From someone who has owned Macs since 1985 and also (been forced) to use Windows extensively over the years, I think you will find there is MUCH more to love about switching to Mac than just Scrivener. Though Scr. is certainly the MOST lovable part!
So, welcome to a whole new (Mac) world.
- I’ve been using DT Pro for a couple of years. I’ve tried most of the other more popular programs it might compete with and I keep coming back to it… It’s powerful, utterly stable (in my experience), and able to handle the thousands of files I have in it with ease. My current primary db is over 400 MBs and I know of users who have dbs much larger than that. It does a fair job of automating some functions and I can always find exactly what I need when I need it. It also does a fair job of making associations and offering new ideas. I like this feature, since often I have put things into the program I have long since forgotten and I’m often pleasantly suprised when DT finds them for me.
So my vote is yes to your question. It is the best value for the money, in my opinion. It depends on your storage needs, however. I think DT is really the best for heavy storage needs. You might find others that work better for you if your needs are less intense and you don’t need the heavy-duty features DT offers. It’s not a huge learning curve with DT, however, and you can really use all of DT’s features or not use them and still get a lot of out of the program.
I don’t know about fiction versus non-fiction. I do a fair amount of warehousing of information for both kinds of projects. I don’t do any writing at all in DT, just storage. So it’s really neutral for me in terms of purpose. It’s a ‘one program serves all’ for my uses.
PDFs should be cross platform compatible. I’ve never seen one that wasn’t (I send a lot of things as pdfs to Windows users). So DT should read them just fine. You may want to consider putting pdfs in a folder on your finder then indexing them into DT Pro. You can do all the searching and viewing, just as you would if they were in it directly, but you can also reference your pdfs in other programs, like Scrivener. There is a lot of information on this already in other threads. You can also check on the DT forum. It’s another wonderful helpful community of users and the developers are very responsive.
Not for me! I use DT for warehousing info and Scr. and Scr. alone for all idea creation and outlining. But others use other programs as well. I think that’s really up to you and how you find it best in your idea development process.
Given the above, I know nothing about Tinderbox or OmniOutliner, sorry.
This is a trickier issue. It is possible with Scr.'s rather powerful export options to create output as rtf that Word can read just fine, including footnotes and comments/annotations. You’d need to experiment to find out how to work that in the best way, I think, by trying different ways to export and seeing how it appears on your Windows Word program.
As to whether there is a difference reading rtfs on Windows and Macs, others might be able to speak to this more fully. I have not experienced any issues with going back and forth, but normally if I’m sending to someone who has Word for Windows, I’ll use my Mac version of Word to polish it off and save it as a Word file. But not always. I have sent rtfs directly from Scr. to Windows users they were able to read just fine. So this one might require some experimentation on your part.
I used Mellel to write my dissertation (just turned in, thank goodness), but I did need to do my final polish in Word to be sure all the formatting worked out okay. There were a few minor issues. If you plan to do a lot of complex footnoting and the like, where Scr. is more limited, you might want to take a look at Mellel. It’s a powerful word processor that has amazing outlining capabilities and the ability to easily manage multiple footnote/endnotes streams. It’s a bit clunky in regards to the user interface and does require some time investment to learn.
I myself doubt I’ll be using much more than Scr. from now on. I don’t think my footnoting/endnoting needs will exceed what Scr. can do for me and I love Scr. more than I can say. I know it sounds weird to be so enamoured with a computer program, but writing, reading, and researching is just about all I do all day as work, and Scr. handles it all in a way so well suited for me I sometimes still can’t believe my luck in finding it (bless Keith!!). I tried EVERYTHING I could find and nothing was flexible or powerful enough to do the job. It’s been about 9 months now and I’m still ecstatic about finding this amazing program.
So, I hope this helps. Keep asking questions. This forum is filled with the best people. Lots of good advice and good energy here.
The DT forum is great too, btw, so that’s another good reason to have Scr. and Dt as a working team.