Windows Vs Mac - Progress report

IS there such a list? I am seeing lots of things on the Mac version that I want for Windows before purchasing this software.

Just as an example, Id like to be able to place COMMENTS and Id like to have CUSTOM META DATA and FREEFORM CORKBOARD.

Is there an “upcoming changelog”, so that we can see what features are beeing worked on?

/bitter mode on/
Also, if anyone could enlighten me on why features are missing at all? I have never seen this in software conversion before. Iphone apps are converted to android and released in their FULL FORM. PC games converted to XBOX and released first when they are complete. Every other piece of software Ive seen that is both on Windows and MAC have the exact same functionalities. I dont see MS Word for MAC missing hundreds of important features. I don’t know about you, but sure makes me feel mistreated from this company just for using another OS than them. Imo, software should not be released untill it’s conversion is complete to avoid these sorts of situations.
/bitter mode off/

Other than that, this software looks awesome!

…On Mac ><

(I was kidding, bitter mode is still on :slight_smile:

Plenty of threads on why this is the case: use the Search facility on the forum. I presume Windows has such features? The aim is for both versions to be in sync ultimately, but development will not stall on Mac in the meantime.

Briefly: the Mac version is the work of one developer. The Windows version was started several years later, (by another developer who was brought in) after a huge amount of public demand. Do you think the thousands of people who are now very happily producing work in WinScriv would have been pleased to wait another year or two for any version at all while development caught up? The Windows version is an enhanced form of the Mac Scrivener V1.5, which won several awards and was very acceptable.

Your reference to Microsoft keeping Word feature compatible between Mac and Windows will bring bitter laughter from those of us who remember the day they removed Visual Basic from Office 2008, ruining compatibility at a stroke for thousands of users. Now that’s being mistreated by a software company…

[BTW, I neither work nor speak for the company]

Well, there is a list of features on the Mac that aren’t on Windows yet, but there is no published timeline for their implementation, or indeed a priority order at this point.

I can see why you’d want those, but writing on a version of Scrivener without them is still better, for me at least, than any other option out there. Have you tried the trial version of Scrivener for Windows? Many of the practical advantages of the freeform corkboard can be realised using collections, and there are already lots of ways to store information, comments and notes in you work that may get you through for now.

Yup! There are a number of ways a software developer can get seemingly speedy parity across platforms:

  1. The new platform is put in development a lot sooner than you realise, and actually held back from consumers for a long time longer than it needs to be as a useful application.
  2. The software for the new platform is actually just a porting over of the existing platform, rather than rebuilt as native software. This often means the new platform is less efficient at using system resources etc. It also practically guarantess that the new platform is always the secondary platform, rather than allowing it to have it’s own development effort to take advantage of the platform’s strengths.
  3. The development on the original platform is put on pause to allow the new platform to catch up. That one’s not really Keith’s style. He’s like a programming force of nature. Or something.

Thanks for both answers. I particularly liked the one matching my own bitterness!

After some deliberation I decided to use the freeware YWRITER instead of the Scrivener windows Beta, since it seems much easier to keep track of and organize multiple complex plotlines and conflicts in Ywriter.

I will look at and evaluate Scrivener again once custom meta-data and freeform has been implemented, which I expect will make it more practical to use this software for above said purposes.

Thank you for your time.

Hey melvic. Windows isn’t a beta - it’s full software. If you’ve not tried the trial I’d encourage you to do so. It really is great software, and incredibly flexible and powerful once you’ve started to deploy keywords, labels, metadata and all those other lovely things into your workflow.

But, if ywriter suits you better then I can understand why you’d want to use it. We all have different workflows and priorities.

If the ywriter workflow matches your own workflow precisely, then perhaps it is a better tool for you. It isn’t for me, which is why I don’t use it. ywriter provides a form for each scene than includes whether it’s a “conflict” or “reaction” scene, what the “resolution” is, as well as a lot more Marshall methodology stuff (that’s pretty much what ywriter is, you know–an implementation of Evan Marshall’s methodology, without the “structure generation” part). You can easily put this stuff either in notes or the index cards–or even in keywords, if it’s really that important to you. Use collections to create your custom corkboards, and sort out everything nine ways from Sunday.

Indeed, may I be so bold as to suggest that you take another look at collections? It is such a powerful organizing tool. At the moment I’m working on the 2nd draft of a novel with 5 active plot threads, and with collections and index card color-coding I’m able to combine them, separate them, and map their intersections with great ease. I’ve found, for instance, what parts of individual threads need more development–something that was driving me mad with frustration before I started using collections as an organizer. I don’t see any other software out there where you can do that. No, there is no “plot thread organizing” feature, not explicitly. And that is the power of it – you’ll never stop discovering new ways of doing things, as your writing and your planning needs grow and mature.

In any case, best of luck in your writing.

Oh, and just one other tiny thing…the Scrivener/Windows release is not a Beta. A minor point, to be sure.


By chance I also have 5 active plot threads, and your comments certainly sparked my interest. However, after some brief experimentation I am uncertain of the logistics when it comes to doing what you do.

I can add a tab from the binder into a collection, be it a chapter or a scene.
Then I can give different colors to different collections.
Do you break plots down into small bits, that have their own entry in the binder, and then add them to the same collection?
Then you get an overview by switching to corkboard mode?
How do you “map their intersections” when you cant even freely arrange the index cards but they always are on a straight line? (no freemode corkboard in win version :slight_smile:

Am I even on the right track? I’ve never used this software before, so apprantly I could be missing things.

I’d say you certainly are on the right track. Scrivener, alas, doesn’t give up all of its secrets at once. Have you read David Hewson’s book, “Writing a Novel with Scrivener?” That might be a useful read as well.

There are others around who are much more experienced at this than I am; you’ll do it differently, of course, but if it would help, here goes. This is part of what I’m doing with this novel:

  1. My manuscript, to begin with, is broken down into hundreds of little chunks, divided roughly by scene and by POV.

  2. I have defined labels for each thread, and show the label with the color of the card, not with the pin or color tab.

  3. I’ve defined keywords for each POV. I also show the keywords as swatches on the cards, so they’re visible in corkboard mode.

  4. I do a project search on each thread (search by label), one at a time. I save each search as a collection. When I look at one of these collections, I get the thread itself, pulled out of its context in the narrative as a whole. All of the cards are the same color.

  5. Then I do a project search on each POV (search by keyword), and save those as collections. These give me the complete narrative for each POV. The colors will tell me which threads the POV interacts with–those are the intersections.

I’m sure there are other, better ways of doing this, but this gives me the insight I need into the progress of each thread and which POVs are involved. Since I want to be able to tell how each thread works as a story on its own, these views give me that. One character (or rather, in my novel, one character group) is the protagonist, and his POV and the main story thread is nearly synonymous. Secondary characters weave in and out, some appearing in multiple threads.

I learned, for instance, that one of the secondary characters was actually important enough to be considered a primary character. I hadn’t realized, not being able to see the forest for the trees, how important she was, or how many scenes she was in. So I’ve decided to fill in more of her backstory and fill out her interactions a bit to make her more three-dimensional.

The point is that I didn’t notice that in any of my detailed read-throughs or copy-editing passes. It wasn’t until I used collections that this popped out at me.

Hope this helps!

There are a couple of ways you could approach this. (I don’t have access to a Windows version at the moment, so I can’t give you specific instructions, but I hope this overview will help.)

Basically, you’ve got three types of meta-data available: labels, statuses and keywords, each of which are customizable, and each of which has its own uses. You can use them in combination.

For example, you could create five new labels (Thread 1, Thread 2 etc) and apply the relevant one to each scene as appropriate. That label colour can be set to mark the titles in the Binder, Outliner and Corkboard, so for example, you can see at a glance by their colours how the threads ebb and flow across the whole document. You can also search for labels of a certain type, so that you can pull all Thread 3 documents together and read them as one virtual document.

You could create statuses to do the same thing, but you’d lose the visual element because you can’t assign a colour to a status.

You can’t have more than one status or more than one label per document, but you can have more than one Keyword. Create a Keyword for each thread that applies to a scene – e.g. a scene where Thread1, Thread2 and Thread3 intersect would have the keywords Thread1, Thread2, Thread3.

Then if you do a Project Search (with the filters ‘Keyword’ and ‘All Words’ set) for ‘Thread1 Thread2 Thread3’, this will pull out the relevant scenes.

It’s not just for threads, of course: you could also use statuses or labels for POV, for example.

You can change the Outline view to include all these fields, so you can see which status, label and keywords apply to each document. You can also view and edit the synopsis in the Outliner and move documents around in it – it’s actually more flexible than the cork board, just not as visual.

When you combine the above with collections, you have the ability to have many views on your document, allowing you to manage both the detail and the overview.

Of course, this is just a quick overview and there are a few wrinkles to be aware of – it’s very flexible, so it can get a bit complex. But you don’t have to do it all at once…

If you haven’t done the tutorial, do try it. It’ll take less than an hour and it will give you an overview of what’s possible.

…unless you turn on “show stamps.” It doesn’t jump out like color, but if, for instance, you make the stamp font (options->appearance->fonts->corkboard->status stamp) large and use a pithy status label like “T2”:


…then it will be hard to miss. You can change the color, too.

I bring this up not to “correct” your excellent survey article but to emphasize how flexible and powerful Scrivener really is. But you all know that. I can understand, too, that sometimes one just doesn’t have the time or inclination to keep at it long enough to discover this. :frowning: Been there.


You’re right of course about the stamps. I was typing from memory and forgot about them… Also, I tend not to use the corkboard because I find the outliner much more flexible.

Thanks for the correction!