Windows version

So how come there isn’t a Windows version of Scrivener?

Because the developer is a bad boy, and he likes to break the law!

(You can register an interest in a Windows version there, too.)

In short, though: I wrote the program for myself initially, as it’s the program I wanted to use. I’m a Mac user, so I taught myself to program on the Mac to create Scrivener (back when I was a Windows user I completely failed to teach myself to program for the platform, even though I tried). The company started with just me selling the program I had created, and now a friend is on board helping with the non-coding stuff, but we’re not a giant software company able to hire staff or programmers - that’s why there is currently no Windows version.

One might equally rudely ask, “So how come there should be?”


I think you missed the tone a tad. Try; Why would anyone want to ruin a program like scrivener by attempting to make it conform to the mediocre environment created by a crappy OS?

But that might be a bit more “eye poke” than you really intended.

It was just that I thought the OP’s single line mail was really an uncalled-for way of asking the question … and clearly he hadn’t bothered to look through the forum where there’s been not inextensive discussion of that. And the arrogant undertone of suggestion that any good program on the Mac ought automatically to be available in a windoze version.

Actually, my response was pretty rude for me …


If that is your version of rude you may not want to hang out with me to much. :wink:

Crappy OS or no, there’s a whole hell of a lot more Windows users than Mac ones.

I’m coming at it from the point of view of someone who owns both windows and mac machines and wants to be able to use his scriv files across all the platforms he owns without it being a thing. I’d happily pay for multiple licenses to do that. Scrivener is a lovely piece of software, and like all great software it shouldn’t have to be platform-dependent.

KB, if the process is too daunting for you yourself to consider, have you thought to put it up as an open source project for other developers to have a crack at? An alternative would be to develop a platform independent version of it (such as a web application, and AIR application etc).

Just some thoughts.

That depends. If you are at a music festival, you will meet a lot more people with a Mac, so the absolute numbers make no sense for someone selling music software. Also, I’m not sure Windows users are so many more among the writers, than Mac users. I would be very interested to know how many more word processing apps are sold on Windows, than for the Mac.


So KB is to give up his source of income and current life’s work and make it open source that anyone can hack into it, eh?

As so rather than teach himself to code Windows, he should teach himself to code web applications, java, or AIR or whatever …

Hmm …


I’d just like to add to the clamor for a Windows version. Regardless of how you feel about the advantages of OS X vs Windows (and current reviews seem to find few substantive differences between the two any longer), it’s hard to see how offering a version for Windows wouldn’t add revenue. I’ve signed up for the newsletter update regarding a Windows release, but I’d of course like one immediately, in these times of instant gratification! :slight_smile: I am trying Liquid Story Binder, which seems the closest, but it keeps crashing on me. Not good.

I’m sure that many who have the luxury of writing novels full time may be using Macs. But those of us with day jobs are probably using PCs, since we have to be compatible with business apps anyhow. So I wouldn’t at all assume that most writers use Macs. Anyhow, I’d welcome a Windows version…but by the time it comes out, I may be all loaded up on some other program and reluctant to switch. Sigh.

Yes, of course it would, provided the Windows version could be materialized out of thin air, rather than requiring a ground-up rewrite on a completely alien (and somewhat unfriendly) platform.

Since it can’t, the return on investment is not nearly as clear cut as you suggest. My experience with other Mac programs that have tried to bridge the gap is that they end up frustrating their core (Mac) user base, without necessarily getting enough new Windows users to be worth the trouble.

You might also be surprised by the number of people with PC-based day jobs who use Macs as their personal systems. File compatibility is not that difficult, and Intel-based Macs can run Windows if necessary anyway.


True. But I don’t want a Mac. We have two great PC laptops for the price of one MacBook… both (Asus) with higher reliability ratings than Mac… And one thing many people don’t realize is that Office for Mac is not the same as Office for PC, with the latter being much better and requiring far fewer clicks to use, though the files are compatible. So if you’re a serious biz-apps user, PCs make more sense, though the recent release of Outlook for Mac helps a lot.

I think Macs are great for a lot of reasons and don’t see why PC makers haven’t copied more features of the trackpads (though Asus and Acer have begun). But in general both OSes are made by huge companies that are just after your money and neither one really gives a poop about you, the user…you’re just deluded if you think Apple loves you. You should get the best deal you can and run.

All I’m saying is I’d love to buy a Windows product. Just as people who are designers pay a lot for Photoshop, I’d pay a lot more for a product that supported my writing. Way more than $40 or whatever Scrivener charges. It’s a tax deduction, what do I care? You can listen to me or not listen to me, it’s up to you. Just for whatever it’s worth, I’m out here, I’ve got money to spend, I’m willing to buy the product.

It’s interesting that there are several people on here who have shelled out two or three times the price of a PC for a Mac just to get Scrivener. That tells you that you’re not charging enough for Scrivener for one thing. Write Scrivener for Windows, charge $300 for it. I can buy a PC for $300, install Scrivener, and still come out ahead.

If you’re unwilling to buy a Mac, that’s your decision, of course. But you shouldn’t expect much sympathy from the Mac owners of the world. We’re quite happy with our choice.

The whole point of using Scrivener is to avoid Word as much as possible, thereby reducing the limitations of Mac Word to minor irritants.


Keith, can we get this in Scrivener too? Because that sounds AWESOME!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be getting back to my yacht and my wealthy lifestyle of Mac using, using my Mac that I bought with all my wealth. On my yacht, did I mention that? I love my yacht (which I call the “iDle Time”. Isn’t that precious?!? You see what I did there with the lower case i?? Ahhh, it’s so nice to have so much time on my hands to think of these things!) Anyway, I lounge on my yacht daily, using my Mac to turn fairy starlight into rainbows, which everyone knows is all it’s good for.

Okay, all this typing is wearing me out. I’m just not used to anything resembling real work. The rest of you get back to your day jobs! Hahahaha! I kid of course. We’re all Mac users here, so none of us could possibly work for a living. (I used to have a day job – y’know, as a hobby – but since my Mac is only good for bubble blowing, unicorn chasing and leprechaun tickling, it was hard to get any serious work done.)

Ta ta! Fiddle dee dee!


Sidestepping the debate about Windows vs Macs, let me just say that it’s not that I have anything against PCs. Scrivener was developed on a Mac simply because that’s my platform of choice, and I taught myself to program purely so that I could create Scrivener. It started selling okay, and now my best friend is part of L&L and helps out with non-coding stuff. But there is no way I could also work on a Windows version myself. I don’t know anything about programming for Windows, and I don’t use the platform, meaning I’d make a bad job of it even if I tried. It would be impossible in terms of time, too - Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac is already a year behind schedule (ha) because of the amount there is to do on it, and the fact that there’s only me to do it. I just could not juggle two code bases - because the trouble is, you can’t just convert the Mac code base into a Windows code base. It needs rewriting entirely.

So, that’s why I personally won’t be writing a Windows version. I would also be short-changing the Mac customers if I abandoned them for another platform or tried to juggle both. But yes, there are certainly many Windows users who want to be able to run Scrivener. I get hundreds of e-mails to that effect, and the Windows newsletter has had a healthy response.

So, to sum up: I personally won’t be writing a version of Windows, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t love to be able to provide a Windows version. A windows version would have to be written by a Windows developer who loved the Mac version and wanted to work with us. We wouldn’t really want to raise anyone’s hopes unless there was something solid in the works, though. But then, of course, there is already a Windows newsletter, which you have already signed up for - should there be any news on the Windows front, you will be one of the first to know. So let’s just say that there is a reason why we ask you to sign up for a newsletter rather than just fill in a form to register your interest. I can’t really say any more than that at the moment. :wink:

Thanks and all the best,

I think it is interesting that the Mac OS platform has many “idea” slinging products - Scrivener (being my favourite), Ulysses, Story Mill. There is also a wealth of information managers - Devonthink, Yojimbo, tinderbox…

One of the touted benefits for the windows world was the software choice. Given all this software choice - the PC world is languishing by producing games, word processors and all thing MS office-like, but nothing truly innovative.

I suspect that apple has created a platform that makes it easier for the programmer to get where he/she wants to go. Not being a programmer, I am only guessing. But, if Moc OS X is any reflection, I find it a great deal easier to get where I want to go with a Mac that a windows machine (been using them since DOS 2.1 to Win XP). It seems that every time I get on a Windows machine I grind my teeth. I run into missing Dll files, or encounter dialogue screens that are just plain stupid - yes when I pressed shut down - I really, really wanted to shut down, or something really stupid just bogs the computer.

Scrivener owes its existence to a software author who realized some crazy ground breaking stuff, but I suspect he was able to realize his vision because the system he was on did not fight him every step of the way.

That’s definitely my experience, Niran. I first came up with the idea for Scrivener when I was on Windows, about ten years ago now. I had dabbled in some games scripting and a big of C, so I bought myself some books on C++ and MFC and quickly abandoned all hope of learning what I needed to produce such a program in my own life time. Back then the developer tools on Windows cost a fortune, too. (That’s not the case any more, but you still need to buy a lot of extra components - for instance, the out-of-the-box text system on Windows has no spell-checking, so you have to pay a third-party company for that. The upside of Windows being so popular is that there are a wealth of components you can purchase rather than having to roll your own; the downside is that if you are just starting out with an idea and aren’t already part of a software company with money, it’s very expensive because you need to buy so many basic components, which are mostly provided on OS X.) When I came to the Mac, the dev tools were provided on the install disks and the two programming books I bought (Programming in Objective-C by Stephen Kochan and Cocoa Programming for OS X by Aaron Hillegass) were insanely accessible and easy to understand - you didn’t need a degree in computer science to get through them. So I think the difference is that it’s much more difficult to turn an idea into a good program on Windows unless you have studied computer science and are already an experienced programmer; on the Mac, Cocoa makes it much easier for someone with an idea and the determination to turn an idea into a reality. But as I say, that’s just my own personal experience and there may be hundreds of Windows programmers who would totally disagree, I don’t know.

All the best,

Some more thoughts on that: Yes, having the tools and a pretty powerful framework available does make a difference; but there is more to that: Cocoa, like its predecessor NextStep, were designed to be expandable and were designed using Objective-C which, by convention and syntax, nearly forces you to write readable code and in turn encourages to write good code. My gods, just look at the naming conventions for classes and compare that to anything else. Don’t get me wrong, one can screw up here as well, but my gut feeling is: the percentage of really faulty software is below par and that is because of a nice, powerful and well designed language and framework.
I looked into creating a limited app with which one could open and read scrivener-files for linux last year but got carried away into a comparison of different frameworks and in the end it was a choice between Mono and Qt and I wondered how to persuade Apple to renew the Yellow Box thing.

Just to reiterate a point KB made in other places, there is apple script support coming.

So for all you who what to "unofficially read and write updates to a scriv package from out side sources, just be patient