As most of you know, I write long form texts on Scrivener because it is probably, in my opinion, the best word processor software a novelist could ever use. A few days ago, I updated to Scrivener 2 and found several features that were even better than the original.
1. Exporting to OpenOffice and Word Improved – Scrivener 1 would export to these formats in the form of RTF files, .DOC files and the like, but not perfectly. I publish to Smashwords, and their guidelines to list my novel in their premium catalog is something that is necessary for me. The problem was that the Word files that Scrivener converted were still full of little glitches that the auto-vetter found unacceptable. The new conversions create more true .DOC and .ODT files.
2. Improved Layout Compile Formatting – Scrivener 1 would export to a PDF in the format of a proof copy, but now the program gives the writer more control over formatting than before. In this way, there is no need to shoot this file into another word processor to finish the formatting. Scrivener 2 does it all.
3. Locking View Modes – I would often reference my character bios in the binder for continuity and other reasons, but every time I did that in Scrivener 1 I would have to shift to the view mode I wanted (i.e. cork board, outline). Scrivener 2 allows you to lock the view so that when you go to the character bio for example you will always see it the way you locked it.
4. Side-Out Sidebars – I will either use Scrivener in one of two ways: full screen mode or composition mode. Full screen mode allows me to see the binder with all of my research, etc., but when I want to have nothing on the screen but my words I use composition mode. Scrivener 2’s full screen mode allows sidebars to be hidden, but when you mouse over the edges of the screen they dance out for you to use. This is a great feature and I am finding it very handy for many reasons.
5. iBook Author Multiple File Compiling – This is by far one of my favorite features. When working with iBook Author to sell a book on iTunes, one has to cut and paste each chapter into the program and then compile to iTunes. Scrivener now makes a ready to use file that is compartmentalized with individual Word files ready to import into iBook Author. It is a real time saver.
6. The Project Targets Bar – This thing is awesome and has been updated with even more cool bells and whistles to keep a writer on task. If you haven’t used this in the past, it is a progress bar that you can use to figure out how many words you will have to write on the days you write (for me it’s every day) to finish the book on time. It keeps a writer motivated, and Patrick Hester has a great little tutorial about it’s uses.
For a full list of changes to the program, check out the website here. I love Scrivener 2 even better than Scrivener 1. The program has helped me stay on task, has made my job easier when formatting for printed books or e-books, and has given me much more freedom by allowing me to have all of my research, notes, and documents easily accessible in one program.