Scrivener for MAC: The Best Writing Software Ever!
Scrivener for MAC: Made for OS X Bigots
First off, I'm going to be right up front with you—I'm a Scrivener for MAC bigot, I'm an affiliate for their software, and even if you don't buy MAC Scrivener via this site, if you're a serious author, go buy it … please. You'll thank yourself later, trust me.
More full disclosure—I regularly maintain a Scrivener Coupon Discount Code post on this site. It contains coupons ranging from 20-25% off of Scrivener and sometimes more.
For Scrivener's birthday, Literature and Latte even ran a 40% off discount on the retail price of Scrivener, so check that post if you like to save a buck like I do.
There I said it. Now, let me tell you why, especially if you're a MAC bigot like me, you'll love Scrivener for MAC OS X.
You Will Love Scrivener for MAC
First, the software was designed and tailored for MAC platform users. Scrivener is a native Mac application designed by the Mac-lovers at Literature and Latte and, according to L&L built using Apple’s Cocoa frameworks.
Writers of all kinds, creeds, habits, and quirks use Scrivener. According to L&L, it's used by Novelists, short story writers, screenwriters, playwrights, comedians, lawyers, academics and students alike. The list of ways you could use Scrivener to write are probably endless.
And since it was designed for the MAC platform, the Scrivener MAC version has some sweet features that the Scrivener for Windows version, sadly, is missing. I know the folks at L&L are working to catch the Windows version up, but that's another post...
This post barely scratches the surface of all of the awesomeness in the MAC version of Scrivener.
Scrivener for MAC is a One-stop Writer's Workbench
Most of us authors are more than just writers. We research, make notes, outline, rearrange and edit text, documents, chapters, sections, and multiple books in a series. Maintaining all of that information, I can tell you first hand, is seriously challenging.
I like to call Scrivener for MAC an author's workbench in a box.
I use Scrivener for MAC OS X to:
- Gather, store and organize research
- Outline chapters, sections and multiple books in a non-fiction series
- Outline, plot, and create the four part story structure for my novels
- Write uninterrupted in Scrivener for Mac's full-screen writing focus mode
- Drag and drop documents, scenes, chapters, sections and even entire books to rearrange ideas and events in the binder (Outline section)
- I even share my Scrivener files with co-authors, editors, and reviewers in Dropbox
- And so many other indispensable features I can't list them all.
Also, don't forget that you can download to some ready to use templates for your scrivener program which really helps out a lot when getting organized and ready to write.
Scrivener for MAC is Great for Organizing and Research
As both a fiction and non-fiction author, I love having all of my research, notes, and inspiration right next to where I'm writing my book or novel.
From my entire outline, including chapters that I can drag to rearrange in the binder, to storing book cover images, character inspiration images, and research documents in folders outside of published book's folder, the Scrivener for MAC's binder is insanely useful as an organization and brainstorming tool.
If I want a new chapter, I simply create a new folder. A new scene in a novel, I create a new document. An entire new book in the series is as easy as creating a new top-level folder in the binder.
In fact, I've created a four part story structure template for myself that I simply duplicate in the binder at the beginning of any new novel project. That alone saves tons of time.
Scrivener for MAC Makes Writing a Breeze
Let's be honest, you can write in any text editing program. What you can't do with those is skip all of the steps of copying, pasting, editing, and compiling to the many formats that ebook publishers require.
Inside Scrivener I can write on one scene at a time in Scrivenings mode or I can work on an entire chapter by selecting them on in the binder. In full-screen mode I can write for hours uninterrupted by social media distractions.
And all of that work is already in my self-publishing tool, ready for me to edit, compile and publish it, ready to go.
Scrivener for MAC Will Save Your Ass
Let's be honest, how many of us authors have a foolproof system set up to make sure that we never lose any of our hard written words?
Not many. Even as a 20 year IT veteran, I've been bitten by this one. (Lost my entire laptop—It's another story)
Now, religiously, in Scrivener for MAC I set up my project backups to happen automatically. And in the Scrivener preferences you can set automatic features like:
- Backup on project open
- Backup on project close
- Every time you manually save you can force a backup (though this is a little overkill in my ex IT opinion)
- And now, with the new IOS version, you can back up locally before syncing with your Scrivener IOS devices.
- You can tell Scrivener where to keep your backups (I recommend another drive outside the one that your Scrivener project file reside on. I've made that mistake—not funny)
- And you can tell Scrivener how many of the most recent backups to hang onto.
Scrivener for MAC Will Help You Edit Faster
Let me tell you what I used to do before I started using Scrivener for MAC's pretty powerful editing features.
First I would write my draft in Scrivener, then I would export it to a Word doc, because that's what most editors were used to editing in. They would make their "track changes" edits, then I'd go into that doc, accept all the changes and then hand cut-paste all those back over my individual scene documents inside Scrivener.
So one day, my writing buddy, Lise, and I decided to require our editors to edit directly inside Scrivener for MAC. Needless to say there was some resistance. "How will we track changes?” was the most common objection.
Well, Scrivener has a thing called snapshots. It works on a document by document basis. That means we can take a snapshot of every one of our documents before an editor edits them. And for them to make changes we have them use a revision mode and a color specific to them to edit with. For deleting, we have them format with a strikethrough.
When we get our edits back from the editor, we snapshot the entire directory structure of the book again, and that way we have a before and after document level backup that we can roll back or forward to if something goes wrong.
Now, editing and reviewing changes is faster than ever and we shave tons of time off of our production schedule.
Scrivener for MAC is a Self Publisher's Dream
Though the lines are blurring quite a bit, us indie authors are still very much SELF publishers. And what that means is that we have to do the heavy lifting of delivering our manuscripts to the various ebook publishing houses ourselves.
Honestly, I don't know how any indie author does that without Scrivener for MAC. Unless they have Scrivener for Windows.
Now, don't get me wring, compiling in Scrivener for MAC isn't as easy as pushing buttons. However, once you get the hang of it, you can spit out fully packaged ebook, epub, .mobi, .pdf, even .doc files for the various ebook publishing houses.
Scrivener for MAC is a Show Pony
Here's a small list of some of the awards that Scrivener for MAC has won: