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Scrivener 101: Your Guide to Using Book Writing Software

Book writing is challenging. Even if you have plenty of writing expertise, you must have wondered if there was a tool or book writing software that would help make it easier for you to accomplish your writing objectives.

And the good news is that book-writing software can help you write books and accomplish your goals. Today, you will learn about Scrivener. You will be reading about its features and functionality. So let’s get to it.

What is Scrivener?

It has been named one of the best software for writers of all genres. A disgruntled wannabe novelist created the book writing program Scrivener more than a decade ago. He thought about a tool to help ease his work after struggling to keep his thoughts organized. 

The end product was a word processor with several organizational features comparable to Microsoft Word or Google Docs. By enabling you to write your material in any sequence and portions of any size or shape, Scrivener helps you overcome your fear of facing blank pages. 

Have a fantastic idea but are unsure about its application? When writing, capture the moment as it comes to you. Develop your text naturally, one concept at a time.

Do you need to use any research? Your reference material is always available and may be opened next to your work in Scrivener. Describe something based on a picture. 

Make an interview transcript. Make notes regarding a web page or PDF. Alternatively, compare the current chapter to a prior one to ensure continuity. 

When you’re prepared to publish your work, combine everything into a single file that can be printed, self-published, or exported to a variety of common file types, including Word, PDF, Final Draft, or plain text. You may also share using alternate formats, allowing you to use your preferred font while still adhering to the submission requirements.

Key Features


Everything you need to create, research, and organize lengthy projects is combined in one potent program called Scrivener. Its core is a straightforward ring-binder metaphor that enables you to assemble your information and easily switch between various sections of your work, notes, and references. 

The Binder allows you to split up your writing into digestible chunks of any size, then let Scrivener connect them. You may plan everything out in advance or reorganize as needed using integrated outlining tools. And you’ll see that Scrivener expands along with your project as it advances.


Common activities are found in the grey bar across the top of the application called the Toolbar. Simply perform right-click and choose Customize Toolbar to view the extra buttons and selections.


The option on the upper-right side with the blue exclamation icon is the Inspector. It has several panes that include:

  • Notes
  • References
  • Keywords
  • Custom Meta-Data
  • Snapshots
  • Comments & Footnotes

A Synopsis and Notes section is present in every document you write in Scrivener. The Snapshots pane comes next. This is an essential tool for me to use when revising. If you want to, look at the Custom Meta-Data and Keywords panels, but for now, don’t stress too much about them.


The crucial section in the middle, the empty page where you write, is referred to as the “Editor.” You’ll spend most of your time here since that’s where you write your stories and produce your words. 

The editor may be used in full-screen mode or a page view. Because Page View displays the gutters on both sides of the page, it gives the page a cleaner appearance in my opinion. 

There are more view choices as well, such as displaying a Ruler at the editor’s top so you may change the tabs and margins. The Editor’s background colour may be changed to any colour you choose because it is also entirely adjustable.


The Corkboard is used to mimic the functionality of a bulletin board in real life. Multiple documents may be arranged and edited using a card-based interface, and the cards may be rearranged freely or snap into a grid. 

The cards’ sizes are also modifiable. It can be quicker to use, even though it lacks the versatility of a corkboard in the real world.

Using the notecards, you may plot out a tale, drag and drop scenes into different positions, get a high-level overview of all your sketches, and more. Text or a picture can be placed on the index cards’ front.


You may examine all of your documents and meta-data in an organized list view using the Outliner. You may use the Outliner to examine your complete manuscript or to zoom in on a particular folder of files for a more detailed look.

The columns and information in the aforementioned screenshot are customizable. By performing a right-click on the column headers, you may add columns like word count, produced data, target, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get Scrivener for free?

A 30-day free trial of Scrivener’s book-writing program is available if you wish to sample it before you buy. 

Do professional writers use Scrivener?

Best-selling authors, screenwriters, non-fiction writers, students, professors, attorneys, journalists, translators, and more use Scrivener daily. It is the app of choice for writers of all genres. 

You won’t get writing advice from Scrivener; it just gives you everything you need to get started and keep writing. The developers mention that Scrivener was created specifically for lengthy writing tasks in various professions.

Is Scrivener a one-time purchase?

Scrivener offers the best bargain on the market. It’s available as a one-time buy even though most writing software has switched to a subscription basis. In the case that you finish your trial, and you decide that you want to purchase an official license for Scrivener, here’s the price list for each operating system:

  • Mac OS – $49
  • Windows – $45
  • iOS (iPad) – $19.99

Can Scrivener be used offline?

Software like Scrivener lets you work offline and always picks up where you left off. Additionally, Scrivener is compatible with mobile devices, and you can sync data across them.

Can I use my Scrivener license on multiple computers?

Absolutely! You may install Scrivener on any devices that you own and are the principal users of since it comes with what is known as a home license. It can also be installed on the PCs of family members who share your home.


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