are paying.

One thing now possible in Scrivener 3 is that you can tell Scrivener to include special links at the start of each section in the Compiled document (“Insert links back to Scrivener in each section”). (I don’t think this is yet possible in the Windows beta, but it should be coming.) When you import a file that has been compiled in this way, those links turn into internal links. This allows for the following workflow:

  1. Compile your manuscript with this option ticked to Word or RTF format.

  2. Send the MS to your editor or proof-reader, asking him or her not to remove any of those special links.

  3. When you receive the edited file, import it into Scrivener and set up a split view with that in one split.

  4. Go through the imported document and click on the links at the top of each section to open the original section in Scrivener’s Draft folder, where you can edit it according to the notes or changes in the reviewed document.

All the best,