The beta for Scrivener for Windows is now out! If you want, you can skip the rest of the article and find the download link here. (Or download via this handy Download Scrivener for Windows Beta 1 link)
It is an exciting day for me. I have been wishing I could use this software for over a year since I discovered it. Till now it has been Mac only. Seeing as I also review PC Hardware, going Mac hasn’t been realistic much less desirable. Though to each their own. For the Mac users, version 2.0 of Scrivener is coming out on November 1st. The beta is being released in time for NaNoWriMo. This will give the software a very solid beta test period with a lot of users actively trying to use the software in real life scenarios.
Now it is important to note, this is beta software. If you use it, you may and probably will run into bugs and various issues. Also, not all features that are planned for final release (Jan/Feb 2011 time-frame) have been included. I contacted the folks at Literature and Latte and Julia was kind enough to send the list for you guys. Some are minor pieces, others sound a bit more intensive to get ready. The lack of any of these features sure won’t prevent me from using it though. (Note I left the list exactly how I received it in British English.)
Not included in the beta, but planned for final release:
- FinalDraft import and export
- Switching documents by dragging a document from the binder into a header view
- Implement Format > Options > Typewriter Scrolling
- Customise the look of full screen mode.
- Shortcut keys for multimedia play back i.e. play, pause.
- Corkboard setting for number of cards to display horizontally/vertically.
- Corkboard background settings i.e. allow change of graphic and color.
- Import of ODT file format should be added as QT supports this.
- Media files get displayed on the corkboard as Polaroids, should be option to display as regular index cards.
- Documents in binder to show synopsis in tooltip upon hovering mouse.
- Outliner: Alt-click on a twisty triangle to open all subfolders inside the folder automatically.
- Holding the Alt key down while dragging restricts drops to between-only for binder, corkboard, outliner.
- Doc and Docx support.
- Change the colour of an annotation by clicking in it and changing the font colour.
- You can also create Scrivener links by dragging a document from the binder, outliner view or corkboard.
- Assigning keywords is by dragging them onto documents in the binder or the outliner and corkboard views and assign groups by holding down ALT key.
- Edit of toolbar buttons for display in Scrivener toolbar via a dialog needs to be added.
- Line spacing icon in format bar to be added for editor, preferences, and compile draft options.
With those features added and 2-3 months of solid beta testing, the final product should be very impressive indeed. Once I have used the beta for a few days getting ready for NaNo I will have a follow up “first impressions” post here on Epic Plains.
I did have a chance to use the Mac version this spring for about a month while writing a short story. (Long story short I tried to run MacOS in virtual and it ate itself around the time I finished the story. I haven’t tried again since.) The methodology behind Scrivener is the main reason I like the software so much. The tagline – “Outline. Storyboard. Edit. Write.” – fits my writing style very well. I love to brainstorm with the corkboard getting ideas down. Then I fill out some notes (or in Scrivener those are called the Synopsis on each card), then drill down into each card and start writing a chapter or scene. I use folders to then later group things into chapters. At any point during that process it is very quick and easy to go into the “edit Scrivenings” mode which basically takes you straight to the text editor and all the selected file. IE – you can use it to scroll through and work with the entire body of text. Oh, and do that in full screen mode to remove all distractions if you wish as well.
So, this year I will be giving the beta a full run through as I transition from yWriter. yWriter works great, is free, and depending on your style is certainly an option. Myself, I like to jump between a more structured approach and a fairly free form. Scrivener is great at doing that.
It has been said many times on the forums, but it must be reiterated. Backup and save your work often. While I am sure the beta will be fairly stable, it is beta software. Be prepared for quirks and other issues. Frequent backups are just a good idea anyways.