Windows vs. Mac

Wow, when I read the list of differences between the current version of Scrivener for Window and that of Mac, I think I should probably hang up my writing shoes until I can afford a Mac. I see SO many things in that list that I want to do, and can’t. Many of them are the reason I’m giving Scrivener a trial. I thought for sure I’d buy it, but now, not so sure…

Actually the Windows version has all of the core writing features available. Everything you’ll need to put together a first draft is there. I’m not sure what you read that gave you the impression the Windows version is incomplete.

Are you looking at the post written on November 2011?
If so, there have been several updates to Windows Scrivener, including the FINAL DRAFT (FDX) export/import, as well as many others.

You may want to post a list the particular features you desperately need, and find out if they are shortly underway, or perhaps already in the latest Scrivener 1.2.5

For me, the only important feature still missing from Win which is available on MAC is the easier import /split

Scrivener started as Mac only and only recently added a Windows version, so naturally, it IS a bit behind. If you think about it all software is like that. Photoshop CS3 doesn’t have the same features as Photoshop CS6. But if you can afford buying a new MAC system and all the software for it, perhaps that would be best for you

The CS3/6 analogy is a good one. 99% of the designers and photographers out there, and an even larger percentage of non-professional people who have use for Photoshop, can do everything they need to do with CS3 and then some. CS6 and all of the versions in between add a lot of great stuff, no doubt about it, but you can do work and get paid doing work in CS3. It’s just as professional a tool now as it was back when it was released. The timeframes are about the same as well. That’s about when the Mac version of Scrivener was released.

I’ve made a note to have Lee go over that list when he gets back from vacation.

Wow. They actually let him out into the sunshine? :slight_smile:

Not really. He snuck out while Keith was away. :open_mouth:


Run, LAP! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! :mrgreen:

Other than the compile/split and viewing landscape docs and pdfs correctly, many of the additional MAC Scrivener features would be cool, but not essential for my purposes.
I’m a professional photographer yet still have Photoshop CS1 on my laptop-- it has the healing tool and non-rasterized text, so it’s good enough for 95% of the jobs.

Well those two features both do things that can be achieved in other ways in Scrivener. Sure they can make life a little easier, but the alternate routes are still very convenient.

Alternative to “Import and split”

  • Use Find Next to jump to the next instance (F3 once you’ve set up the search parameter)
  • Split at selection to make the split (Ctrl-K)
    Let’s take an extreme example and say you have to import a document that will have 50 splits in it every day. That will still only take about a minute to achieve, and if (under the import and split nmethod not currently available) you would have wanted to check each split to make sure it’s in the right place then you’ve probably actually saved time.

Viewing PDFs in landscape
Once you have fired up the PDF in the editor, there is a little button at the bottom of the window that quickly launches the file in a dedicated external viewer. You get all the convenience of storing these in your Scriv project, with the functionality of dedicated viewer software.

Honestly, neither of those alternative solutions strike me as a sufficient time or effort drain to warrant denying yourself the huge net advantages of the rest of the Scrivener workflow.

I completely agree. I was sold with the first beta… even after trying several other supposedly “Scrivener like” programs.

I do have a question: I already use the external editor for landscaped PDFs, but when I tried to do that with a landscape DOC/DOCX, that option was “grayed out”
Is there a way to use that option with DOC/DOCX,? Presently I have them as PROJECT REFERENCES, but would prefer to have the doc in the Scrivener folder and use the OPEN IN EXTERNAL EDITOR

This is a design decision, to deliberately disable the ability to load text documents in external editors. To be clear, once you drag a text document into Scrivener it isn’t actually a .docx file any more (let alone landscaped or not—all layout positioning like that is stripped out). It is imported and converted to RTF internally—but that is just a pedantic detail. The important thing to consider is that there are a number of editor level features which are not official RTF, things that Scrivener does special, such as inline footnotes and annotations. These are special features that cannot be expressed in an external editor and they would get messed up if you tried to round-trip a piece of your draft through Word or OOo. The other problem is indexing. As you write in Scrivener, indexes are updated. This is what keeps searching lightning quick. Finally, various “floating” elements inside the text file are kept synchronised with the underlying text. Hyperlinks are actually an overlay that are drawn into the file after you load it, using a character offset. If you add five words to a paragraph, the link’s position needs to be shifted over to compensate for the new characters in those words. If you made that edit in an external word processor, it would not know how to—or even that it is necessary to—adjust the numerical byte offsets for the link positions. Hence, when you get back, all of your links would be shifted off of their original text.

I gather that’s why PDFs and .FLVs (which are unchangeable) can be opened in an external editor. That’s fine. I’ll happily use PROJECT REFERENCES for DOCs.
I always appreciate an explanation.

Yes, well PDFs can be altered with the right tools, but you have the right idea. Adobe Acrobat for instance is designed for creating and editing them, and many simpler viewers can modify them more lightly, with annotations usually. However none of this is unique or special to Scrivener, so it doesn’t impact anything internal. You can open other types of media and edit them, such as photographs. It’s really just text where we have special authoring tools built on top of the file format where editing it raw in another editor would mess things up. So if you want immutable, or at least externally editable .doc/x files, project references is the way to go.