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"Learn Scrivener fast" now on sale at Appsumo

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Aug 16, 2014 at 05:06 PM

 

Weirdly enough, heavy use of Curio has reawakened my interest in Scrivener (which has been sitting, sadly neglected, in my Launcher for quite a while).

It’s an impressive program. Rather than nervously skirt about the edges, I’ve created a test project and robustly explored it – I wouldn’t pretend to have examined every aspect in detail, but what I’ve found out is very useful.

For starters, you can open any document in Scrivener in multiple windows; you can have as many windows open as you like, alongside the single or dual-view windows in the main editor. What’s more, these external windows (called, for some reason, ‘Quick Reference’ windows, although you can use them to edit stuff as well) can be split in two to reveal the notes, pictures, meta-data or other stuff you’ve appended to that particular document. While that sounds complicated, it really isn’t.

You can open these ‘Quick Reference’ windows for editable text documents, but also for reference documents such as PDFs, web pages, pictures and so on. What’s more, Scrivener’s powerful ‘find’ function is quite happy to search through PDFs and web pages at lightning speed, highlighting hits as it goes. If you have enough monitors, you can have dozens of windows open all over the place, but without danger of losing your focus because it’s easy to find out, from each window, exactly where the relevant document belongs in the Organizer.

Creating your own text styles is very easy—as is deleting them (or the other preset styles) again. Many word processors could learn from this ease of use, in fact.

The only feature I still haven’t quite got a handle on is the Outline function. Oh, and I haven’t attempted to compile anything yet, either. But I shall explore these things at leisure.

It really is the monster writing tool of all time. I shall be using it to draft my next project. The comparison with Curio will be fascinating.