Use Scrivener to create How To articles with screenshots?

I love the way Scrivener works, i just wrote my first book on how to use the iPad with Special Needs users (<- plug. smile). A good portion of the book is reference material on how to use accessibility features and i want to turn/convert/repurpose the content into a series of how to documents for the book website and other special needs websites i run. I am thinking all the way; webpages, individual PDF downloads, PDF Manual, and videos.

I currently use Clarify, love it too. I would need to step up to Screenstep to get more export features when i thought about using Scrivener instead since most of the content is already there i would just need to get annotated screenshot in

If i a had a good screen capture app that gave me quick annotations and could save to clipboard i could then just paste into Scrivener. I would also need to figure out a smooth export to HTML, PDF etc but i am sure that will not be that hard.

What do people think, what problems might i run into, what about any good screen capture and annotation apps? (our side of Grab)

Thank you in advance


Skitch. :slight_smile:

It’s a brilliantly designed program for just this sort of thing. It has all the standard snapshot methods like full screen or rectangular capture. In addition it can pull out single windows with or without the typical Mac dropshadow. It can even extract individual menus and interface sheets. Once snapped, you can annotate the screenshot with easy to use tools. At the bottom of the window is a little pull-tab. Drag that and drop it nearly anywhere. If you drop it into the binder it’ll import the file. If you drop it into a text editor it will embed the graphic. Drop in the Finder to save it as a file. You can even set it up to upload to your web server with a single click and then in a second click copy the URL—great for forum posts.


you are awesome, this is exactly the kind of advice i was looking for.

Thank you so much


I’m a Windows user, and I only just installed Scrivener yesterday. My very first project was a how-to with screenshots, so your thread resonated with me. :smiley:

I wanted to mention a couple of tools for us Windows types. Greenshot ( - or just install it through the awesome Ninite: is an excellent screenshot tool; it includes a lightweight editor with annotations, callouts, and an “Obfuscate” tool that I use all the time (I work with medical offices, and it’s very important to hide any confidential patient data before publishing a how-to!)

Unfortunately, Greenshot’s editor doesn’t include image scaling, and neither does Scrivener as far as I can tell (you can tell it to scale the image, but nothing actually happens.) So I had to add one more step - IrfanView (, or via Ninite.) Double-click the image, Ctrl-R to resize, click the Half button, click OK, Ctrl-S, done. (I could also have done this from the command line via ImageMagick or something, but it always takes me longer to look up the command-line parameters than to just Do It.)

Since this was my first Scrivener project, it all took a bit longer than I’d like - but even so, outlining meant I saved enough time that it compared quite nicely with doing it directly in Word. I’m going to enjoy this…