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ConnectedText vs. Scrivener

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Posted by Dr Andus
Mar 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM


Let me return to the original point of this thread (to compare Scrivener for Windows and ConnectedText). I’ve now spent a bit more time with CT. One interesting comparison between the two concerns the different ways the breaking-up of large texts into smaller documents can be accomplished. In Scrivener there is the “Split at Selection” (Ctrl+K) and “Split with Selection as Title” (Ctrl+Shift+K), which is very handy for breaking up a text, so that it can be rearranged into a new hierarchy or worked on as smaller individual documents. In CT something similar can be accomplished by “Cut to new topic” (Ctrl+Alt+N), which moves the selected text into a new document and leaves behind a URL. The main difference is that in Scrivener the main logic remains the tree hierarchy, while in CT the wiki logic prevails.

While I like this function in both, I find that their organisational logics have some psychological effects. Because Scrivener’s tree hierarchy is constantly in your face, it exerts some pressure on you to have to keep the entire structure and the hierarchical relationships constantly in mind. And naturally as the content changes, the hierarchy might become irrelevant, in which case it demands to be looked at. CT’s wiki logic in this sense is more easy-going, because by packing away a document it is sunk into an invisible depth, from where it can be recalled, however the overall structure doesn’t become a constant, nagging thing. So in this sense I can see how writing in CT can be a liberating experience.

My other discovery with CT is that is can be quite a powerful analytical tool. I was using it in conjunction with NVivo, which is a professional academic research analysis package. However, I realised that I can do the same type of coding using CT’s table of contents and categories panes, the Navigator, and the above “Cut to new topic” feature to actually make NVivo redundant, as it is far easier and faster to achieve the same objective with CT. Could this be the start of a new love affair?