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Fall in love with writ­ing all over again. $69.99 | LITERATUREANDLATTE.COM

APC Australia - - Contents - Car­rie Mar­shall

Scrivener is an app for writ­ers who need to write big things — say, dis­ser­ta­tions or nov­els. It’s not just a manuscript edi­tor, al­though it’s a good one. It’s not just a pub­lish­ing tool, al­though it’s good at that, too. And it’s not just a place to store your re­search, al­though it’s damn good at that, as well. It’s a writ­ing com­pan­ion that’s with you from the first spark of an idea to the fi­nal edit.

We’d used Scrivener 2 to pub­lish a novel, so de­cided to give Scrivener 3 some­thing even more meaty: 107,422 words of non-fiction across 50 chap­ters, hun­dreds of foot­notes and gi­ga­bytes of back­ground, and a brand-new project that meant col­lat­ing re­search and test­ing dif­fer­ent struc­tures.

The re­vamped, sim­pli­fied in­ter­face is su­perb, and su­perbly cus­tomis­able. There are many stats and tar­gets and cus­tom meta­data you can mess around with when you’re sup­posed to be work­ing, too. For ex­am­ple, you can see how much you write each day, or cre­ate check­boxes to in­di­cate whether you’ve sent a piece to the pub­lisher.

The tem­plates are re­ally great, and they are cus­tomis­able, as well. The Com­pile dia­log for ex­port­ing and pub­lish­ing, pre­vi­ously rather aw­ful, is now stream­lined, sen­si­ble and speedy. The im­proved Kin­dle sup­port and ePub 3 com­pat­i­bil­ity are great for self-pub­lish­ers.

The new Book­marks fea­ture makes it easy to ac­cess fre­quently used doc­u­ments, and a Di­a­logue Fo­cus mode can high­light all the direct speech in a block of text. Scrivener can also do Mark­down, loves Drop­box, and syncs with its sep­a­rate, equally great iOS app. Like to or­gan­ise ideas us­ing a vir­tual cork­board or an out­liner? Both are avail­able.

Man­ag­ing an­noy­ing things such as foot­notes and citations is near ef­fort­less, as is re­mov­ing un­nec­es­sary spa­ces and tabs, and other im­por­tant but usu­ally te­dious tasks. There’s also great Touch Bar sup­port if you’re that rare breed — a writer who can af­ford a new MacBook Pro. Scrivener 3 is also in­cred­i­bly quick and stores your text as text, mean­ing you’re not stuck with a pro­pri­etary for­mat.

We wouldn’t use Scrivener for quick-and‑dirty writ­ing gigs, such as blog posts or opin­ion pieces — our go-to re­mains Ulysses for that — but for any­thing more am­bi­tious, es­pe­cially in­volv­ing man­ag­ing char­ac­ters or back­ground re­search, all kinds of doc­u­ments, and the kind of 3am ideas that have you reach­ing for a notepad in the small hours, Scrivener is an ab­so­lute joy. Writ­ers: if you buy this app, your life will be bet­ter.

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