Text wraps around images

Pretty self explanatory.

Just so you’re aware, this is not an uncommon request, and the developer has in the past explained that it’s not likely he will include this kind of capability since it veers into full-on page layout software. The vision for Scrivener is that it is not layout software – you use it to research, outline, and write your work, and then you compile it to your chosen output format. Once you have it in that format, if you need more specific layout work done, you open the output document in the layout software of your choice to do that work.

Although Scrivener can be used to develop e-books in ePub or Kindle mobi format from start to finish, not having fine-grained layout control isn’t a huge problem for these formats because they don’t really give you much control over those elements anyway, given the design and philosophy of ePub and Kindle readers (where most of the formatting is a hint that can be overridden by the user’s device settings, and where the layout is less static and more fluid.)

In this day and age with so many writers with different goals and styles, I would think such a decision would prohibit penetration into certain non-fiction markets. I, for example, do a LOT of web research and use a lot of images in my instructional ebooks. The features I’m asking for, highlighting clipped web pages and text wrapping around images and text boxes, are not extravagant, yet I can’t seem to find one program that does everything I need. It’s surprising, actually. If this is not an uncommon request, obviously they are telling their customers “no” on something they need. Eventually, someone will serve those needs and they will lose those customers.

Beware of logical fallacies. By the logic you just stated, it’s obviously not a hugely common request because nobody has yet made a program to fit that need…or, most people feel that existing programs are “good enough.” And yet people find new ways to innovate all the time…

At the end of the day, L&L has visibility into their sales and broad appeal that none of the rest of us do. Given Scrivener’s lifetime, I’d say that KB and crew are probably much better poised to make decisions about the future of the product than any of us armchair quarterbacks are. After all, software takes work to design and develop, and software engineers aren’t just chained into mindlessly calling into existence the will of the consensus – they get to be individuals, make their own decisions, and write the kind of software they want to as well.

Is responding to your comment, “Just so you’re aware, this is not an uncommon request” a logical fallacy? Frankly, I’m getting tired of everyone throwing that accusation around so loosely. Contradicting yourself by saying first that this is a common request and then when I say I’m surprised that no one has come up with an all-encompassing solution you reply, “fallacy,” is itself fallacious.

If the software designers know best what to do with their software, fine, yes, it is their software. I’m remarking that they would probably have a wider market if they added these “commonly requested” features.

This suggests that either (a) the features you are asking for are in some way contradictory, so that implementing all of them in the same program is more difficult than it appears or (b) your requirements are more unique than you realize, as no programmer sees a large enough market opportunity to justify the effort.

In any case, Scrivener is not intended to be a page layout tool, and features like this lie outside of its intended scope.

This is also a much more difficult request than it may appear, because the Compile command can change almost all aspects of document formatting, including page size, font, line spacing, and paragraph indentation. So not only would Scrivener have to be able to wrap text in the Editor, it would have to be able to reflow it to give an aesthetically plausible result from any Compile specification.


Think you have raised an interesting issue.

Keith, the founder and developer of Scrivener, created the software for novel and thesis writing:

“Struggling to write a novel and a thesis, Keith began to dream of his perfect writing software, a tool that integrated composition, outlining and research. When, after a futile search, he realised it didn’t exist, he set about designing it himself.”

Its uses and user-base have expanded over the years, and even if it isn’t a WYSIWYG application, it does offer a huge array of design and layout tools. For many, in my experience, this has become an increasingly complex and alienating mix.

I can see why requests like yours are made. On the other hand, I know that Scrivener’s extensive offer does put some people off, especially the pure writers and editors who really only want to see the words, without all the styles and layouts etc.

With the growth of tablets and phones, the world has changed since Scrivener was first conceived. Increasingly, I find that the people around me want a simpler interface and a simpler tool, not a more multilayered one. (The formatting can be done by a different app [and a different professional].) The reliance on RTF and the greater expansion of styles in Scrivener 3 has already created a gap between Scrivener and other writing software, such as Ulysses and Bear, which work so well on small devices, have almost no formatting or layout to think about, and sync so easily with Mac computers.

I come from a family of writers and have a fairly good network of writers and editors. In the last few years, people have drifted away from Scrivener because of its complexities.

Perhaps Scrivener would reach a wider market if it added features such as the one you requested (and perhaps became more of a WYSIWYG program), but I think there would also be a drop-off at the other end of the writing spectrum, of people who see less as being more.

I guess only Keith knows how tipping that balance would work for him and the company. I absolutely love and feel torn by a sense of loyalty to Scrivener, but I find myself writing more and more on iOS devices and enjoying the simpler interaction I can get with other apps (especially ones that don’t need Dropbox or have to support Windows users).

Really enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Thanks for your replies everyone. I think I understand better why this is not a feature, although it puts a writer like me in an odd position. It’s not a big deal, though. I’m actually finding that going back to Word and using EverNote is the best workflow for me. In Word I can use the navigation pane in combination with header styles for organization and I can use all the formatting I need in one application. EverNote is the best research tool I’ve found so far. The combination of these two more than suffices for my needs. I recognize now that I’m sort of dreaming in wanting everything in one. It might even be more practical for me to work as I am now. Thanks for helping me come back down to earth :slight_smile: