Online Tools for Writers: Scrivener Reviewed

Each week, the Education Techie reviews tech tools that can help students and teachers. This week and next, the Techie is reviewing writing tools. Today's review: Scrivener. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

scrivener logo writing software

What Is It?

Scrivener provides an online space for composing written works. Users can start with a blank document or a template. Templates are organized into categories like fiction, nonfiction, poetry, song lyrics and scripts. Many of these options are formatted for what the program describes as standard submission format. Some specific examples include radio scene script, comic book script, novel, persuasive lecture and MLA-style paper. If you choose to use a template, the document opens with an explanation of the template and how to use it.

screenshot scrivener new project window

The word processing screen provides several options for display control, including a full screen mode. Users can control text and some basic formatting, but the developers describe the program as being better suited for first drafts in most cases. Documents from Scrivener can be exported to another word processing program for further editing.

Scrivener can be purchased for $45 (local taxes may apply). The program is available for a 15% education discount. You can download a free trial that lasts for 30 days.

What Makes It Cool?

Scrivener is cleanly designed and easy to use. The help section is thorough and features a user's manual in addition to interactive and video tutorials. The interactive tutorial is saved to your hard drive so you can edit and reference it in the future. I also like that the software was developed by a small company that seems committed to advancing Scrivener's good reputation. The company is open to user suggestions and willing to improve the program based on feedback.

The program's versatility is another plus. The variety of templates could make this program useful in writing classrooms. This variety of formats was not common among the tools that I looked at for this series. Templates that are designed for submission could help less experienced writers come up with a manuscript that is better suited for publishing consideration.

What Are Its Drawbacks?

Scrivener is only available for users that run a Mac operating system. This is its major limitation. Some users who are writing in a single format may prefer to use a program that is specialized, rather than one like Scrivener that offers a wide range of templates.

Where Can I Find It?

Click here to learn more about Scrivener, read reviews of the program and download the free trial.

This is the first in a series of reviews of writing tools. Next week, the Education Techie will continue to review products. Come back to read more!

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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