Tablet PCs

I’ve just been reading Keith’s reasons for not producing a version of Scrivener for the Ipad, all very sensible and rational, but:

I use a Table PC, the proper sort with a keyboard and a screen you can lay flat and write on. And when I saw write on I mean it recognises my handwriting and produces typed text. Nobody in their right mind would use this facility for extended period of writing but I find this useful for moments of creativity (I suppose its an age thing; I still think better with a pen in my hand), and as a relaxed way of editing. Fold the screen back pick up the stylus and get on with the amendments. It’s also fellow passenger friendly when travelling.

Why am I telling you this. Currently Scrivener for Windows is not as tablet friendly as it might be. It works but (XP Pro) only with the text entry pad docked at the bottom of the screen.

It would be nice, particularly in view of the soon to be flood of slate Windows PCs (I hope!) if it worked with a floating text entry pad.

Something for V3?


That definitely sounds like something we should put on the list for testing for a future update - and an excuse for one of us to buy a tablet PC as well, of course. I know Lee is keen to get Scrivener for Windows working with such devices in the future too. Given that none of us have a tablet PC, could you please describe in a bit more detail what would need to be done for it to be more tablet-friendly?


I have a suggestion for making Scrivener more iPod friendly.

I have an iPod 1 with an Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard. With the app iA Writer and the Bose QuietComfort headphones, I can write anywhere. It’s great. However, I found I needed access to my Scrivener files on occasion. Problem: no Scrivener app in the iPod.

Here’s what I’ve come up with.

  • Sync files with DropBox. My Scrivener project is in my DropBox folder so it’s always on the Cloud. Writer syncs with DropBox as well, but it saves in .txt format. Scrivener saves text files in .rtf format.

  • Found Side-By-Side app that allows me to view .rtf files in one-to-four panels on my iPad. I navigated to my DropBox Cloud site and found my Scrivener project. Great! Now I can view, but not edit (I think), my files.

Scrivener saves files in numerical order, probably the order they were created in. I was able to quickly find the most recent document I created in Scrivener by looking at how long ago the document was created. However, if I was looking for information stored in an earlier document, I would have had to open each one up to see what it held.

Here’s the suggestion: Can the documents be named the same as the document name in Scrivener? It would make them much easier to find with other programs, such as the iPad app I’m using.



Thanks for the suggestions. While none of this is going to make it into the 1.0 release, this kind of ability to allow you to work with portable devices is on the long-term map. Scrivener for Mac does have a couple sync features that work really well for this, so once the Windows version is more stable Lee will certainly be looking into options for doing this with Windows.

Right now there really aren’t many options for editing RTF files on iOS, simply because Apple hasn’t made that available to outside developers. Hopefully this will be something that changes in the future, but for the time being you’re mostly going to be looking at working with plain-text files.

Working with that, though, the Mac version of Scrivener has an option for syncing your text files with an external folder, and you can choose to sync in .txt format, so this works really well if you set up a Dropbox folder as the sync location. As part of the process, Scrivener applies your document titles to the files stored in the external folder so that you’re able to easily identify them when working outside Scrivener; you can also choose to have the files numbered according to their order in the binder (since otherwise they’d be sorted alphabetically in Windows Explorer, etc.). It’s not possible to have the original files inside the .scriv project use the document title for the file name for various reasons, so this won’t be changing, but generally speaking you shouldn’t be editing those files directly outside of Scrivener anyway. A sync feature, when it’s in place, will create an external copy of the file and use that to go between Scrivener and other programs and the sync process will make sure all aspects of the project structure are updated accordingly.

So all this will be coming to the Windows version as it catches up to the Mac 2.0 version, for sure!

Thanks MM.

If the Windows version will create a text copy with an easily identifiable file name, that’d be great. I don’t plan on editing files outside of Scrivener, but as a wrote I’d like to read them when my memory needs to be refreshed. iPad writing is only for generating new text in an uncluttered app.

Loving Scrivener and plan on it being my main writing tool. Would like to get a MacBook Pro, but we’ll have to wait and see. :slight_smile:

Oh yeah, I completely understand–the numbered titles aren’t particularly user-friendly. :wink: What you can try now is compiling your draft, if you’re just wanting to read it, or exporting the files using File>Export and putting them on Dropbox that way. I’m following up another report on that, a minor issue with the folder names, but that’s something that will get corrected much sooner than the new sync feature will be added so it’s probably a good way for you to work right now.

I have an android tablet (motorola xoom) and have been doing all my raw writing by handwriting on it and it recognizes the text (does an excellent job, by the way - I’ve written so many chapters this way). I use dropbox heavily and keep a compiled version of my scrivener project on dropbox for reference. I understand Lee’s priorities and completely encourage him to ignore all our whining and continue with his work. I, at least, am prepared to be patient.

Having said that, the thing I’m missing most on the tablet is a table of contents in the compiled project with links to various parts. My book is at a humble midpoint with 600 pages in MS Word format. The compilation is near-useless as a reference without a key. I’ve gotten around this before by compiling text sections into separate documents that I can name… but then I wish I could get scrivener to remember what I compiled into what pieces, otherwise it’s too laborous.

Anyway, regardless of all this silliness, I love scrivener and would not trade it for anything or derail its development.

I’ve been away from it for a while whilst this threads developed. It seems my thread has generated some interesting suggestions.

To my mind the very best tablet solution will allow the user to write in the screen and the writing gets converted directly to text. I’ve not invested in Windows 7 and I understand that the UI for handwriting has improved, but in XP most applications allow either a fixed writing pane (as does Scrivener) at the bottom of the screen or a floating pane which sits over the active window. The latter is preferable as the pane grows as you write allowing for a more natural way of writing.

That’s text entry, the other tablet function which is helpful (but less important) is to put handwritten notes on a text page as you might do when making margin notes on a printing page.

Of course what I really waiting for is either the Windows or the Amazon Tablet, but that’s another discussion.


Well, I’ve been doing text entry exactly as you describe for several month, now: writing on the screen with a stylus and it converts to typed text. I’m every bit as efficient this way as I am with pen and paper. I can’t think without a pen in hand. This has really solved the problem off wasting hours typing up chapter after handwritten chapter. I’m using an app called WritePad made by Phatware. They have it for Android and iPad. I don’t know if they have a windows version.

Thanks for this. It’s certainly something I’ll look at once I get a ‘modern’ tablet.

It’s good to see that I’m not alone in needing a pen to think.


Yes, that is nice to know that others also have that quirk. Non-writers look at my funny when I say that :slight_smile: