The recently released version 3.0 adds several new features and refinements to the authoring program, including the ability to add checkboxes, dates and list boxes within the Inspector, a refreshed interface, a new Bookmarks feature that permits viewing frequently referenced documents directly within the Inspector, faster performance thanks to 64-bit tuning, new Corkboard color-coding, and Touch Bar support.
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Many technology professionals, including those new to writing and editing long-form copy, may be surprised to learn a tool other than just a word processor is required to efficiently build an outline, collect background information, save relevant reference material, coordinate notes, organize text, and generate finished documents. That's where Scrivener comes in (Figure A).
The program's design assists writers with organizing thoughts and notes, tracking various components, and formatting final documents in commonly used industry formats. For example, Scrivener's Corkboard feature (Figure B) assists writers in creating digital index cards that capture notes and can be easily re-ordered. The application's Outliner feature simplifies structuring a manuscript, and the tool's "binder" philosophy helps even novice authors begin structuring the most complex of written works, including scripts, novels, doctoral theses, research guides, technical documentation, blogs, business cases, professional reports, and similar documents.
Authors embrace structure, and Scrivener doesn't disappoint. Using version 3.0, writers can set and track production goals and targets, track word and character counts, review writing histories, and even apply metadata and tags to various copy elements to enable capturing and recalling associations later (Figure C).
All wordsmiths know an author's work isn't finished when the writing ends. Documents and files still need to be published using commonly accepted industry formats. Scrivener 3 supports generating Word, RTF, and OpenOffice documents, PDFs, Final Draft scripts, and plain text, Epub, and Kindle files.
SEE: 44 simple ways to sharpen your writing skills (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
With versions for Windows and iOS, in addition to macOS, and support for such cloud services as iCloud and Dropbox, authors can work with confidence knowing they can access their files and writings using a variety of devices and services.
A standard license for the macOS version costs $45 (an educational license is available for $38.25). Those having purchased Scrivener 2 on or after August 20, 2017 can upgrade for free, while those having purchased version 1 or 2 earlier than that date can upgrade for just $25. Windows licensing is listed at the same price, while an iOS license runs $19.99. Bundled macOS and Windows purchases are also available for $75. For more details about pricing, visit the Buy Scrivener page.
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Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.