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Scrivener Software: A Great Alternative for Writers

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When it comes to content generation there is no shortage of tools available to aid with the process. Many writers will instinctively settle for the default software that has been pre-installed on their computers as these are often more than capable of keeping up with the task at hand. It can be difficult for an individual to look at alternatives when they have been accustomed to using popular software such as Word for Windows for many years, but there are in fact some great pieces of software available that are designed to make the content creation process a whole lot easier.

One such tool is Scrivener. This is a little known tool that has been created by professional writers who clearly have an understanding and appreciation for the writing process. The tool is both simple and powerful and, like an iPhone, most writers will not realize they need Scrivener until they actually start using it. With that said however, it is very rare to find some software that can be everything to everyone. This overview of Scrivener should help you to decide whether it is worth abandoning your default word processor.

Main Advantages of Scrivener

Scrivener has been designed to be a “complete writing studio”, and is very easy to come to grips with. To say that Scrivener is basic in features really seems to do the software an injustice, but there is really no other way to describe it. Whereas something like Microsoft Word would generally require several months of training to get a grasp of its full capabilities, most people will be able to master Scrivener within a day or so. There is a handy interactive tutorial as well as a more in-depth 291 page user manual right there on the start screen every time the software is booted up.

The software is available for download in both PC and Mac versions. It takes only a few minutes to download and is not very heavy on the computers resources. At the start screen you are presented with a number of options; take the interactive tutorial, read the user manual in PDF, or start a blank, fiction, non-fiction, script writing, or miscellaneous document. The option you choose will determine the template that the software generates for you. For example, if you were working on a fiction project, you would select the “fiction” option from the list. This would populate a template within Scrivener that has a Title Page, character and location sketch sheets, and settings for creating a manuscript.

Scrivener provides an all in one place to compile research and write the content so that you do not have to keep clicking back and forth. You can create two columns, with one showing all your research and other where you write the content. You can also arrange the research into sticky notes on the board, which can help you to reorganize your ideas and build a better structure. In essence it helps you to concentrate on the writing once you have carried out the necessary research and in turn speeds up the writing process.

 

Disadvantages to Using Scrivener

The Scrivener software is a tightly focused tool aimed at giving writers the essentials that they need to get their projects completed. As such it lacks a lot of features that some people may have become accustomed to on other software tools such as Word. This can be a good thing as well as a bad thing. If you are a writer that specializes in complex official documents that require a lot of formatting then Scrivener is not likely to be a good option. It is certainly not as feature rich as many of these other tools.

In addition to that, Scrivener comes at a cost. For a regular license on a Mac computer this cost will be $45.00, while the same license on the PC will set you back $40.00. There is currently a free trial offer however, which is an “actual” 30 day trial period. This means that it runs for 30 days of usage rather than 30 consecutive days.

Conclusion

Scrivener is certainly a useful tool for writers with just the right amount of features to make the process a lot more simple and streamlined. It aims to cut out all the noise and unnecessary features of other popular software on the market. If you write regular content then you will likely find Scrivener very useful if you can tear yourself away from whatever software you are currently accustomed to.

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About Chris Clayton

Chris Clayton is a freelance writer who helps online businesses with all aspects of their content marketing strategy, from developing that initial strategy to producing a variety of different content. He has been involved in the content writing business for just over three years now and already has a nce list of happy clients under his belt. You can find out more about Chris and the content writing services he offers over at his site - Writer Effect