An Introduction to Scrivener for iOS

This is everything you need to know to get up and running with Scrivener for iOS in ten minutes. This training is provided by Literature & Latte, creators of Scrivener.

Transcript: Hello and welcome to an overview of Scrivener for iOS. In this video, we’re going to cover the basics of the Scrivener app on the iPad. Scrivener allows you to have a lot of control over your project and you can be as detailed or in-depth as you’d like, but getting started is very simple.

Launch the app from your home screen, swipe through the tips if it’s your first time using the app and you’ll find yourself at the project screen. Here you’ll find a written tutorial which is actually an interactive Scrivener project.

If it’s your first time using Scrivener, it’s worth taking a look through this, but if you want to dive in and get writing straight away, you can create a new project by tapping ‘’create project,’’ give it a title, tap ‘’create’’ and your project will load up.

In the sidebar on the left, you’ll see your binder where your project files are organized by default. A Scrivener project contains three special folders. The draft folder is where you’ll be keeping the majority of your writing, and any text documents in this folder can be compiled into a single manuscript whenever you want. The research folder can store any kind of documents including media files, and the trash will hold on to anything you remove from your project until you empty the trash to delete it permanently.

Your draft folder will already have a blank untitled document waiting for you, tap anywhere in the editor pane on the right-hand side to bring up the cursor and keyboard, and you’re ready to start writing. Once you’re done writing, tap ‘’done’’ in the top right to leave edit mode. If you want to return to the project screen anytime, you can then tap ‘’projects’’ in the top left. It’s also possible to do this by swiping the sidebar from left to right.

You’ll notice that your new project now appears as an icon on the right as well as in the project list on the Left. If you’ve been using the desktop version of Scrivener on Mac or on Windows, you might be keen to sync your existing projects with your iPad. Let’s take a look at that now. Tapping the ‘’sync’’ symbol in the top right will bring up the option to link a Dropbox account.

If the Dropbox app is already installed on your device, it will load up and sign you in automatically. If you don’t have Dropbox installed, you’ll be asked to sign into your Dropbox account from within the Scrivener app. Once Scrivener has been allowed access to Dropbox, the app will ask you where you want to sync your Scrivener projects. It’s recommended that you create a dedicated subfolder for this, the app will create one for you if you like.

Now tap ‘’done’’ and Scrivener will be linked to this folder. From now on any projects in this folder can be synced between your iPad and the Dropbox folder on your Mac or PC. In Scrivener for iOS, these projects will appear in the drop box section in the sidebar, and in the icons on the right.

You can also drag projects created on your iPad into the Dropbox section by tapping ‘’edit’’ then dragging the project using the bars on the right-hand side. When you do this, a blue icon will appear indicating the project hasn’t been synced with your Dropbox folder yet, tap the ‘’sync’’ icon, and Dropbox will store your project in the cloud. Let’s load up this freshly synced project, and take a closer look at the interface.

In the sidebar, you’ll notice the project binder has some files which I’ve been working on in Scrivener for Mac. The draft folder contains a document with some nonsense in it, I’ve created a notes folder with a subdocument called pan grams, there’s a photograph of a chandelier in the research folder, and the trash contains a document which I’m planning to delete later. If you want to search for a specific document in the project, pulling list down will reveal a search field you can use for that purpose.

To create a new document, tap the ‘’plus’’ symbol in the top right of the editor, or the bottom right of the sidebar. You’ll be prompted to give the document a title and a synopsis, but you can leave these blank and edit them later if you like. The new document will appear in the binder and open in the editor ready for you to get writing. If you need to move the document to a new position in the binder, there are a few ways to do this. Swiping from right to left on a file or folder will reveal some options, tap the ‘’blue move option,’’ and you’ll be given a list of locations to choose from.

Another way to do this is to tap ‘’Edit,’’ then tap the ‘’four-way arrow icon’’ to enable move mode, then select a file or folder. You can now use the arrows at the bottom to adjust its position in the binder. Using the left and right arrows, you can nest documents within folders as subdocuments or bring them back to surface level.

The up and down arrows change the document’s position in the current folder. Alternatively, as with the project’s list earlier, you can tap edit, then hold and drag files around using the bars on the right-hand side. Last of all selecting a file or folder, then tapping the move icon in the bottom row will give you a list of locations you can move a file to. You can add a new folder to your project by tapping the ‘’new folder’’ icon, this works much the same as adding a new document.

As your project grows, you might want to expand and collapse folders in your binder to conserve sidebar space. Swiping right-to-left on a folder in the sidebar will reveal the option to expand or collapse the folder hiding or revealing any subdocuments it contains. If a folder is collapsed, tapping on it will list that folder subdocuments in the sidebar and you can tap on a document to open it in the editor. However, tapping the corkboard icon will open the cork board which you’ll be familiar with if you’ve used the desktop version of Scrivener. Here you can view and interact with index cards containing the title and synopsis of any documents in that folder. If the folder contains images, by default they will appear as photos on the cork board but this can be disabled if you go into your project settings, tap ‘’cork board,’’ and toggle show images.

Holding a finger down on the index card will allow you to drag it around and this is another way of reordering your documents like you can in the binder. If a folder’s contents are already expanded in the binder the cork board icon won’t appear, but tapping on the folder itself will take you to the cork board this time. If you want the sidebar list view instead of the cork board, you can open that by tapping the circled [chevron?] on the right.

Next, let’s take a look at the editor. First of all, if the text is too large or too small, you can use a pinch gesture to grow or shrink the text. Note that this only adjusts the zoom level, the font size itself is unaffected. When you’re writing in edit mode you’ll notice the icons in the top row change. From left to right here’s what they do. The full-screen icon will hide the binder, so all you see is the text you’re working on. To reveal it again, tap the back arrow or your project title in the top left. The sync symbol will appear when a project is stored in Dropbox and tapping it syncs your document with Dropbox so you can save your changes without having to return to the project screen.

The circled T enables typewriter scrolling which keeps the current line centered in the display. A word count for this document will be displayed in the center. Tapping this will display a word count for your entire draft folder and allow you to set a target word count for the manuscript.

The paintbrush icon opens the formatting palette which is split into three tabs, style, where you can adjust font options and formatting, choose from presets and create a numbered or bulleted list, indents where you can adjust first line and paragraph indents, and spacing where you can adjust line spacing. The clock icon opens a list of recent documents so you can quickly navigate around anything you viewed recently. The search icon opens ‘’find’’ which can be expanded to find and replace using the ‘’cog’’ icon.

The editor also makes use of the extended keyboard row. By default, this contains commonly used punctuation, options for selection and navigation, and formatting tools. Holding down a finger on any of these buttons allows you to swap them out from a wide variety of other options, so it’s customizable any way you like. You can reset these to the defaults any time.

Whenever you aren’t in edit mode, an ‘’I’’ icon appears in the top row, tapping this will open the inspector pane in the sidebar allowing you to edit metadata for this document. The title and synopsis can be added or edited here.

If you like to organize your documents using colored labels or mark their progress with the status, you can also do that here. However, labels and statuses must be enabled in the project settings before they will appear in the binder. To do this tap the ‘’settings cog,’’ tap binder and you’ll be able to toggle show labels, tint rows with label colors, and show status.

You can also add document notes in the inspector this is a place to keep any notes related to the document which you don’t want included when you compile. At the bottom, you’ll find document settings where you can toggle whether this document is included in the compiled manuscript, you can convert the document into a folder, and you can change the icon that appears alongside the document title in the binder.

You can also enable scriptwriting mode for the document here, but this option is currently hidden because scriptwriting mode is disabled for the project. To enable it, tap the sidebar cog to open project settings, open the editor options, and toggle allows script writing. Now when we go back to the inspector, the script providing option is available and toggling it on will make script elements available at the top of the editor.

The inspector can also be open from the sidebar by holding a finger down on the relevant document in the binder, or from the cork board by double tapping the index card for that document. If you’ve got more than one document in a folder, for example, the draft folder, you can view them all consecutively using the draft navigator by tapping this icon in the bottom left. While in this view, tapping on a document will open it in the editor and double tapping will open it with the cursor at the tab location.

Last of all let’s take a look at how to compile your manuscript. To open the compile menu, tap the ‘’compile’’ icon at the bottom of the sidebar, or swipe from right to left on the draft in the sidebar, and tap the ‘’green compile option.’’ Here you can choose from a variety of file formats, appearance, presets, and page options. Once you’re ready to export your project tap ‘’compile’’ and you’ll be shown a preview of your manuscript.

You can now use the icons in the top right to share the compiled output or open it in another app such as pages.

That’s going to be all for this overview if you have any questions or feedback about Scrivener for iOS, you can reach us at, you can also find our contact information from within the app anytime if you return to the project screen and tap ‘’getting help.’’

Thanks for watching and happy writing!

An Introduction to Scrivener for Windows 1.x

This is everything you need to know to get up and running with Scrivener 1.x for Windows in ten minutes. This training is provided by Literature & Latte, creators of Scrivener.

Transcript:  Hi, I’m Keith Blount, and I’m the developer of Scrivener. In this video, I’d like to show how easy it is to start using Scrivener. Whether you’re starting a new writing project or want to edit an existing one, Scrivener has a lot of powerful features but don’t let that daunt you; you only have to use what you need. It’s designed to work around you not the other way around.

So in this video, I’m going to show you the fundamentals of Scrivener, everything you need to get started using it in under 10 minutes. The features I’m going to show in this video are in fact the features I designed Scrivener for in the first place. Although we’ll be using the Windows version in this video, everything you see here applies to the Mac version too.

First, let’s fire up Scrivener and create a new project. You’ll see I’m presented with a window that allows me to choose from different project templates for novels, scripts, academic writing, and so on. I’m going to pick the most basic template, the blank one which will create a blank project- all other templates are based on this one by the way.

Okay so here we have Scrivener’s main window, you’re now ready to start writing in the main editor. On the left here we have the binder which is the source list showing all documents in the project. I can show or hide that using the binder button. The other main aspects of the interface are the inspector which I can show or hide by clicking on the blue disc here, and the ability to split the editor in two which I can do by clicking here, we’ll come back to those in a moment.

So I’ll type some text and format it as I want using the format bar or menus. Now one of the key ideas behind Scrivener is that it’s easier to manage writing a long text if you break it down into smaller chunks. It’s entirely up to you how large or small those chunks are though. Chapters, scenes, paragraphs, arguments, whatever.

As soon as you want to create a new chunk, we just click on the Add button and it appears beneath the selected documents in the binder, add a title and we’re ready to start typing there too.

Let’s take a quick look at the binder, note that there are three folders there by default although you can add more. The draft folder is the most important, that is where you put together your actual manuscript or text, and the thing inside that will be compiled into one long document for printing or exporting when the time comes. You can place pretty much anything you want to support your writing in the research folder, images, PDF files, notes, and so on. Anything in there and anything else that’s not contained inside the draft folder won’t be included in your final manuscript.

The trash folder is self-explanatory. That holds any deleted documents until you empty it. Of course, if you’re new to Scrivener but chances are that you have some work you’d like to import, that’s easy enough. I’ve got a Word document that I want to bring into my project, to do so I just go to file, import files, and select it. Alternatively, I could just drag it into the binder… here it is I want to break it down further though so I’m going to split it up. To do so, I just place my cursor where I want to split it and use documents, split at selection, or hit command K- control K on Windows.

I can navigate between the different documents in my project by selecting them in the binder like so, and I can drag them around to rearrange their order. I can also create folders anywhere I want until I’m happy with the structure.

If I want to make the rest of my screen disappear while I write, I can just click on full-screen mode. Once I’m finished, I hit escape to return to the main window again. The best-selling novelist is using Scrivener, you don’t use many more features than the ones I’ve just shown you. So that’s writing in Scrivener. Now let’s look at some of the structural tools.

Let’s open the inspector- note the index card at the top. Every document in your project has an index card associated with it. The index card is used to show the title and a synopsis of your document. Let’s enter a synopsis here. Now, look what happens when I click on the draft folder we switched to corkboard mode. And here you can see the index card, but it’s associated with the document I just had opened.

I can edit it, and I can use the cork board to rearrange my documents. See how it has moved in the binder. If I open that document again, you’ll see its index card reflects the edits I’ve made. The best way of understanding the relationship between documents and index cards is to imagine that each document has an index card clipped to it, and in corkboard mode, you see only the index card.

The corkboard shows two subdocuments of whatever folder is selected. So at the moment, I can see the contents of a draft folder, but if I click on my chapter folder I can now see what’s inside that. So the cork board allows you to get an overview of your documents by seeing only their titles and synopses, and it allows you to move them around by moving their associated index cards.

We can also create a new index card on the Corkboard which creates a new blank document. I’m going to use an index card to write a synopsis of what I intend to be in this scene which I’ll write later on. When I’m ready to return to the writing, I can open my new document and see from the index card in the inspector what I’d planned to write. But maybe you’re not partial to cork boards, that’s fine you don’t have to use it, if I click on my folder again I can switch to outliner mode instead.

The outliner works in exactly the same way as the cork board. It shows me just four titles and synopses of the subdocuments of a selected folder, and I can edit them, rearrange them, and create new documents and write synopses to remind me what they should be about when I come to write them.

You can also show other information in the outliner but we won’t worry about that here. The corkboard and outliner tools can, therefore, be used to restructure writing you’ve already done or to plan an outline writing you’ve yet to do. So you can plow ahead and hammer out your first draft without touching these tools and then use them for the editing process afterwards, or if you’re the sort of writer who prefers to map everything out in advance, you can use them right at the start of your project to create an outline then do all the writing afterwards, or you can do a bit of both of course.

You’ll notice with the control which allows you to switch between the corkboard and outliner has a third option, let’s look at that now. If you click back on this folder, we’ll be back in outliner mode. If we click on my third button, we switch to what we call ‘scrivener mode,’’ this allows you to view some or all of the documents in a folder as though they were all part of one long text.

This works on any folder with text files in it. This gives me a way of working on my manuscript as one long document, as individual chapters, or as pieces as large or small as I want. And that’s the fundamentals of Scrivener covered.

I’ll just show you two more things before we wrap it up though. First I mentioned a split view earlier, I can split the editor horizontally, or vertically, I can then view different parts of the same document or different documents entirely alongside one another.

I can also bring in research files such as images and PDF documents, and view them alongside my text as I write. Finally, when you finish writing your manuscript, you just go to file, compile, and compile the whole thing for exporting to another program or for printing.

You can also generate a PDF file. All of the text files that are inside the draft folder will be compiled into one long document. Compile is a very powerful feature allowing you to completely change the formatting of your exported document if you want, making it easy to generate your manuscript in different formats such as standard manuscript format, MLA format, ebooks, and so on, but I won’t worry about that here.

And that’s really it. There’s a lot more to Scrivener and we have a range of video tutorials on our website to talk you through various more advanced features when you’re ready. I hope this video has given you some idea of what Scrivener can do and how easy it is to use.

Thanks for watching!