Thursday, August 07, 2008

Scrivener - alive and kicking

I've been receiving an increasing number of e-mails asking me if Scrivener is still in active development, which seems to be a result of people checking this blog and noting that my last post here was some time ago... So, yet again, I thought I'd best post a quick update to say that Scrivener is indeed alive, well, and in active development. (I've always said that the forums are a better indicator of the state of development, because I post on the forums nearly every day, but I do understand that some users, or potential users, don't really like forums much and therefore don't check them.) Of course, as I say on the About page of the main site, Scrivener isn't really about whizz-bang new features. I have always maintained that you should take it for what it is, and that my only real commitment is to bug-fixes and making it the best writing software for my needs. And indeed, I stand by that.

However, such caveats notwithstanding, the next version of Scrivener is a bit of a biggie - Scrivener 1.5. It has leapt internally from the current version (1.11) to 1.12 to 1.2 all the way to 1.5 as the changes, fixes and feature list has grown. In many ways, it's a 2.0 release, but I want to reserve the right to charge upgrade fees on major point releases, and I'm nowhere near the point at which I want to ask existing customers to pay for an upgrade, so 1.5 it is (in other words, it will be a free update to registered users). In many ways, it's a refinement release. There are some new features, true (such as a page layout view, which is important for screenwriters who judge time by a minute-per-page, although Scrivener remains steadfastly not a page layout program, so there will never be columns, widows and orphans control, real footnotes or suchlike). But mostly it has been a chance for me to go back over areas that I have never quite been happy with and which I thought could be done better. For instance, the Compile Draft pane is very cluttered and not entirely intuitive, so it's been replaced with one that is more contextual and which has more options, but which keep out of your way if you don't need them. The preferences pane is also very cluttered, and I'll be overhauling that in the next few weeks. There are various other areas that have undergone, or are undergoing, refinement, too (such as the corkboard), but over all it will still be the same Scrivener.

So, development is far from dead. I am still here, staring at my screen and scratching my head, pecking at the keyboard and waiting for builds to complete. But after 1.5, I really am going to write The Bloody Novel.

I suppose at this point, I should provide an in-development screenshot of 1.5 (note the project that you can see open is the one I use for my development notes; not very interesting).

I'll have more news about the next update, and other developments at Literature & Latte, in the next month or so...


Blogger boulderpoet said...

Cool! Thank you for continuing to refine. Look forward to the release. :)

3:19 am  
Blogger boulderpoet said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:42 pm  
Blogger Terry said...

is the bar with the font and spacing etc. new, or is it something I just can't figure out how to make appear in 1.11?

1:22 pm  
Blogger kayembi said...

Hi, yes, the format bar (based on the one in Pages) is new, so that you don't have to have all that space taken up by the controls in the rulers if you have them both open.

2:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You certainly have created the best tool for writers, congratulations. Is, if you allow me, only one thing I'd like to request for your consideration: an spanish language thesaurus. This is the only reason I'm using MS Word yet. Thank you : )

12:58 am  
Blogger ahallam said...

It's great to hear that development on Scrivener is still coming along! I've been *very* *very* happy with Scrivener since I started using it to draft out research papers last year. I'm sure that I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do, but the ability to write and reorder sections was good enough for me.

Kudos to you, from a very happy user.

11:52 pm  
Blogger John said...

It's wonderful to hear that Scrivener is being constantly polished and refined. Thanks for the note and the screenshot of the developing version!
John Tranter, Sydney

8:23 am  
Blogger Alexandria Pallas said...

Keith, wow. Page layout. I also love the formatting bar. But it also still looks like the same Scrivener I dearly love. Amazing, and wonderful. Can't wait to get my hands on it!!!! Thanks for keeping us posted, though of course, I've also been reading about the new version on the forums.

3:10 pm  
Blogger Francesco Falconi said...

Nice to hear this new! Good work!

12:59 pm  
Blogger Alexy said...

I just wanted to thank you for the greatest writer's workbench ever written in code! :) Also, looking around for a good wordprocessor for Mac, recently have found Nisus, and wonder whether Scrivener could export RTF optimized for it?

5:59 pm  
Blogger kayembi said...

Thanks for all the kind comments. Héctor - Scrivener uses the standard Apple dictionary/thesaurus; is this not available in Spanish? Ahallam - the RTF files exported by Scrivener should already work well in Nisus. I have a good relationship with the Nisus guys (they are incredibly helpful and have helped me with RTF issues in the past), so I always do my best to ensure the two programs work well together. The next version definitely makes some improvements to the RTF export that will improve certain aspects though (highlighting and bullets kept intact, etc).

11:04 pm  
Blogger Nathalie said...

Awesome work Keith! I'm loving the screenshot. If you'll excuse I've got to wipe the drool off. ;)

8:54 pm  
Blogger J.P. Kurzitza said...

Uh hello, Scrivener dude. I'd be willing to bet a hefty sum that a very large number of writers (aspiring or published) use Windows OS; if not outnumber the Mac users. What's up? I'm definitely interested in the program, but I ain't buyin' no Mac to use it.

8:05 pm  
Blogger Carol said...

Awesome! Looking forward to the update, especially being able to see page number stats. BTW, I'm very new to your program and I just want to say--I LOVE IT. And, THANK YOU!

3:16 am  
Blogger Diana said...

Please oh please make this program for us sad windows users. Nothing out there really seems to compare to this.

3:58 pm  
Blogger Kent said...

Will there be typewriter sounds in the next release?

Oh please... :)

Loving Scrivener, thanks!

2:15 am  
Blogger M.K. Louie said...

Awesome to know that Scrivener (and the programmer) is alive and kicking!

I just purchased the license to your program. I absolutely love the Full Screen feature. Allows me to write without being distracted with my desktop or the Internet. There's much more to love but that's what I've been appreciating the past few days.

Looking forward to future updates. :)

1:39 am  
Blogger JensPoder said...

Hi there...

Nice to see progress in scrivener. Actually I really like your approach.

I don't need more features. More interested i refinement of the existing app to make menus and interface more streamlined and less cluttered.

A better RTF export with lists intact sounds wonderfull though.

Thank you for a wonderful app that I write in all the time.

Jens Poder -

10:40 pm  
Blogger Goose said...

I just downloaded your product today and have been having a blast today with it. I am working on a large technical manual. I tried to organize it by both Wiki and database and neither did the trick. This is perfect!

1:17 am  
Blogger oliver.pospisil said...

I can not wait to get the update in my hand!

6:20 pm  
Blogger Zorba said...

Gattaca -- your favorite film, and one of mine -- is now available for free viewing at Hulu

12:39 am  
Blogger Sade said...

Thank you for this piece of software, it certainly has made my life as a writer easier. When is 1.5 being released? I'm on version 1.11.

10:59 am  
Blogger Romeo said...

I would pay for the update.
Thanks for the label colors on the left pane!

3:49 am  
Blogger André said...

When will 2.0 be available, Keith?

10:42 am  
Blogger ___ said...

Does your program work with EndNote? That would be something. I really can't live without it.

4:44 am  
Blogger kayembi said...

Hi, yes, it should work with Endnote okay. You can set a bibliography manager in Scrivener so that you can call up Endnote with a hotkey, then use Endnote to create your citation. Then export from Scrivener as RTF and use Endnote to process all the citations/bibliography etc. I believe a number of users use the two programs in conjunction, but you can always download the trial of Scrivener and test out how the two programs work together for yourself.
Hope that helps.

11:22 pm  
Blogger Kanani said...

I've been playing around with the trial version. I have to admit --the tutorial left me a bit winded! But I think this can really help me as I start the final rewrite of my novel.

9:16 pm  
Blogger dpzee said...

Thanks for this generous update. I add my encouragement to work on a PC version, not because I'd ever switch from Mac, but because even PC users deserve a chance to experience this fine tool. Can't wait to read the Bloody Novel.

2:18 am  
Blogger jon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:27 pm  
Blogger jon said...

Hi, I DLed the new 1.5 after erasing my previous version (1.1) but there are quite a few things I can't see on my version, like page numbers, ability to color change folders, format bar. I see them all on the screenshot but not on my version.

Am I missing something stupid with options? I can't find it. Any help would be great, thanks!

12:27 pm  
Blogger ahallam said...

It's great to hear that development on Scrivener is still coming along! I've been *very* *very* happy with Scrivener since I started using it to draft out research papers last year. I'm sure that I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do, but the ability to write and reorder sections was good enough for me.

Kudos to you, from a very happy user.

10:01 pm  
Blogger Muse said...

I'm a long time fan of your software I even used it for my master's thesis. It's great for all types of writing. Unfortunately, I'm no longer willing to shell out money for a computer I can't easily modify, meaning no more Macs for me.

In my opinion, Scrivener is leaps and bounds better than any of the Windows or Linux solutions currently on the market, which brings me to my question. Have you considered using Cocotron to build versions for the other systems? I'm asking because it shows a lot of promise and a recently read on another blog about using it for this purpose. is the link.

7:52 pm  

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