Windows Complaint [Split from BEFORE POSTING...]

I am currently looking at working with software for serial ebook production, with special emphasis on easying the workflow and being able to streamline that process.

It was a surprise to see the development of the windows version, and given how far behind the software is, one could argue that it is false advertising on the page to list the windows version next to the mac version. The differences of that version are given at some point, yes, but nicely structured with many details conceiling the major components missing from the windows version.

I have spend the last week with many hours of hunting down “howto” and then figuring out “that solution is only available on the mac”. I understand limited ressources as well as ‘if people will not buy this there is no need to develop it’.

Which is why I thank you for your clear statement, that features will not be implemented along a line of useful trajectories in regards to feature sets but according to what you like best next. Or find easy enough to implement next.

Usually I would evaluate software based on features and near future, it is now clear to me that here I better judge it on “take what you have now”. The mac version might be years ahead, but a windows version does not need the same time for catchup but should be done on a much faster time schedule, even with limited ressources.

I doubt for example that displaing header titles in scrivings requires the programming of a word processor. Having any chance of a keyboard combination for inserting a hyperlink probably is much more complicated (btw the standard windows keyboard shortcut for that is ctrl-k). Then again, scrivener seems not to be meant for writing non fiction with inner linkings which work after compiling anyhow (which is what I meant with limitations now - it is clear that this is so far down the road of implementation, it is easier to deal with it otherwise outside of scrivener with macros and skripts).

Features available on the mac will come some time in the next years, in order of mostly personal preference aka unpredictable. Most of the keyboard combinations are not consistant with windows; given that there is a huge overlap of users with the mac that might make sense.

I will look after the test phase if the money for buying the license is worth the result and if Scrivener is worth the nuisance of having to work with tons of additional tools to do simple things or if it is easier to let macros run over Word to ‘compile’ a html export*.

I make this comment to point out that somebody who buys your software may not be a great fan, but currently your sofware provides something which is worth the amount of money it costs. That does not mean that it is a vote for your development process - and the moment something better comes along, it will be easy to change over.


*search and replace with regexp can do wonders. I worked on two books with tons of images and indexes in word with its rich features (headings and formats, automatic ToC) made into latex code and back from the edited checkout from the publisher.

Nowhere was it said that features are added based on what is easiest for me. Far from it.

Nor was it said anywhere that we are adding features to the Windows version based on our vagaries and whims. Instead, the Windows team is working hard to get all Mac features into the Windows version, and the upcoming 1.7 update is a huge milestone in that process.

Features that ultimately make it into both versions are indeed based on whether I believe they have a place in Scrivener. But anything added to the Mac version will also be added to the Windows version.

True, it should not take as long for the Windows version to get all the Mac features, and nor is it doing so. The Mac version has now been in development for ten years, the Windows version for about four, and it is getting very close to full Mac functionality. Development on Windows has been about twice as fast, despite the fact that much of the Windows groundwork had to be built from scratch, whereas Apple provided a lot more ready-made frameworks the Mac version could harness.

Nowhere do we hide the fact that the Windows version is behind the Mac version - we even sell it more cheaply, for precisely this reason. Even so, we still believe the Windows version is a great piece of software in its own right that provides features not available elsewhere. True, it’s missing a few features compared to the version that has been in development for over twice as long, but judged on its own merits I think it more than stands its own. It is far more advanced than Scrivener 1.x for Mac, which had many thousands of happy users and professional writers using it. We emphatically do not indulge in false advertising; every feature described on our Windows product page is available to the Windows version. It should be noted that even Microsoft has a one or two year lag between their Windows and Mac versions (favouring their Windows version).

We don’t ask you to like our development process, but only to judge Scrivener on the product itself. I’m open about my development process, but most indie software follows a very similar process. We listen to all user suggestions and many of them make it into the software, as is evidenced by the vast number of feature additions and refinements every year.

Ultimately, you should judge the Windows version based on what it can do now, even though more features are on the way. We never claimed Scrivener would suit everyone, and we provide a wealth of links to our competitors and alternatives should you wish to try something else:

I do understand the frustration of Windows users who find that features they want are not available in the Windows version yet, but the list of such features is shrinking all the time and our Windows team is working flat out to implement everything. Moreover, they are working towards a moving target, as the Mac version is forever being improved too. While limited resources may not seem to you a good enough reason for such discrepancies, we genuinely do not have the resources of Microsoft, and charge a reasonable price for a relatively niche product. Scrivener is a deep and internally complex program, in which even a seemingly small feature can take a month to implement if we are to ensure it is done right and integrated throughout the software.


I’d like to make a remark on how much time KB spends on answering this kind of posts, kindly and thoroughly.

Being a Windows user myself I have also experienced the frustration of the gaps between both versions. Having said that, participating on the Beta cycle has proved to me how things are moving forward, which has also helped me in gathering the patience needed for a niche product from a committed small company.

Support has always been provided as well, even when I was completely lost when learning to use the product.

I love Scrivener, and this community rocks!