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Scrivener Windows Beta - makes we want alternatives

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Posted by dan7000
Dec 23, 2010 at 08:26 PM


I started a new, substantial writing project this week, and decided to try the first draft in Scrivener for Windows.

Before this, I never understood what the advantage of Scrivener was over MS Word for drafting—but so many people think it’s useful that I thought I’d see for myself.  I still can’t articulate exactly what makes it better than using Word, but there is something about it.  Maybe it’s the fact that you work on isolated sections of text, rather than inserting text into a whole document. 

Unfortunately, Scrivener for Windows has some flaws that make it very hard to use.  Common paragraph styles are totally missing or require multiple menu items to apply (bullets, numbering, block text quotes).  Heading styles are totally missing.  Cut and paste from Word is hit-or-miss and sometimes yields bizarre results.  Also - and I’d like to know if this is the same in Scrivener on Mac - when you “compile” into a full document, you lose the outline levels from the binder - everything ends up flat and headings are indistinguishable from sub-headings. 

Overall, I find myself spending about 1/4 of my time formatting, instead of writing.  And after I compile, I expect to spend another couple of hours re-formatting.

So now I am at the point where I see the value of Scrivener, but I want something that actually works—on Windows.  Any suggestions?