Frequently Asked Questions About Scrivener

The folks behind the writing tool Scrivener answer some of our questions.  

What can Scrivener be used for? For what is it ideally suited? 

Scrivener can be used for any form of writing. Whilst probably not the go-to application for a single page letter, it would definitely be a boon when writing a novel, research paper, script, or any long-form text. If research is required, or organising ideas involved, so much the better! Scrivener was originally developed to handle all the material and logistics associated with writing a thesis or novel within the same application, so it is ideally suited for those pursuits. We are constantly surprised by how people are utilising Scrivener though. Lawyers are using it to keep track of their cases, students taking notes during lecture for fleshing out later, translators are using the split-screen feature, transcribers the media handling capabilities, bloggers organising their material, academic papers being written, etc.

What forms of text can be created with Scrivener?

If you mean what formats Scrivener can output to, then the list is fairly lengthy: PDF, RTF, DOCX, HTML, ODT, EPUB, MOBI, etc. Final Draft is covered for scriptwriters, and Scrivener compiles to MultiMarkdown and LaTeX. It also has the capability to completely roundtrip with Word, importing and exporting effortlessly. 

If you mean forms of text as in poetry, novels, short stories, film… then all writing goals can be completed within Scrivener.

What are some common errors that Scrivener users can avoid? 

If we can narrow it down to only a single “error,” it would be the belief that each binder document needs to be formatted whilst being drafted. It can be, but an author could simply concentrate on getting their words down, completing all formatting of their draft during the compilation stage. A whole manuscript can be formatted to a specific output style by pressing a few keys, after all the hard work has been completed.

How can one maximize their usage of Scrivener? 

If someone is new to Scrivener, we always recommend that they go through `Help > Interactive Tutorial.` This will introduce all main aspects of the application to them, so they’ll probably discover some elements they might otherwise have taken a while to stumble across. There’ll still be some features tucked away though, like `Edit > Writing Tools > Name Generator…`

 What can a user do if they encounter a difficulty with Scrivener?

We include a very comprehensive manual available via `Help > Scrivener Manual.` That’s probably the first place users should turn. We’re also fortunate to have a very active community on our forum where experienced users typically reply to queries before we’ve even had an opportunity to! We also have a dedicated support channel for each flavour of Scrivener available via and

Why choose Scrivener?

We’ve dedicated the last 10 years of our lives crafting Scrivener into the writing studio we wish we’d had when we were at school writing papers, or drafting our debut novel. We continue to hone it every day. We believe it’s the best writing application currently available, and with a completely free trial that lasts for 30 days of actual use, there really is no reason not to at least try Scrivener.   

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