Create and organize writing projects with ease using Scrivener 3 for Mac and iOS!

Take Control of
Scrivener 3

Kirk McElhearn

Compose a masterpiece with Literature & Latte’s Scrivener. Whether you’re writing science fiction, a historical novel, or a zombie travelogue, learn how Scrivener’s powerful tools can take your work to the next level. Kirk McElhearn shows you how to collect notes, organize your work, arrange and rearrange sections, and more. Covers Mac, iOS, and Windows versions!

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


Scrivener is a powerful tool for managing long-form writing projects—like novels and screenplays—and Take Control of Scrivener 3 gives you all the details you need to know to harness its potential. In this book, best-selling author Kirk McElhearn walks you through setting up, organizing, writing, formatting, revising, and compiling a Scrivener project, whether you’re working on a Mac or in iOS.

Using this extensive guide, you’ll be able to:

  • Meet Scrivener: Learn about the Scrivener philosophy and its basic layout
  • Start your project: Pick a template and add existing materials to your project
  • Brainstorm and organize: Discover three different ways to work with your material using the Binder, Corkboard, and Outliner.
  • Set up your writing environment and avoid distractions: Choose default fonts and colors, opt for Script Mode if you’re writing a script or screenplay, and simplify your workspace by hiding interface elements or by using Composition Mode or Apple’s Full Screen Mode.
  • Make the most of key features: Learn how to work with styles; use annotations and comments; add footnotes and endnotes; view more than one file at once; use collections to view selected items from the Binder; store bookmarks and project notes; and share and synchronize your project with others.
  • Go further with Scrivener: Get the details on special features like Scrivenings View (write in sections, but view as a single document) and Snapshots (allows you to make and view periodic backups of your text).
  • Revise and edit your work: Learn how to find and replace text, and work with revisions.
  • Use Scrivener in iOS: Sync your projects to iOS and work on an iPhone or iPad.
  • Print and export: Understand the process of preparing your project to be printed, and what’s involved in compiling it so that it can be exported in a different format.

Kirk also highlights the many changes to Scrivener since the last version (see the What’s New section below), including updates to the interface, styles, outlining and metadata capabilities, and improved searching and writing features. In addition, he explains brand-new features in Scrivener 3, including Bookmarks (lets you store references to other sections of your project), Linguistic Focus (highlights specific elements such as dialog, adverbs, or adjectives), Section types (such as Chapter Text and Scene), and Copyholders (allows you to view three or four documents at once).

Kirk McElhearn

About Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn writes about Apple hardware and software, books, music, and more. As a Senior Contributor to Macworld for more than 15 years, he wrote hundreds of articles, including the Ask the iTunes Guy column. He is a regular contributor to The Mac Security Blog, The Startup Finance Blog, and TidBITS, as well as several other websites and magazines. He is co-host of several podcasts, including The Next Track, a podcast about how people listen to music today. Visit his website Kirkville.

This book is a complete guide to Scrivener. Among the topics it covers are the following changes in Scrivener 3:

  • New look: The interface has been refreshed, with new, more modern icons and buttons. These changes are subtle, but establish an overall design ethos that makes the app feel less cluttered and more inviting.
  • Styles: Scrivener has long supported character and paragraph styles (which it called presets), but its new styles are more capable and more like those in common word processors.
  • Bookmarks: Bookmarks let you store references to other sections of your project, other files on your computer, or even webpages on the Internet. You can quickly access these bookmarks in order to view their contents.
  • Project Notes: The former Project Notes feature has been subsumed into the new Bookmarks feature.
  • Linguistic focus: The new Linguistic Focus tool lets you look at your work while highlighting specific elements, such as dialog, adverbs, or adjectives.
  • Metadata: Scrivener has always allowed you to associate lots of metadata with your projects, which is great if you compile your documents to distribute as ebooks. But Scrivener 3 has enhanced its capability to also use custom metadata and keywords to help you manage documents.
  • Section types: You can now define and apply section types, such as Chapter Text, Scene, and more.
  • New compile interface and options: Scrivener 3 has totally revamped the interface you use to compile documents to export your work to various formats, and has added many new options.
  • Enhanced outlining: Index cards on the Corkboard and rows in the outliner now show a preview of the first words of the main text if no synopsis is assigned. Also, the Outliner shows just the synopsis if there is no title assigned, and the binder automatically inherits titles from these cards and outline items.
  • Improved searching: The search bar on the toolbar has been replaced by a Quick Search field in the middle of the toolbar.
  • Writing tools: New and improved writing features include:
    • Typewriter Scrolling: With this on, your page automatically scrolls as you type, keeping the insertion point in the center of the screen.
    • Editor text width: Especially helpful on a big screen, this option lets you limit the width of text in the Editor.
    • Writing History: This feature tracks how many words you write each day. You can check your progress, see averages, and more.
  • Copyholders: The new feature makes it possible to view three or four documents from your project at once.
  • Labels that track threads: By applying specific labels to documents, you can use the Corkboard to view them as a thread.
  • Microphone and camera support removed: In the Mac ver­sion of Scrivener 2, you could add audio files and photos to your projects using your Mac’s camera and microphone. This feature has been removed, since Apple has deprecated the system frameworks that this feature used.

Where can I learn more about Scrivener?

Scrivener is developed by a company called Literature & Latte. Check out the Literature & Latte website for lots more info. Also, they offer a free 30 day trial of Scrivener for those interested in learning more about it.

What versions of Scrivener does this ebook talk about?

This ebook is about Scrivener version 3 on the Mac. It also covers Scrivener version 1 for iOS.

What should Windows users know about this book?

If you’re using Scrivener for Windows, the previous edition of this book, Take Control of Scrivener 2, will be more helpful to you. If you buy Take Control of Scrivener 3, you can download a free copy of the older book—see this book’s Ebook Extras page for details. Once you’ve downloaded the book, look for special Windows information in a sidebar near the end of the Introduction.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Scrivener Quick Start
  • Call Me Scrivener
  • Plan Your Project
  • Write Your Masterpiece
  • Take the Helm of Your Project
  • Share and Synchronize Your Project
  • Revise and Edit Your Work
  • Compile Your Work for Print and Export
  • What’s Next
  • About This Book
  • June 26, 2020—There will be an update to this title once Scrivener 3 for Windows is released.


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