Windows and Mac versions going forward

Hi there,

I’m a non-Scrivener user, thinking about purchasing Scrivener for Windows once version 3 is released. I have a question which I’m hoping someone can help me with.

I’m pretty sure I read that part of the reason Scrivener for Windows 3 is a big deal is that the Windows and Mac versions do not share a codebase - so Windows v3 is basically a recreation of the Mac functionality but in Windows form.

I had assumed that, as part of that work, the Mac and Windows versions were being moved to the same codebase so that there could be one unified development effort for future versions. But I see now that Mac is on version 3.1, and Windows version 3 isn’t even out yet - so my question is, am I correct in this assumption? Is Scrivener moving to one codebase for both Mac and Windows versions? or are they going to continue as separate developments?

If they’re going to remain separate codebases then this might be a deal-breaker for me, as it suggests that the Windows version will forever be a second-class citizen of the Scrivener world, and updates to the Windows version will continue to be infrequent, and a big time-consuming deal to carry out.

Can anyone enlighten me?

There has never been any plan for the two versions to share the same codebase. That simply isn’t possible because of the vast differences between the two operating systems.

(To give just one example, Mac Scrivener uses the Mac OS text system. There is no equivalent for the Windows platform.)

We do however, plan to achieve and maintain feature parity across the two platforms.


Hi Katherine,

Thanks a lot for your response. That clarifies things!

Based off my experience with the iPad version of Scriver and knowing how much of the backend macOS and iOS are identical, I’m about 75% sure something similar exists in Windows 8 and above. Essentially, there’s a way to enable a spell checker property in a textbox and richtextbox object. Of course, that might require using Visual Studio rather than Qt as well as dropping support for Windows 7 (which is losing support from Microsoft in less than a year anyway).

I’m not sure what the similarities between iOS and Mac OS have to do with Microsoft’s design decisions, but okay…


Last I looked at the developer frameworks in question, Windows still has no native rich text system that offers the sheer scope of functionality MacOS does. Yes, you have richtextbox objects, but you don’t have the whole hierarchy of documents that makes Scrivenings mode possible. You also don’t have a system-wide spellcheck engine that automatically hooks in to every text document you create – with Windows, each app has to provide its own spellcheck functionality and wrap it into its data.

That’s part of the reason for using the Qt framework instead of using native Windows frameworks – the Qt framework does provide some of that functionality to its widgets and applications, so the gap isn’t quite as wide and the developers can work more on developing Scrivener functionality and less on recreating MacOS functionality. They already have to do enough of that as it is. Switching to native Windows frameworks would only make that worse.

That’s just ONE example.

I only have the iOS version so I was extrapolating how much would be common to both Apple versions. The iOS and Mac versions of Scrivener rely on common back-end text-handling features implemented by Apple. From there I was commenting the availability of similar features implemented by MIcrosoft in newer version of Windows.

There’s a SpellCheck class that can be called with textbox and richtextbox since .NET 3.0, which was released 12 years ago.

So there is…but last I knew they’re not writing Scrivener using the .NET Framework. I believe it is still a Win32 application.