yWriter 7 features I'd love to see in Scrivener

I’m using both, and I would prefer to use just one. Neither gives me /all/ the functionality I’d like to have.

yWriter features lacking in Scrivener:

Tight integration of characters, locations, and items with scenes and chapters.
Automatically add characters, locations, and items to a scene, selected scenes, and all scenes in a project.
Automatically create clickable character, location, and item links in the scene text, which open the respective page for editing.
Scene editor has selectors for Main/Subplot and POV character.
Scene editor has selectors for day/time and/or duration, for visualizing a timeline (as opposed to an outline)
Import/Export Characters, Locations, Items, Project Notes in XML format.

Yes, there are ways to accomplish many of these already in Scrivener, but it’s time-consuming and not always intuitive.

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Please remember that although many of Scrivener’s users write fiction, many do not. Rather than providing “tight integration” of particular genre-specific elements, we prefer to offer flexible tools that can bend to whatever use best serves a particular manuscript.

So, for example, keywords can readily assign characters and locations to a scene. Wiki-style links and bookmarks can link scenes to relevant character sheets. Our Markdown support can be customized to support a wide range of post-processing tools, and so on.

While these kinds of customizations can indeed be time-consuming up front, in many cases the effort only needs to be made once. Project templates, Document templates, and well-designed Compile Formats are reusable across many different projects.


Exactly, I would have zero use for any of the features the OP is talking about.

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It is just not presented the same.
Nothing is automatic as nothing wisely (and as @Kewms said) is decided for you upstream.
Once you have your setup, whether this or that is automatic or not makes no true difference.

It took me longer to blur parts of this screenshot and go back to fix a few things than to create a new project and set everything the way I wanted it for this one specific screenshot.
(Which took me about 5 minutes, creating all custom metadata fields, making up a few characters (Paul, Roxanne etc) and creating keywords to reference which characters are involved in each scenes.)


Thanks for the warm welcome. Not all of these features are exclusive to fiction writing, if you use your imagination. A bit of automation can save a lot of time when creating, say, end user documentation that needs to link to related topics. Call it whatever you want, as long as you can automatically associate one category of data with another one.

Documentation edges scarily close to science fiction at times. Marketing collateral even closer. When the B-Ark crowd is put in charge of product roadmaps, the main goal if you’re a tech writer or a programmer is to look busy until the marketroids (oh look, a butterfly) and abandon the project.

This is how you get projectorware like Plottr. Pretty UI and pretty much nothing else. Microsoft Project is actually a better tool than Plottr for plotting a story what with timelines, milestones, resources, dependencies, critical paths, and so on, and you can view the project from any angle you want. If you gantt beat’em, join 'em.

At least nobody can accuse Scriv of putting form before function.

I’ve used them all:
Ventura Publisher
Word Perfect
Word for Windows (the OG of word processors)
Framemaker (why is this POS still alive? Oh right, the cult of technical writing. Those gals are crazy.)
MS Project
HoTMetaL (which gave me a new appreciation for Notepad as an HTML editor)
EZ Publish (I’ve never heard of it either)
Some stupid knowledgebase that got hacked by fake rolex people.
Confluence (Atlassian’s horrible wiki software)
Too many version control systems to mention. Do a diff on a PDF file. I dare you.
Dramatica (I deserve danger pay for trying to use that mess)

Probably others too, but my brain is fried from singing crystal for 25 decades.

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Hello, welcome to the forum!

@anon55406176 : Not all of these features are exclusive to fiction writing, if you use your imagination…

We certainly don’t disagree with any of that! This is of course what has been said above: that Scrivener provides a toolset of common tagging tools, the kit to create more and a design that is intended to combine their use in various ways—because these concepts as mechanical pieces, void of jargon and assumption, map very well across a wide variety of different forms of writing.

One just has to, as you say, use their imagination. Only instead of asking a lawyer to pretend that the Character PoV Tracker is something else, and maybe useful for writing a legal brief, we’re asking everyone to use the “Label” (which can be freely renamed for this very reason) and to use it however they see it working best in their work.

Seeing as how I think we’re all on the same page with that though…

Yes, there are ways to accomplish many of these already in Scrivener, but it’s time-consuming and not always intuitive.

Maybe it would be easier to start with one thing, the most useful to you that works the least well in Scrivener, and describe that more completely (assuming no knowledge of yWriter, because I don’t know what most of these things are at a level that would be of any use).


I actually just re-discovered a feature in Scrivener that I think does what you’re talking about here with zero effort on your part. If you click the right-click or control-click any bit of selected text in the Main Editor, Scrivener will actually suggest a page containing that word and allow you to open it from the context menu. So say you have a character sheet for a character named “Betty,” any time you right-click the name Betty in a scene, Scrivener will automatically have the option to open that character sheet in the context menu.


@SillyLily We’re not trying to be a tough crowd! We appreciate you writing in with your feedback. We do actually look at all user feedback and consider it for future updates. We’re just providing some feedback on your requests explaining why we haven’t gone that route and some ways you can achieve some of the things you’re looking for already in Scrivener without too much trouble. Presumably, you came here hoping for solutions, and that’s what we’re trying to provide. I’m sorry if that wasn’t the response you were looking for.


In the ancient past, forums such as these were hostile. When I first arrived I thought this one would be the same. I acted accordingly. (That’s on me) This place has never been hostile, only helpful.

The people here that work at L&L are extremely knowledgeable about their products. The users who post here are the same.

I learn something here all the time, and not just about Scrivener.

Scrivener is complex and daunting, but awesome for all kinds of writing.