Some Wishes - Similar to StoryMill

First, I love Scrivener. But after testing StoryMill thoroughly, there are some features I wish Scrivener had.

  1. Dedicated (Or choose-able) ICONS for things such as charactors/actors, locations, tasks, and scenes, etc. I REALLY love StoryMill’s use of icons, it visually makes it really easy to see all the parts and distinguish them. I really love the movie clapboard for the scene icon. And possibly even make them slightly bigger as an option, as with bigger-screened Macs, they seem too small. As stated, the icons could even just be configurable user options.

  2. Dedicated “items/folders” for such things as charactors/actors, locations, tasks, etc. This is very handy.

  3. Dedicated “Progress Report Bar” in the toolbar, either for the whole book or just the day’s session. Very handy to always look at, just a simple meter that says if you’re close to accomplishing your word count. The session progress report would be very handy, so I can know when I achieved that day’s goal and I can go watch a movie or eat dinner finally! (I know there are basic progress reports, but these are usually in floating windows, hidden in the menus, very distracting, and thus I never use them.)

  4. Have an option to make the progress bars a solid color, vs. the always moving blue mac default. The always moving blue colors of the progress bars are very distracting, so I find myself never using them. StoryMill uses solid red bars.

  5. Have the option of a mini-progress bar in the binder pane, so I can see at a glance what chapters need work, and how far along they are, instead of having to have a near duplicate pane with the redundant info in the outline view.

  6. In the FULL-SCREEN mode, have the option of making the bottom menu always “on” - or just parts of it… because in the SCREENPLAY MODE, it is really handy to always be able to see what type of FORMATTING you’re presently in (SCENE HEAD, ACTION, CHARACTER, DIALOGUE, etc.), and to be able to pick/change them easily without tabs. I know you can just scroll down and make the bottom menu pop-up… but it’s handy to always see at least the FORMATTING part, since it’s easy to get this mixed up and start typing a SCENE HEADING as ACTION or whatever.

  7. If and when you do add more outline features, adding the ability to make a FISHBONE CHART is really nice. (And I know it is really tough and may never even happen as other apps already do fishbones.) I think fishbone charts are some of the best ways to do outlining for a story be it a novel or screenplay.

  8. Add the option of having a typewriter sound. Some people like audio feedback.

  9. For screenwriting - better AUTOMATIC commonly-used word/snippet/etc. integration… similar to how Final Draft auto-remembers characters, places, etc.

  10. One day - a built-in thesaraus!

  11. Ability to export text and images with at least basic layout/links to HTML (and possibly multiple HTML pages) for use as a basic webpage/site. (Right now it seems to just export HTML to one single page with no links, anchors, images, etc.)

I know some ideas here are too small, trivial, or near impossible - but some should be good and do-able.

Thanks for an excellent program!


If you find that StoryMill fits the way you work better, I would recommend purchasing StoryMill and using that instead of Scrivener. Scrivener won’t fit anybody. [EDIT: Ahem, this should have read, "Scrivener won’t fit everybody… Whoops. Great marketing quote, that: Creator of Scrivener declares, “Scrivener won’t fit anybody!”]

In the next update, you will be able to customise the icons - though you won’t be able to make them bigger - and also you will be able to create your own document types (character sheets etc).

Please don’t expect Scrivener to turn into a different program, though.


It’s funny, because some of the things you’re loving about StoryMill (for example, pre-defined categories for organising your writing) are among the things that frustrated me with it and led me to seek out (and vastly prefer) Scrivener. I just made a post earlier today about it: [url]]

To be honest, I think if StoryMill is more appealing to the way someone wants to write, they’d be better off writing in StoryMill. In my mind it’s good that the two programs approach the organisation of writing slightly differently, because that means there are more options for people, and what works for some won’t work for others. I just wanted to put in a plug for keeping the distinctness of Scrivener intact, even if some features are added down the road.

Some of your ideas are interesting, but such a long list just made me feel bad for KB!

Yeah, this list sounds more like you’d be better off asking StoryMill to incorporate whatever you do like about Scrivener. I expect it would be a much shorter list than this one.

And I’ll second the (redundant, I’m sure) request to leave Scriv as flexible as it is. If KB actually did all this, especially the dedicated ‘character/scene/locations’ stuff, I almost certainly would no longer be able to use Scriv for as many different projects as I do. Its flexibility, and placing a large amount of responsibility for structure in the hands of the user, is precisely one of the reasons I use it so much.

Absolutely. I love that one single application is equally adept at writing a novel, white papers for software development project, a book on philosophy, collection of short stories & poetry, and a software FAQ. Love it! All of that is mental contortion enough for me; I’d rather the software stay transparent.

What antony and Amber said.




PJS wrote:
What antony and Amber said.

Such effusiveness!
I think Scriv User is really Keith, winding y`s all up

Le D :smiling_imp:

I started this little thread.

I guess some people misunderstood, possibly including Keith.

FIRST, I tried StoryMill extensively right beside Scrivener and ran them both through all the tests I could think of a writer of ALL SORTS might need, from novels to short stories to screenwriting to note-taking, to project developing, etc.

Scrivener passed with near A+ flying colors in just about ALL categories. It’s an awesome program. I actually didn’t want to say too many bad things about StoryMill in the original wishlist post, because I didn’t want to seem like yet another StoryMill-basher. But after many many hours of every test I could think of, StoryMill just downright isn’t for me, and Scrivener absolutely is!

Scrivener works. Brilliantly.

(My forum name is “Scrivener-User” and not "StoryMill-User, and definitely not MSWord-User!)

But this is a wishlist forum, isn’t it?

About the only thing I liked about StoryMill was some of its layout and icons, etc. Besides that, Scrivener surpassed it in every sense. I could barely use StoryMill for anything start-to-finish (and really, it’s just for 1 or 2 types of writing anyway as advertised), while Scrivener actually had nearly everything I needed. I couldn’t even export/print a project as I needed on StoryMill (very disappointing), while Scrivener could export my projects exactly as I needed with Title Pages, Chapters and auto-Chapter #s, proper line breaks, etc.!

See… so now I sound like a StoryMill-basher, which is what I was trying to avoid.

Anyway, so more about my wishlist - also when I say “dedicated feature,” I really mean more of “having the option to.” Obviously Scrivener is excellently designed to be customizable to the user in its displayed features, toolbar, and layout. There are just a few more user options I wish there were, as mentioned in the original post.

And actually, I didn’t see many of the wishlist items I listed being that drastic of a change. I mentioned icons - Keith said he is already doing icons.

I mentioned character sheets, etc… Keith said he’s already doing this, too!

I mentioned a “session word count progress bar”… there are already progress bars/stats in Scrivener, I just wanted a few more options of where to have them show, so I can see them better or all the time.

And so forth. Most of my wishlist, is just taking what is already in Scrivener, and adding another user-customizable option on the way it’s displayed. What makes Scrivener great, is that ability to customize the layout, toolbar, etc. I just wanted a few more options on what’s already there.

That’s all.

And when you say, “Scrivener won’t fit everybody.” I’ll almost disagree with you right there! Because after reading for hours and days all the posts all across the net, on this site and many others, it does seem that anybody that tries Scrivener, leaves the application(s) they WERE using, and picks Scrivener right up! I actually don’t think I found a single person that didn’t switch to Scrivener according to their post.

Like I said, I read countless reviews, posts, and did countless more tests on many apps, to see if Scrivener was right for me. It is. And it seems that way for countless more others.

So actually, in real-world-use, I think it actually is a program for nearly everybody! But that’s just my 2-cents I suppose.

Really, Scrivener, like ten-thousand people have said, is AN AMAZING PROGRAM! It’s replacing many, many other programs for me, just like for you, because it is simply superior.

SO anyway, I thought this was a wishlist forum, and that was my wishlist in my original post. So see, I actually wasn’t complaining!

Keith, thanks so much for the hard work and excellent software! :smiley:

Actually to make StoryMill the way it needs to be, would take a list 100 times as long, and that probably wouldn’t happen anyway - because Mariner Software is spreading the features across several apps.

Actually, I didn’t mean “Dedicated,” I really meant “User-Customizable”… see my longer post about this. I’m quite happy with Scrivener, but as I was saying, this is a wishlist forum, and I was posting my wishlist. With it being even more “user-customizable” it can be more of what I want and more of what you want and more of what some other person wants, it’s really about adding 1 or 2 ways the features already in Scrivener are displayed. That’s all. It’s about making what is already user-customizable, only slightly more so.

Oh, and what does amaze me… is that Scrivener actually does have so many features for a first-version 1.11 application! Every other app feels anemic and skinny compared to Scrivener’s features. I guarantee, that many apps, including major ones I won’t name, will be copying or emulating many of Scriveners features over the years. (And yes, I know Scrivener borrowed many features from other apps, that’s how software grows over the many years anyway, but so far Scrivener is the only one to put them all together in such an useful and harmonious way!)

Dear Scrivener User,

“Welcome on board the Good Ship Scrivener” :smiley: as my human, Vic, would say.
Some of the humans onboard, being protective of their beloved Sciv, and its Skipper, have been known, albeit, only on the rarest of occasions, to shoot first( from the hip ), and ask questions later :wink:
Do take care s-u,

Le D wrote:

Ergo, brevity.
Thwart skullduggery.


Hi Scrivener-User,

Don’t take any of the replies in the wrong way. :slight_smile: It is a bit depressing, as a developer, to be confronted with such a long list, I have to say. But yes, it is a wish list forum, and you are more than welcome to post your wishes here, whatever they are. Some wish list items get implemented (if I like it and think it will be essential to me), some don’t.

I have to say that, regarding the progress bar, I must be missing something in StoryMill, as Scrivener’s View > Statistics > Project Targets does pretty much the same as the one in StoryMill (and I fully admit that that panel was more than a little “inspired” by the one in Avenir, which I really liked). I certainly couldn’t see an option for turning the progress bars red in Avenir; and you won’t be able to do this in Scrivener as Scrivener uses the standard Apple progress bar; generally I try to stick to HIG-standard controls where possible.

There will certainly be no typewriter sound, as that falls under the category of “gimmick”, I’m afraid - you can download separate apps that do this, though.

Oh, and you can use the thesaurus built into OS X (the Dictionary).

As for HTML - Scrivener uses Apple’s standard HTML exporter, which isn’t exactly pretty. I would like to support better HTML/website export one day, but that isn’t slated until 2.0.

All the best,

Hello, all, especially scrivener-user and KB:
I’ve been following this for a while in silence, but scrivener-user’s long recent post prompted me to jump in and say that, like him (her) I have followed many posts in these forums and have been impressed with the way newcomers to Scrivener become fans, as well as with the help that forum users and KB provide. I am also a fan; every day I find another capability of Scrivener. I am putting all my writings on Scriv, and I am starting to worry, even though KB is much younger than I, that it may not be forever.

So here’s my wish: That KB not get so rich and famous that he abandons Scriv and leaves us all scrambling aboard an inferior app, snapping and snarling at each other and doing the “remember when” routine in our rare moments of harmony.

The bald eagles are chittering, so I must go. Peace to all.

Thanks Sorrel. :slight_smile: Well, I hope to get rich and famous, but not to abandon…

Well, you’re already on your way to a famous software designer among writers!