Author Topic: Why I've abandoned Scrivener  (Read 3995 times)  

Offline hankgarner

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Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« on: June 24, 2017, 01:44:29 PM »
Why I've abandoned Scrivener and some thoughts on the tools of the craft.
http://hankgarner.com/why-ive-abandoned-scrivener/

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Offline Nigel Henry

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 01:54:11 PM »
I know your exact pain, Hank. I gave up on Scrivener in 2015 in exchange for a system of Dropbox, plain text, markdown, and terminal commands. Kind of complex, but it lets me use it switch between devices whenever I want without any formatting errors.


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Offline hankgarner

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 02:01:22 PM »
I'm with you Nigel. There's something to be said for simplicity and portability.

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Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 02:32:55 PM »
I can't abandon Scrivener, because I never did fully adopt it. I played with it, bought it, worked with it, then finally put it out of my mind. I always felt much like a lesser being for my failure to adopt. But the thing is, I am comfortable with Word. It's like a pair of warm socks. I know it and it knows me. We're a team. I work in the cloud and mess around between my Surface and my trusty Samsung laptop. All good. And all I need. I think if I had a lot of projects going at one time, revisiting Scriv might be on my agenda, but I don't. So there is that.  :-[

You, Hank, sound as if you've got a LOT of computer gear. I'll be thinking about that as I read Bloom, which, oddly, I just purchased on amz.ca before I read your post.
 

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Offline hankgarner

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2017, 02:36:39 PM »
Thank you EC! I have a lot of computer gear because I 1) am a geek. 2) do web design contract work 3) produce a podcast about writing twice a week 4) write. So just the necessities, lol.

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Offline Broken Monitor

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 02:54:53 PM »
So it seems the main reason was that the project got corrupted when syncing to Dropbox? I have had the same problem. Do not open and work from a Scrivener project in the Dropbox folder or things will go south. I've had no errors so far by copy from Dropbox to my desktop, working on that copy, and then copying it back to the Dropbox folder. But that's a lot of extra steps every time you want to sync to the cloud.

And yeah, working with Word with the navigation pane open is pretty usable for me. Although personally I like Scrivener for the corkboard view as well as having lots of extra notes and multiple drafts in the same file. Splitting the view is handy working between drafts. And you can compartmentalize your project further in Scrivener by making a new note for each scene. Setting a heading in Word for every scene would get annoying pretty fast I think.

But I do agree -- use whatever removes the barriers to getting work done.

Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 03:45:23 PM »
Word not Scrivener. Absolutely.
I used Scrivener to make files to upload to Amazon, but now I use Vellum.
So Word>Dropbox>Vellum
And note: every time you sit down to work make a duplicate of the latest docx file in dropbox, so you will always work on Novel.docx and save Novel copy 1.docx  (copy 2, copy 3 etc.)
So if your main file gets corrupted for any reason you can revert to the most recent file that isn't corrupt and not lose all your work.
The beauty of a docx file is that it will open correctly in Pages, and import correctly into Vellum. I don't trust Scrivener as much as Microsoft, in the same way I don't trust Apple software.
And backup your Dropbox somewhere else.

Offline Crystal_

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 04:00:48 PM »
Really? I use a Dropbox folder for all my writing stuff, including several dozen Scrivner files and I've never had any issues with files getting corrupted

Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 04:11:04 PM »
Really? I use a Dropbox folder for all my writing stuff, including several dozen Scrivner files and I've never had any issues with files getting corrupted
I do this for all my professional files so it spilled over into my writing hobby.
Photoshop corrupts a file usually once every 5 years, maybe less.
But I always duplicate the big layered hard-to-duplicate files, just in case.
Same way I make an offline backup of everything at the end of the day.
So no, you probably won't ever have a corrupt file, especially these days.
Right up till the point you do.
For example, what if the computer fails (power outage, kernel panic, OS crash had them all) just as you're saving the file, what happens to the half saved file?

And yes, Lynn the pseud, agreed, low-tech is best. Never trust auto-backup software with your creative files.

Offline hankgarner

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2017, 04:12:19 PM »
Yeah, that's the problem though. The syncing issues are well known. You increase the autosave time and that helps with one problem and you give it plenty of time to sync after closing the project on one platform before opening on another. You do all the right things, and still file corruption. And I'm not a Scrivener novice. I've been using since 2014 and done podcasts on it. I just don't have time to baby a tool just because. Life's too short.

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2017, 04:16:47 PM »
I've written novels in Word, Google Docs and Scrivener (and an Alphasmart Neo). I generally use Scrivener these days, after owning it for years and not using it. I originally bought it when it was half-off thinking I'd compile ebooks with it. I hated how those turned out. I tried writing with it, and didn't like it. But in the last year or two, I reinstalled it and began making notes for novels in it, and now I write with it pretty much exclusively. I remembered hearing a few people talk about problems syncing with Dropbox, they weren't doing something right and lost some work. So I write in Scriv, then I copy each chapter as I finish it and paste it in a google doc. When I'm done, I compile to my dropbox. Backups of backups, man. Only way to go.

Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2017, 04:21:13 PM »

Offline Steve M Author

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2017, 04:36:42 PM »
Wow, I've used Scrivener for a few years now and except for the rare project that included everything on my desktop, its performed pretty well.

But there is a large negative to using it: editors want to use MS Word with Track Changes turned on. So once I've finished another ode to the wet washcloth I left on the bathroom floor, I have to export the entire thing to MS Worm and let it burrow its way to my editor, who sends it back with more red ink than a fifth grade teacher.

From there onward, the gold copy of the ode stays in Worm. If I want it back in Scrivener then I have spend an hour to get it back there. And I can't quite see the benefit of doing this. A definite nice to have, but that's all.

So I will construct in Scrivener because the outlining functionality is what I need. Wish it weren't so but I've got Dragon and Scrivener working well at last. Just wish my editor would take a Scrivener file to work with. I know, the red ink of track changes proves they did the work. Still a pain in my backside.


Bottom Line: a prisoner of Scrivener until a much stronger tool for plotters comes along. Need something that causes a WOW to make me change.



edited to conform with forum decorum: no politics -- Ann
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 07:03:22 PM by Ann in Arlington »
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Offline hankgarner

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2017, 04:51:34 PM »


But there is a large negative to using it: editors want to use MS Word with Track Changes turned on. So once I've finished another ode to the wet washcloth I left on the bathroom floor, I have to export the entire thing to MS Worm and let it burrow its way to my editor, who sends it back with more red ink than a fifth grade teacher.


And this is no small thing. Working with other professionals is important.

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Offline paranormal_kitty

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2017, 06:41:16 PM »
I've never been able to use Scrivener even though I really wanted to try it out because it was unreadable on both my laptop and my monitor. I hope they fix that issue with high res displays when they come out with a new Windows version if they ever do. I learned something very useful from your blog post though - it's possible to use a mechanical keyboard with an iPad! I was totally unaware of that and thought you could only use a Bluetooth keyboard with it.

Offline hankgarner

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2017, 07:10:12 PM »
Mechanical keyboards for the win! And yes, the windows version of Scrivener has always felt like the [illegitimate person] little brother.

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Offline Nic

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2017, 08:56:45 PM »
I tried Scrivener several times, and felt it was too much software to fiddle with for the job which needed to be done. I dislike Word, so in the end I opted for WriteItNow. It is now in version 5, has all the gimmicks I want from Scrivener plus the simplicity I prefer. I do not sync, but I regularly rename files on a save as mentioned by Flay Otters and save the entire fileset to my own cloud and a hard drive.

Offline EvanPickering

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2017, 09:11:31 PM »
I absolutely adore scrivener. And I don't even have a mac. Writing a book in Word is so frustrating.

I originally wrote HOOD in Word, after a few rounds of editing it was so laden with formatting errors on the code level that I could not fix even if I wanted to. When I tried to upload it to amazon it was a trainwreck. It took me forever to copy over the book to a plain text file to remove all the formatting, then put it into scriv and reformat everything basically by hand.

But the manuscript uploaded and looks beautiful, clean and consistent throughout. LEGENDS was even easier, because I wrote the whole thing from the beginning in Scriv, and honestly writing it chapter by chapter and having target goals and all that nifty stuff made it a dream.

I guess this is just a dissenting opinion. If you don't like/won't use scrivener that's cool, I got no probs with that. I just think Scriv is the best thing since sliced bread for writers, but hey it's not for everyone I guess.

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Offline Scott W.

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2017, 05:58:08 AM »


I guess this is just a dissenting opinion. If you don't like/won't use scrivener that's cool, I got no probs with that. I just think Scriv is the best thing since sliced bread for writers, but hey it's not for everyone I guess.

Evan

I agree. I love Scrivener. I've written the last ten books with it and it has certainly made the process faster. I export to Word for my editors and then reimport the corrected Word file back into Scrivener for compiling. It took a while to get all the compile settings right for the first book, but now that I have a template Scrivener has been flawless for compiling the final ebooks and PDFs for paperbacks.

I do find the extra steps of exporting to Word to be essential for my process though, because of the much better spell check features and track changes, but I would hate to give up Scrivener for its organizational capabilities.

Offline Saboth

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2017, 06:23:27 AM »
I prefer Scrivener because all of my notes, characters, locations, etc. are right there. Being able to set keywords and look up information easily is nice too. If I were less scatterbrained and had a better memory, perhaps I could go with only Word.

I agree that formatting and compiling can be very frustrating, especially since it is not intuitive and many of the options aren't explained very well.

Offline Susannah Nix

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2017, 06:47:37 AM »
I use a combination of different tools for different purposes. When I first start brainstorming a project, I freeform outline in OpenOffice. Then, when I'm ready to start my draft, I compose the manuscript in Scrivener. The flexibility of the different views and the ease with which scenes can be broken up, combined, and rearranged among chapters is unparalleled, and it keeps me distraction-free while I'm bashing my draft into shape. Once I've got a revised, full manuscript I'm happy with, however, I compile to Word for collaborating with beta readers and editors. I hate that I have to do this, but Word is the universal tool, despite the fact that it's by far the buggiest, most unnecessarily bloated piece of software I use. After all the editing is done, I dump the final Word file into Vellum, et voila, I've got a perfectly-formatted manuscript in minutes.

I have no idea what kind of formatting problems the original article is referring to with porting Scrivener to Word, because I've never encountered any. What I do have is a consistent problem with Word inserting extra spaces and randomly screwing up my formatting. I'm sure some of my issues are user error, because I just don't use Word enough to figure out all the arcane tricks required to make it bend to my will.

One probable source of trouble is also the the fact that Scrivener works better on Macs, and Word works better on PCs. I encounter Word problems on my Mac that don't happen in the PC version--and when I try to get my PC-using Word expert friends to help they are utterly baffled. Microsoft doesn't want people using Apple products, so they don't work very hard to make their software compatible with the OS. Likewise, Scrivener was originally developed for Macs, and the PC version isn't as seamless. *shrug*

All files are at risk of getting corrupted, and everyone works best in the UI they're most used to. The best way to be safe is make sure you're using multiple redundant systems of back ups, no matter what software you use.

Offline Dax

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2017, 08:07:37 AM »
I originally wrote HOOD in Word, after a few rounds of editing it was so laden with formatting errors on the code level that I could not fix even if I wanted to. When I tried to upload it to amazon it was a trainwreck. It took me forever to copy over the book to a plain text file to remove all the formatting, then put it into scriv and reformat everything basically by hand.


Are you saying the formatting errors from accepting so many different Track Changes and revisions from editing, or other formatting errors like the Styles and trying to prep it for publishing? (I know that I've had issues at the Day Job with accepting multiple edits on lengthy documents and the document blacking out as a result.)

To the topic, Chris Fox had a video on "Why I'm Abandoning Scrivener", though I've not listened to it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNnNgCxP7Ww

A friend of mine uses Scrivener. It looks very, very cool, but I think I have too much Shiny Object Syndrome to use it at this time. So much Shiny Object Syndrome that I'm best off right now writing on the Neo and uploading to Word from there, which is what I did with my last book. Still open to other ideas and approaches, though. I do like that Scrivener is one-stop-shopping, but I think I'd just be fiddling with the features so much that it'd be an uphill battle to get anything meaningful done!

Now I just have to save up for Vellum and Mac in Cloud for formatting...

Offline Nic

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2017, 08:26:33 AM »
Are you saying the formatting errors from accepting so many different Track Changes and revisions from editing, or other formatting errors like the Styles and trying to prep it for publishing? (I know that I've had issues at the Day Job with accepting multiple edits on lengthy documents and the document blacking out as a result.)

That's the reason why my editors have to either type their comments into brackets in a .txt or .rtf file, or do the edit in red ink in an actual printout. I absolutely will not work with changes or comments in Word. Too many errors waiting to happen, too horrid a code salad at the end and never a clean file.

Offline Perry Constantine

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2017, 08:37:52 AM »
I've actually had the opposite experience of the OP. Not once has a Word document I compiled in Scrivener come out anything less than perfect. I've also edited for clients who wrote in Scrivener and then compiled for Word and had zero problems. In fact, it's usually the clients who have written in Word that have all sorts of weird formatting junk in their manuscripts because they do things like hit the tab button to start new paragraphs or hit enter a dozen times to start a new page. It's an especially large pain when doing print formatting.

Word, though, has given me an endless parade of headaches. It crashes on me constantly. I don't think I've ever had a Microsoft Word session in the past few years where the damn thing didn't crash. If it weren't for the fact that my editor and most of my clients like to use track changes, I would have purged Word from my computer years ago.

Now I plot and write in Scrivener. Once I'm done, I print a hard copy and edit that way, then put those edits back into Scrivener. If there's more work to be done on the manuscript, I'll do it then. Once it's complete, I compile to Word and send it to my editor. When I get it back, I go through the track changes very carefully, saving every two seconds because I just know a crash is inevitable, and once it's all clean and complete, I drop it into Vellum and InDesign for ebook and print formatting.

Offline Tulonsae

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2017, 08:56:02 AM »

To the topic, Chris Fox had a video on "Why I'm Abandoning Scrivener", though I've not listened to it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNnNgCxP7Ww


I watched that video. Chris still uses Scrivener for writing. If I recall correctly, he just gave up on the formatting and uses Vellum now.

Offline Eric Thomson

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2017, 09:08:31 AM »
That's the reason why my editors have to either type their comments into brackets in a .txt or .rtf file, or do the edit in red ink in an actual printout. I absolutely will not work with changes or comments in Word. Too many errors waiting to happen, too horrid a code salad at the end and never a clean file.
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.


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Online Herefortheride

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2017, 09:21:31 AM »
I love scrivener and even for someone like me who knows nothing about compiling, formatting, etc. it's been a dream come true. Word was a nightmare.

I like easy, streamlined, helpful, and simple.

Scrivener hits all of those out of the park.

I'd never go anywhere near word ever again.
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Offline Nic

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.

That still is far too fiddly for comfort. I've an old version of Word (2003), bad eyesight and I don't pay a lot of money to be routinely exasperated every other page by an edit/track change I either can't raise, can't read when raised, or have to minutely compare to the original file. When I still accepted track change edits, I can't count the times that I accepted the entire mess instead of opening or closing the various edits with the result that afterwards I couldn't find an option to change back to the status directly before I mass-accepted changes. Which, when you have worked through 250 pages of edits prior to that, means you lost hours if not days of work and time. Sure, the file still exists as I downloaded it, but I have then to look through every edit again.

So nope. Not interested in Word workarounds. There is a reason why print and handwriting still belong to the easiest to use means to transmit writing, and if I pay quite a bit of money for an edit, I expect to have it done in a way I can use and not one which has me tear out my last hair.

If a client sends me Word files to use on their sites, fine. It is easy enough to convert them to a .txt file and strip them of their unwanted code. That is the only reason I still use Word, for that and for contracts.

Offline Monique

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2017, 09:34:50 AM »
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.

This is what I do, sans dual screens. Have a big iMac.

And another vote for Scrivener love here.

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Offline Jack.Hardin

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2017, 10:42:24 AM »
I've written novels all in Google Docs.  Every few days I'll download them to my desktop so the files are in 2 locations.  Docs gives you the option to view and toggle back and forth between your outline/text.

I just bought Scrivener a couple days ago and like a lot of features about it. I may move to it eventually but the extra 20-30 minutes a day it would take to get comfortable with it is time I can be writing instead.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2017, 10:55:20 AM »
It's interesting how radically different people's experiences with the same software can be.

I used Scrivener for four years and never once had a syncing problem. Nor did I have any problem generating good ebook files from it.

That said, now that I've switched to Vellum for ebook formatting (and maybe print), I've returned to Word to do my writing. I've had a lot more experience with it than with Scrivener, and in any case I always had to adjust paperback formatting in it as well as dealing with editorial comments.


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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2017, 10:58:30 AM »
I too abandoned Scrivener a couple years ago. It's fragile database architecture and inadequate undo/redo feature were the main reasons. There were others similar to what has been mentioned here.

This subject comes up every now and then and the Scrivener wagons circle. The argument usually is, "I've used S for eons and never had that problem. It must be you." But many former S users report the same kinds of problems.

We have choices for writing and publishing. I've got a WIP that addresses the subject, but the landscape won't hold still long enough for me to finish the book, and its competition was in five digits last I looked, so I've given up on that project.

I can do everything the specialty tools do in OpenOffice and LibreOffice. I can't use Word (I like the 2016 UI) because its master document feature still doesn't work. We all find the tools that comfort us and use them. But don't turn it into Fords v. Chevies. I'm not threatened if you don't like WordStar. :D

Offline Get over yourselves

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2017, 11:02:10 AM »
You guys should really give Novlr a chance. It's just a wonderful program to work on. Simplified, streamlined, a beautiful UI. Only issue is that it costs you money (9.99 a month, I think).

But it does so much for you as a writer. I believe they give everybody a free trial, so there's no reason not to check it out. I used to work with just Google Docs...but then I came across Novlr and realized that it's a much better system. They track your daily stats, show you your word count averages, and let you organize everything in an easy way. It's the exact opposite of the headache that is known as Scrivener.

Oh yeah, and they actively listen to their users on the platform and constantly renovate and add more content. It's quite cool, actually. A lot of people still "sleep" on them.

Offline Laura Rae Amos

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2017, 11:19:05 AM »
Google Docs has really come a long way in the past few years. I use it a lot for drafting and proofreading (on my phone while I'm walking), and I just bought a Chromebook exclusively for writing (no games allowed!), so I imagine I'll use it even more.

When I need to send something to an editor or beta reader who wants a .doc and to use track changes, I use Open Office. It's just as crashy as Word, but I've never had any formatting problems with it.

But my master document (and all notes and planning files) are always kept in Scrivener. And after I've drafted or edited a piece of something in Google Docs, I move it to its place in my Scrivener setup. (I highlight my changes in GDocs so I can just copy/paste what was added or changed). Same with edits and feedback, if I choose to accept, I very carefully copy the text over to my Scrivener file ("paste and match style" so it doesn't bring along anything funky).

I love love love the file binder and all the ways you can configure it, the color coding, the icons. I love being able to sort a giant work into all those little pieces. I know it's more basic than Vellum (which I can't afford), but I do all of my ebook formatting with Scrivener too. They come out exactly as I expect them to, and I've never had a problem. *shrugs*

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Offline hankgarner

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2017, 11:21:50 AM »
I love that every writer is different and that we all have our own quirky ways of doing things. :)

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Offline Anne R. Tan

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2017, 11:24:34 AM »
But my master document (and all notes and planning files) are always kept in Scrivener. And after I've drafted or edited a piece of something in Google Docs, I move it to its place in my Scrivener setup. (I highlight my changes in GDocs so I can just copy/paste what was added or changed). Same with edits and feedback, if I choose to accept, I very carefully copy the text over to my Scrivener file ("paste and match style" so it doesn't bring along anything funky).

I love love love the file binder and all the ways you can configure it, the color coding, the icons. I love being able to sort a giant work into all those little pieces.

I also use Scrivener mainly for organization, but use other tools for drafting, outlining, and note making.

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Offline Dpock

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2017, 12:07:04 PM »
Google Docs has really come a long way in the past few years. I use it a lot for drafting and proofreading (on my phone while I'm walking), and I just bought a Chromebook exclusively for writing (no games allowed!), so I imagine I'll use it even more.

When I need to send something to an editor or beta reader who wants a .doc and to use track changes:


Google Docs has "Track Changes":

Quote
To make tracked edits in Google Docs, pop open the 'Editing' menu at the top right hand corner of your document. Your Google Doc now functions exactly as a Word Doc when you turn on 'Track Changes' You can see who made the change, when they made it and what the change was, just as you can in Word





Offline PaulineMRoss

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2017, 12:53:49 PM »
I use Scrivener for all my writing, and I use Dropbox for backup, but I'd never, ever keep a live project in Dropbox. The Scrivener manual has something like two and a half pages explaining in exhaustive detail what you have to do to use Dropbox safely with a Scrivener project. Anything more than 'yes, it's safe' is a great big warning sign, to my mind. So at the end of every day, I COPY my live project into Dropbox, as backup. I copy to a thumb drive, too, but I would never, ever risk the sole version in Dropbox.

But here's the thing about Scrivener: it backs up all the time. A few months ago, my tablet ate my entire wip. Some combination of clicks and drags just vanished it, and no amount of searching could find it. But Scrivener had saved a backup, and I didn't lose a single full stop.

So I'm a dedicated Scrivener user. And when it has to go to my proofreader, I export to Word format and work with that, and that's what gets uploaded when the book goes live.
   

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Offline Laura Rae Amos

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2017, 12:57:10 PM »
Google Docs has "Track Changes":

Yes, I noticed! I would love to try that with my editor and/or betas. When I get to that stage on my next project, I'll certainly suggest it. But it would require that they have a Google account and want to use it.

Laura Rae Amos writes kooky and emotional relationship dramas, stories that are usually witty, sometimes poignant, and a little bit crass. Visit me at LauraRaeAmos.com // Tweets @LauraRaeAmos // Or chat on Facebook

Offline EvanPickering

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2017, 01:31:06 PM »
Are you saying the formatting errors from accepting so many different Track Changes and revisions from editing, or other formatting errors like the Styles and trying to prep it for publishing? (I know that I've had issues at the Day Job with accepting multiple edits on lengthy documents and the document blacking out as a result.)

To the topic, Chris Fox had a video on "Why I'm Abandoning Scrivener", though I've not listened to it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNnNgCxP7Ww

A friend of mine uses Scrivener. It looks very, very cool, but I think I have too much Shiny Object Syndrome to use it at this time. So much Shiny Object Syndrome that I'm best off right now writing on the Neo and uploading to Word from there, which is what I did with my last book. Still open to other ideas and approaches, though. I do like that Scrivener is one-stop-shopping, but I think I'd just be fiddling with the features so much that it'd be an uphill battle to get anything meaningful done!

Now I just have to save up for Vellum and Mac in Cloud for formatting...

From doing track changes with my editor and just general en mass changes on my end the whole file was a "code salad" as someone so eloquently put lol.

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Offline ellenoc

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2017, 01:36:01 PM »
Horses for courses as they say.

I use Scrivener, and I check the Literature & Latte forums every once in a while to see what's going on. It's my impression that most Scrivener problems come from using it on several computers with Dropbox, synching, etc. I have both the Windows and Mac versions so check both forums and it seems to me there have been problems with Sierra because of the automatic iCloud thing, but except for Vellum I never use the Mac. I didn't see anything in the Mac version of Scrivener enticing enough to give up my familiar Windows version and was penny-wise and pound-foolish when I got the Mac and got a 13". My Windows laptop is 15" which is a big factor in my preferring it.

So while I've never had Scrivener problems, I only use it on one laptop. If the OP's abandonment had to do with multi-device problems, which was my interpretation, he fits right in with all the problems I see in the L&L forums over it, although obviously a lot of people don't have those problems. I hate Word. If Scrivener ever stops suiting me or gives me problems, I'll search for something else, but it won't be Word.

Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2017, 01:46:01 PM »
I have rarely ever used Scrivener although I tried it out a few times as my first NaNo meetup group (in Seattle's Elliot Bay Books Cafe) worshipped the ground it was coded on. It seemed like an outliner's dream so useless to a think best as I write person like me. I do my notes in OneNote, but notes for me means snippets of the novel. I understand the Scrivener love it's just not the way my brain works.

The dropbox (or any cloud sync service) problem is very real for Scrivener. I use Jutoh and it will throw up a warning if I try to save a project to or open a project from a cloud sync service. It allows you to set an option to always create a temporary file that is only written to Dropbox (etc) once you close the file in Jutoh. The reason for potential lost work (Jutoh) or corruption (Scrivener) is likely similar but I only know Jutoh well enough to comment on it. The database in Jutoh is noted as having been changed every time you so much as open the file (this is very bad practice in database design). This means that if you do a lot of work on your Jutoh project in your desktop when its internet connection is dropped and although you save everything you will lose all that work if you open your project in a wifi connected laptop. Even if you remember immediately that the desktop is offline and close Jutoh it is too late. Simply opening the project gives the laptop version a more recent date than the desktop version in the cloud location. You can't fix this by going online with the desktop because as soon as do it updates the project to the laptop version and you have lost all your extra work. Of course if you know what you've changed on the desktop project you can copy that section before going online and paste it back in after going online. Something similar is almost certainly going on with Scrivener.


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Online Joe Trent

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2017, 03:05:57 PM »
I had to abandon Scrivener too. If I was only using one device, I'd probably still be using it. But, I collect all things Apple and have a couple of PC's too, I need something to play nice across all of them. Which I have yet to find. I really loved Scrivner on my iPad, but the syncing to Dropbox wasn't bullet proof. Or in my case, idiot proof. Somehow I managed to overwrite the new file I had just added a lot of words to with the old file. I simply don't have time to think about stuff like that. I  just need it to work. Everytime. Perfectly. 

So, back to Ulysses I went. It updates through iCloud without any effort on my part. And has been bullet proof so far. Unlike Scrivener. But, it's Mac only. Ultimately I'd like to be able to access my story tool through a simple login on one website. Like one of them mentioned earlier. But I don't want to pay monthly. One and done. One payment and I own it. That's what I want.  The Novel Factory is coming out mid July with something that may finally be the solution for me. We'll see. 

Offline Tulonsae

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2017, 03:20:33 PM »
I use multiple devices, but they're all Apple, so Ulysses works well for me.

I do also have Scrivener because it does some things that Ulysses doesn't. But I haven't waded through the 2 pages of how to properly sync my iPad to my Mac yet. So, I haven't tried that yet. And since I mostly write on my iPad, that means the Scrivener doesn't get much use yet.

Google Docs is good for collaboration. We use it at my work. You can always retrieve stuff with revision history in case of error. And you can download as Word or as PDF (although there are some oddities with the PDF export). The biggest problem I find is that Google changes things, without notice, a lot. And sometimes it seriously breaks what I'm doing. And then I have to spend extra time, usually against a deadline, to figure out how to do what I want (again).

Offline Susannah Nix

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2017, 04:40:22 PM »
I love that every writer is different and that we all have our own quirky ways of doing things. :)

Me too! It's interesting to hear all the different systems we've all evolved. When you're trying to hit your daily word count, mastering/fighting with unfamiliar software can be a huge time suck, so we've all got our makeshift solutions that we've evolved on the fly.

The software environment I'm working in can have a huge impact on my productivity. Sometimes, if I get stuck on a project, copying some of the text in into another program--or even just changing the font & formatting--can often jar something lose in my brain. Similarly, if I'm on a roll, any deviation from the norm can bring my productivity to a dead stop.

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2017, 04:46:43 PM »
I gave up on Scrivener months after purchasing it. Honestly, what a waste of money for me. Jutoh is simpler and just as effective. I don't need or understand Scrivener. It was much too complicated and I have books to write.
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Offline JustinBell1974

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2017, 04:47:58 PM »
Scrivener is still my go too writing tool and I don't anticipate that changing soon.  Yes there are some wrinkles to deal with when generating docs for the editor and then pulling them back in for further work, but I do a lot of series work and being able to move the static people/places/references from one project to the next is something I cannot give up.

I use a combination of local files and Google Drive for cloud-based backup and work on the files with three different computers and so far no corruption.  I'm happy.
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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2017, 11:49:18 PM »
I can't abandon Scrivener, because I never did fully adopt it. I played with it, bought it, worked with it, then finally put it out of my mind. I always felt much like a lesser being for my failure to adopt. But the thing is, I am comfortable with Word. It's like a pair of warm socks. I know it and it knows me. We're a team. I work in the cloud and mess around between my Surface and my trusty Samsung laptop. All good. And all I need. I think if I had a lot of projects going at one time, revisiting Scriv might be on my agenda, but I don't. So there is that.  :-[

You, Hank, sound as if you've got a LOT of computer gear. I'll be thinking about that as I read Bloom, which, oddly, I just purchased on amz.ca before I read your post.
This indeed. I have tried three times to get to grips with Scrivener and I can see nothing that I cannot do with Word. I back up to the cloud, but I don't use it otherwise. I found it was stealing stuff and floating it about in the cloud, instead of backing up. I don't want that; I've had to open new folders on the hard drive itself to stop it.


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Offline NeilMosspark

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2017, 04:54:44 AM »
I have found some success writing individual chapters each in a Google Doc for my writing and Storyshop.io for my world building/bible. I own scrivener, but I was a bit turned off by its 'I do everything' look. Its powerful, but I just need a place to write. I will likely do what Laura Rae has done and switch to a chromebook completely.

 

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Offline Alan Petersen

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2017, 12:37:57 PM »
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.

This is what I do, sans dual screens. Have a big iMac.

And another vote for Scrivener love here.

I'm liking your process. Between the editor and proofreaders, I end up with multiple file versions and it gets whacked to keep track.

The way I do it now is that once I'm done writing, I compile the MS into a word doc and then I stay in Word during the editing/revision stage which I then eventually upload to Vellum for formatting. I'm curious, as you go through the edits side-by-side with your master file, is that file another word doc or is your master file in Scrivener?




Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2017, 04:33:43 AM »
Why I've abandoned Scrivener and some thoughts on the tools of the craft.
http://hankgarner.com/why-ive-abandoned-scrivener/

Any reason you can't discuss this here, rather than shooting a link to your site with no further info? This is a message board where people talk about things. I don't like being given only a link with a click bait title.
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Offline Sati_LRR

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2017, 06:09:50 AM »
I had to abandon Scrivener too. If I was only using one device, I'd probably still be using it. But, I collect all things Apple and have a couple of PC's too, I need something to play nice across all of them. Which I have yet to find. I really loved Scrivner on my iPad, but the syncing to Dropbox wasn't bullet proof. Or in my case, idiot proof. Somehow I managed to overwrite the new file I had just added a lot of words to with the old file. I simply don't have time to think about stuff like that. I  just need it to work. Everytime. Perfectly. 

So, back to Ulysses I went. It updates through iCloud without any effort on my part. And has been bullet proof so far. Unlike Scrivener. But, it's Mac only. Ultimately I'd like to be able to access my story tool through a simple login on one website. Like one of them mentioned earlier. But I don't want to pay monthly. One and done. One payment and I own it. That's what I want.  The Novel Factory is coming out mid July with something that may finally be the solution for me. We'll see.

I was interested in Ulysses and was thinking of getting it, but not anymore; they've switched to a subscription model. So that is definitely out.

Offline LifesHumor

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2017, 04:52:57 AM »
I use Word and OneNote.
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Offline LeopoldBorstinski

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2017, 05:41:03 AM »
I do this for all my professional files so it spilled over into my writing hobby.
Photoshop corrupts a file usually once every 5 years, maybe less.
But I always duplicate the big layered hard-to-duplicate files, just in case.
Same way I make an offline backup of everything at the end of the day.
So no, you probably won't ever have a corrupt file, especially these days.
Right up till the point you do.
For example, what if the computer fails (power outage, kernel panic, OS crash had them all) just as you're saving the file, what happens to the half saved file?

And yes, Lynn the pseud, agreed, low-tech is best. Never trust auto-backup software with your creative files.
It's not the creative files you need to particularly worry about. It's the files that get saved very frequently which are more likely to corrupt. So this statement has nothing to do with Scrivener. The advantage of Dropbox is that it gives you automatic versioning. Microsoft Word, even today, tends to corrupt more frequently than most apps and makes a mess of what's left after the corruption. It's the only app I can think of that had to introduce a facility to try to save your work if the app shut down unceremoniously. They did that because the app didn't close properly.

So blame Scrivener if you want but I think the accusation is misplaced. Relying on automated backups alone of course is a foolish backup plan. I use dropbox and a USB stick, along with having the files stored on at least 3 separate devices too. But I'm paranoid about data loss.


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Offline SpringfieldMH

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2017, 10:16:38 AM »
I've tried most every writing app, and continue to do so. Different strokes for different folks.

But for me, Scrivener is the difference between writing and not writing. It just feels right.

I keep my live project in my DropBox folder and work between Windows and iOS versions of Scrivener with no problems. Any time I make significant progress, I also save the project out in compressed form amd assure an off-machine copy.

They'll have to pry Scrivener from my cold dead hands.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 10:20:55 AM by SpringfieldMH »

Offline dgcasey

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2017, 10:39:23 AM »
I gave up on Scrivener simply because it was way more complicated and had more bells and whistles than I could ever need. I even bought a video course on how to use it and only made it about halfway through the course. I don't need all the features that are stuffed into Scrivener. I just need a simple word processor and have found that Libre Office is more than adequate for my needs. And I didn't need a video course to learn how to use it.
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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2017, 01:10:04 PM »
I just need a simple word processor and have found that Libre Office is more than adequate for my needs.
LibreOffice Writer and OpenOffice Writer have an extension available that exports your book file to .epub with one click.

Offline Joseph John

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2017, 01:18:27 PM »
I use Scrivener and sync it with Dropbox. Been doing this for years and never had an issue.

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Offline David Greene

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2017, 03:05:23 PM »
I got in the habit of using Scrivener from being a playwright. Scrivener has a nice scriptwriting template that generates the standard play script format wanted by actors. I found scriptwriting more difficult to automate in Word.

So it was natural for me to keep using Scrivener for fiction as well. I like the Binder organizing of chapters and scenes, the character list, the places list, the ability to add document notes. And I may be addicted to certain little things like Project Statistics and Project Targets, which makes it easy to track my daily word target.

I don't have sync/dropbox issues, since I'm on Mac and use Time Machine to backup everything to external drive.

My sequence, like others, is Scrivener > Word > to my Editor > after track changes and comment iterations in Word with editor > Final Master Word doc > Vellum > publish.

I suppose it is a lot of steps. But I write full time and I enjoy the various steps. I'm not in a hurry. But I understand that others want to simplify and expedite their process.


Offline Broken Monitor

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2017, 05:16:39 PM »
The only problem I really have with Scrivener aside from being careful with project syncing is that text formatting is always annoying. I paste some text, having it use Scrivener's formatting. But then I find out the font color is black instead of "none" so when I switch to a black background I have to go through and fix all of the files. Also changing font settings in general is a pain in Scrivener because it only seems to apply to new documents. I do like the corkboard and being able to more easily separate chapters and scenes. Overall it's an excellent organizational tool. But I found out recently I was spending more time fiddling with Scrivener than I was actually writing.

I've been using LibreOffice lately and haven't had any problems. I do also own Word, however with grammar checking enabled it was using 30% of my (desktop i5) CPU on a 100k word manuscript. LibreOffice used 1.5% for the same document. As soon as grammar checking in Word is disabled, it drops to around the same as LibreOffice. But still, I would prefer at least some active grammar checking so I use LibreOffice for writing, especially because I can't stand the battery loss from Word. For editing though, Word is great and I plan to continue using it for my editing needs.

My last gripe... licenses. Scrivener at least lets you install it on however many PCs you have with one Windows license. With Word if you buy it outright you only get a license for one computer. If you pay for a yearly subscription than you can install it on more PCs. I hate subscription software.