How to Use Scrivener


Literature and Latte

Cost: Free 30-day
trial, $49, with a “generous household” license

 Getting Started

  1. Open the program and click the File menu and
    select New.
  2. On the pop-up window, choose a template to help
    you create your novel or choose Blank to start from scratch.
  3. Type in a name for your project in the “Save As”
    field and press Create.


  • ·        
    Your Binder—the left side of the screen

Draft—a place to see the entire novel on a story

Untitled—a page in the novel

Research—save any research docs, webpages,

Trash—place to hold those hidden gems or just

  • ·        Center Screen—the work area

Document—Click to see the page

Corkboard—View doc and all sub docs in one spot

Outline—Click to view outline of doc

Setting Project

  1. Click on the Project menu and select Project
    Targets. A small pop-up window will appear.
  2. Type in the total number of word you expect for
    this project in the field below Draft Target. Scrivener will keep this number
    for the entire project.
  3. Type an estimated word count for this writing
    session in the second field at the bottom of the box. Watch the bar turn from
    red to green as you reach your goal.
  4. Click and drag this window to the side of the
    screen. You can keep it open for your whole session to track your words. Or
    click the X to close it.

Adding Text/Folders

  1.  Press the little arrow next to the Add Text
    button (small gree plus).
  2.  Select Folder or Text.
  3.  Name folder or text. (Double-click on Untitled
    if object is not highlighted.)
  • ·        
    Tip: add a folder with a blank text doc. Label
    the folder “Cuts” or “Edits”


  • ·        
    Click add drag desired object up or down the
    list in the binder.

Working with Text

  1. Set up your chapters and scenes.
  2. Click on the first Untitled doc to create Scene
  3. At the top of the screen, select your font, font
    size, and spacing. This is NOT the final look of your doc. This is solely for
    your own writing style.

Using the
Inspector Feature

  1. Press the Inspector window button (small blue i) at the top right of the
    screen. A window down the right side of the screen will appear. (Use this
    feature for both scenes and chapters.)
  2. Type in a synopsis for the chapter or scene at
    the top.
  3.  Add metadata to your scene/chapter including
    content type, characters included (if you use that template), draft status, and
    inclusion of this part in the end Compile of the doc.
  4. Type notes in the Document Notes section of the
    Inspector to makes comments on work, add a picture or whatever you need to keep

are the basics of the program. Using other features such as the Cork Board,
Outline, or Script mode, you can design your doc in many ways. But I think for
Scrivener, it’s best to start with the basics, and get a good working knowledge
before trying the tougher aspects.



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