I just paid for Scrivener, and this is why.
Of course, most of my reasons will either be very well-known to anybody who already enjoys Scrivener, or irrelevant for others with different writing habits or requirements.
But anyway, here’s what made me fork my money over :
The cool Binder to store story-related material. It acts as a mini, topic-centric, Yojimbo. I never got around using Yojimbo to store my writing research (although I use it successfully for everything else), so Scrivener fits right in there.
Spotlight integration to search into .scriv bundles. One drawback to using Scrivener would have been to make a piece of research locked into that .scriv package and thus unsearchable from Spotlight. I often use Spotlight to look up people or companies names, for example. It turns out everything I have ever written, mailed, read and archived about them, so that I can quickly refresh my memory before writing. With Scrivener’s Spotlight integration I don’t have to export all my research documents back in their original format once I’m done with a story.
“Binder affects”. Great little Preference that allows me to always have my research material in the lower panel. It doesn’t seem like much, but it was very annoying to always have to remember what panel had the focus before opening a new research document.
Text highlighting. That was one of the things I really missed in that good ol’ Textedit I used to take notes during interviews : being able to come back to it and highlight what I felt was the most relevant to my story and that I really wanted to make sure I will not leave out. Scrivener gave it to me. Thanks. Really
Snapshots. Very, very, useful to save all different versions of the same bit of text after it got through several revisions and the customer / editor finally likes “the first one better”.
Apple + arrow works again as expected ! Hurrah ! Ok, that’s not what I’d call a major asset, but for everybody using Pages 08, that’s good news : pressing the Option + Arrow keys actually brings you at the beginning/end of the line in Scrivener, instead of indenting the whole paragraph as it started to do in Pages 08.
Keith is very active, very helpful and very available for his users through the forums. And that alone deserves some love !
What I still miss :
During my testing period (started this summer), there is only one major thing I found missing in Scrivener : the ability to highlight a portion of text and immediately see the characters count for that portion instead of the whole document (Pages 08 got it right). That still forces me to open a new blacnk document somewhere else just to copy-paste the portion of text I need to calibrate.
Now, let’s see… the good largely outnumber the less good, so I’m buying
Thanks Keith for such a fine piece of software !