Template Library

I second this question. I’ve Googled, and I’ve searched the L&L forums. There are references to this file, but no sign of the file itself. I suspect it was removed at some point.

I’d also be interested in any other heavy-duty research templates.

I third this request, I haven’t managed to find an active link to these pieces of gold!

I have removed the templates I provided for the beta phase of Scrivener’s development.

I spent many hundreds of hours putting the material together and people started to take it all for granted and came to believe that the templates were part of the finished full Scrivener application. They were not. They are not for general use.

The templates were my own private work that I shared with the beta developers. They are not part of the commercial application.

Other templates are still on the thread.


I’m sorry to hear that, its a pity the developers didn’t recognize your contribution.

It is clearly time for a repository of templates and other user contributed files to be created. I am a consistent user of a program called matlab where a central user library provides a repository for thousands of files which are posted and shared amongst users. Each file can be commented upon by users and given a star rating. Sometimes ideas are picked up by the software developer (the author at least receives recognition of their peers) and incorporated into the program or are developed further into a separate tool box add on for the program.

Such a system clearly provides enormous benefits for the developers.

In addition it is incredibly inefficient for users to re-invent the wheel when something has been done 1000 times by other users but is unavailable due to the lack of an appropriate library where contributors and other program uses are provided with an forum for sharing files such as templates. The searching process in the current setup is very far from ideal.

In my opinion the current system is arcane and inefficient and could be improved very easily with great benefits for users and developers.



quote=“Lord Lightning”]I have removed the templates I provided for the beta phase of Scrivener’s development.

I spent many hundreds of hours putting the material together and people started to take it all for granted and came to believe that the templates were part of the finished full Scrivener application. They were not. They are not for general use.

The templates were my own private work that I shared with the beta developers. They are not part of the commercial application.

Other templates are still on the thread.


Thanks for the explanation. Getting appropriate rewards for something like a template is both difficult, and important to give people incentives to make them. Scrivener is far from alone in having a lousy template library, confirming that this is a general problem. It’s an example of “market failure” arising from the strange economics of knowledge.

For example, I would pay consulting fees to have an expert help me figure out what tools to use , and how best to use them. If I think about the hours I’ve put into evaluating the tools I now use including Pages, EagleFiler, CircusPonies, and Inspiration, not to mention learning to use them, it’s very inefficient compared with hour on the phone. After 2 years of using Circus Ponies Notebook, I still can’t figure out a straightforward way to use it for keeping notes for an academic project, even though it’s ostensibly designed for that purpose. For all I know, such people already exist, and I just don’t know about them.

OTOH I have enough experience with helping others use computers to know that it’s very tough to make a viable business model around such “coaching”. But the web does make it at least conceivable to make money doing this, using tools like blogs to get PR.

Just a note to new users - when LL talks of the “developers”, he isn’t talking about the developers of Scrivener. I’m not 100% sure who he was talking about, but I’m sure he’ll clarify if he wants. :slight_smile:

A lot of new users may have missed the fact that Scrivener, its forum, the website and everything else is the result of a one-man company. i.e. I do it all myself, excepting, of course, the very kind and invaluable help of the user AmberV, who helps out with moderating the forum (oh, and she also very kindly created the Scrivener icon). And then there are a number of Scrivener users who visit the forum regularly and are kind enough to help other users, which really helps me out, too.

I think it’s important to realise that there is only one developer before we start talking about “lousy” template libraries. I added the ability to create templates so that users could create their own. I created a few basic templates and a couple of users were kind enough to contribute some. Those are the ones that come with the app. The system is based on Xcode’s project type library, for the record.

I would be interested in hearing how, for instance, the system could be improved “easily”. Any work involved on setting up and maintaining a separate user library has to be offset and balanced against time spent developing, improving and fixing bugs in Scrivener, which should be my main priority. Scrivener is cheap and has only a modest number of users - it will never be selling in the millions like MS Word, for instance - so I cannot afford a whole team to work on it and the forum and everything else. Neither would I want one - please see the About page for more information about Literature & Latte and how Scrivener came about.

I hope this doesn’t in any way sound terse (I don’t think you can be terse with so many words, but hey…) - it’s not meant that way. I’m just don’t want new users to be under the mistaken impression that Literature & Latte is a faceless software company with a whole raft of developers, website designers, forum moderators and so on. All of them only exist in my head.

All the best,

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It seems to me that a template library system needs the following attributes:
– searchable
– documented
– end-user usable (i.e., we can’t bug Keith for everything)
– some structure (at least in the form of keywords or tags)

This sounds to me like a wiki. Let’s assume it is for a sec – what does an entry include?:
– tags indicate what kind of template
– the entry itself should include data such as date, creator, Scrivener version created under, etc.
– design inspiration or philosophy (i.e., this is based on the Hero’s Journey)
– screenshots of the expanded binder (so you can see what it does before downloading)
– documentation on how to use it (if not immediately clear)

Thoughts / comments / additions / subtractions / gripes / ad hominems?


Yes, Keith nails it. Exactly.

My effort was meant to contribute to the amazing work that he did and the generous, sage and always respectful contributions that Amber made in getting this most desirable of applications to writers.

Over the time Keith was developing Scrivener (while working full-time) he gave so much of himself to every query and every wish the beta phase of development generated. He has been more generous than most realise.

My aspirations were to help those who worked as beta users and shared their ideas and effort to make this the best of all writing apps - anywhere. Beta users - not commercial users.

When Scrivener went commercial it attracted a lot of attention and smart new users.

My contributions were not intended to be attached to or part of any ‘finished’ commercial application (yes, it is still going to morph into something even better).

I am delighted that this thread seems to have evoked a response and perhaps some of the suggestions are worth putting on the wish list.

Good wishes.


Although good templates are desirable, in my observation the incentives are not there for private parties to do much work on them. Only giant armies of developers, eg Microsoft, have the resources to develop them commercially, and MS does it mainly because there is virtually no reason to upgrade to the next version, so they create an artificial one. The only exception is that on occasion the developers themselves contribute their own very simple templates, as a marketing tool. That’s what comes with Scrivener today.

So although I support the wiki suggestion, I don’t expect many templates in any case, and I don’t think L&L should spend his time on putting together any kind of template exchange. (If users want to throw together a wiki, that’s another story.) As most of us probably know, producing something like a template that is general and robust enough for other people to use is several times as much work as just throwing something together for oneself.

Even without a template, it’s valuable to read verbal discussions of how people use a tool, eg the threads involving Amber. These still take time, but much less than putting together a template.

(Aside: I’m using the Beta of MS Word 2008 for Mac, and I strongly recommend against spending money to upgrade. If you have a site license, that’s another story, but the list of actual enhancements is pathetic. Even the official MS list seems to be struggling to find things that are new!)

I’d be grateful if you would elaborate on this in the Software by Other Folk thread. I was thinking of getting Word 2008 (as I hate Word 2004)…

Anyway, thanks for the valuable discussion on templates!
All the best,

I don’t recall anyone suggesting “commercially developing” templates, rather, the discussion was about finding a way to better distribute them, and supporting further development.

Why? To date there are already a fair number of templates created by end users. I for one would be happy to put up any templates I create, and encourage other users to modify them (and post the mods) as they see fit. The entire point of doing a wiki is that the development can be incremental.

My first inclination to this was to simply volunteer to do it myself. That may still be an option, but I have to explore a few things. That having been said, it seems to me that the natural place for such an exchange is on this site. That’s where the current template library resides, and it is where people will look for such things. A user site has the possibility of the links going dead or some such, whereas I am confident the L&L site will be around.

Furthermore, this is to some degree a marketing function and a support function. Marketing in that it highlights resources that are available, support in that there are numerous requests on the forum for templates. (In fact, that’s how this particular thread got started.)

If I thought this would do anything but decrease Keith’s work in general, I wouldn’t have suggested it.

Actually, I don’t know that – not at all. Last time I checked, the only determinant was “is it useful?” Chances are, if you find it useful, someone else will to – or they will modify it and post the modified version.

Much information on how to export my own templates.

I simply want the templates that appear to be standard. Specifically the Research and Ph.D. project templates. Shouldn’t I see more than this?

Picture 1.png

Any suggestions? Something else I need to download and install?



Those are the default templates as of now. Unless something has changed, I think the template library will be expanded a bit in the next update.

I haven’t been able to locate the research and Ph.D. dissertation templates I’ve seen in other screen shots.

Any pointers to those?



Okay, I believe those were user submissions, not part of the standard package. There are links to the Ph.d template at least at the very top of this thread, have you tried those? If those links do not work any more, you’ll have to contact the original creator. Some of these templates go all the way back to some of the original public betas.

Hi there everybody. I just created a new template called Cookbook that’s just that: a recipe book. I don’t know if many of you writers cook but I know I love to do it. You’ll find a rather detailed presentation of the template on my blog at http://scriptapart.wordpress.com/
Feel free to share.
Extras Installer.zip (268 KB)

That’s fantastic, thanks!