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Scrivener Windows Beta - makes we want alternatives

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Posted by dan7000
Mar 13, 2011 at 03:26 AM

 

Paolo,

I found your post interesting because I think it probably explains where some of my issues with using “writing software” like Scrivener is coming from.  I think maybe these programs are focused on fiction or other types of writing that do not involve many cites or quotes, and rarely have multiple levels of headings for each section.  In contrast, legal writing is all about cites and quotes and always involves multiple heading levels.  You say:

The whole concept is using Scrivener to write the bulk of the manuscript and do the formatting elsewhere, when it?s finished. This may not be ideal solution to those who are used to ?build? their text around the formatting styles with which the final text will be presented?but to some of us the ?just write in chunks, do the formatting when it?s finished? thing is definitely appealing.

Similarly, in the article you linked to, the Scrivener developer says:

while textual content is always the author’s concern, the final presentation is often someone else’s—and even if the author is self-publishing or writing a thesis that has to be presented in a particular way, the writing process rarely benefits from worrying about typesetting options simultaneously with trying to choose the right words.

I am a person who prefers to “write in chunks.”  But when you write with lots of citations, you need block quotes inside your “chunks.”  And it is a huge hassle to re-format citations at the end of a project, so you need to be able to add footnotes and cites with italics to your “chunks.”  And as you are organizing “chunks” into the final order, you need to be able to specify what level of heading each section will get. 

It would be nice if there was software for those of us who like to write in “chunks” but who cannot have meaningful “chunks” without including block quotes, footnotes, and italics in our “chunks.”  It would also be nice to have support for multiple levels of headings during output. WritingOutliner seems to come the closest so far.