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Any good Scrivener books out there?

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Posted by jamesofford
Oct 10, 2016 at 12:23 PM


Good morning:

I am getting ready to start several big academic writing projects(Grants and journal articles), and I am thinking of moving away from Microsoft Word. Nothing wrong with Word, but it is a bit large and unwieldy for how I do my writing. I generally start with pen and paper(Yes, I am old fashioned that way. Not only is it pen on paper, but it is usually a fountain pen.) I do an outline on paper, then write a first draft on paper following the outline. After the first draft I move to the computer. At this stage things are somewhat organized, but as I write the outline starts to get a little messy.

I got interested in Scrivener some time ago when a colleague suggested it. I bought it, and then recently upgraded to version 2.X. It looks interesting and useful, particularly with regard to entering information then organizing it later, but I am having some trouble getting my head around how it works.

Can someone in the group suggest a good book that goes into the organizing side of the software? I bought Scrivener for Dummies, but it doesn’t fill my needs well. Has anyone had experience with the Take Control book about Scrivener? Or Scrivener Superpowers? Any other book suggestions? Any good websites?

Also, I will be exporting anything that I write in Scrivener to Microsoft Word-my collaborators use Word exclusively-are there any tips to keeping things organized in the move from Scrivener to Word? In particular, I want to make sure that headings and sub-heads are maintained.

Any help is greatly appreciated.



Posted by Paul Korm
Oct 10, 2016 at 01:05 PM


The Take Control of Scrivener 2 book is a good overview of Scrivener 2, Scrivener 1 for Windows, and Scrivener or iOS.  If you are looking for an end-to-end walk-through of Scrivener, this is the book.  If you are looking for in depth, step-by-step instructions this book will not be very satisfying.  There are some step-by-steps, but for many major topics (like compilation) the information is high level.

There is a knowledge base that covers specific topics at


L&L has tutorial videos here


and of course the L&L forum is very helpful—the team there makes sure no question goes un-answered, in depth.  It’s actually better than a book, IMO.

For compilation to .docx, my experience is it works generally OK as long as there’s not a lot of fancy stuff.  There is always, for me, a final step in Word to clean up styles and other things.  I usually do several test compilations just to make sure the .docx looks generally good, and then do a final version and clean it up in Word.  Stick with contemporary versions of Word—ideally 2016 if you have it, or 2013 otherwise.


Posted by Wojciech
Oct 10, 2016 at 08:49 PM


When I started my academic writing in Scrivener some time ago, I learnt the basics from ‘How to Write Your Thesis with Scrivener for Windows’:
The book is definitely for the beginners but appeared enough to get started.


Posted by Magenda
Oct 11, 2016 at 04:34 AM


Hi Jim,

I would appreciate it if you would share your experience In learning Scrivener, especially what written sources you find helpful.

BTW, are you on FPN?



Posted by Hugh
Oct 11, 2016 at 01:20 PM


Long ago, even before personal computers became popular, my work involved writing or re-writing tracts of 5,000 words or more about quite complicated subjects, at very short notice, with an emphasis on clarity. To achieve clarity, we often went through many drafts. Re-drafting was accomplished by re-arranging what had - mostly - already been written, and re-arranging was performed on the paper manuscript with scissors, Scotch Tape, staplers or glue sticks.

That was an analogue version of Scrivener before Scrivener had been invented, and minus Scrivener’s many bells and whistles. If you keep that model in mind, you won’t go far wrong - but I endorse the suggestion of the Take Control book for the details and the how-tos.


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