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Dryad
09-21-2012, 07:50 AM
I'd like to know what writing programs you've tried and liked or disliked. I've used MS Word for ages, even after shifting over to a Mac, but I don't like where they've gone with it, so I've been running an old version that is ready for burial now. I'm not looking to bash Word or MS. I'm just moving on to something else now and would appreciate everyone's input. I know I could use Pages and that it will export to .doc. I'm trying out Scrivener, Nisus Pro, and Jers Novel Writer--or at least I've got trial versions of them to play around with. I've got Mariner Write on my radar as well. I'm sampling by writing blog posts in them, and that's just not the same as a novel. Any red flags I should be aware of? I'd be glad to hear your thoughts about what's worked for you or about special features you particularly like or dislike with these programs. Thanks!

Kerosene
09-21-2012, 07:54 AM
Scrivener

That's really all I use at the moment. Simple enough. I like the cork-board for chapter listings and details. Add in kindle support and you're good. I mostly like the full screen expansion for typing. Though, I really hate the connection with wordweb (when you hit Ctrl + R-click, it's a guessing game to see if Wordweb can find the world). Something about the interface differences.

Susan Littlefield
09-21-2012, 08:05 AM
Microsoft Word. That's it. :)

Al Stevens
09-21-2012, 08:05 AM
I wrote one novel with Scrivener (Windows version) and am starting two others. By now I'm comfortable with it, and it's helpful with the organization of chapters and scenes. But the ms still has to go through a better word processor to get it submittable. Or self-publishable.

kuwisdelu
09-21-2012, 08:06 AM
Pages. Mostly on the iPad, these days, actually.

Medievalist
09-21-2012, 08:16 AM
Publishers have standardized on MSWord, with it's tracking and commenting, and while Pages does a fair job of coping with tracking and commenting, be prepared/resigned to shelling out for the current version of MSWord when you have a contract.

I like Mariner Write, quite a lot. I used it for a number of years, and still use it on a regular basis when I don't have to use MSWord.

Lately I've been using Pages for a lot of my writing that isn't Web/HTML based, but which does need footnotes.

I also like Scrivener. I've used it for my latest scholarly article because of the way you can collect assets/notes/research. I ended up writing the final version /submission edit with footnotes etc. in Pages.

Were I writing fiction on a Mac, I'd look very very closely at Bean. It's elegant, can handle RTF, has in some respects a better UI than Text, and it's free.

Dryad
09-21-2012, 08:17 AM
I wrote one novel with Scrivener (Windows version) and am starting two others. By now I'm comfortable with it, and it's helpful with the organization of chapters and scenes. But the ms still has to go through a better word processor to get it submittable. Or self-publishable.

You say it has to go through a better word processor to get it submittable. What's wrong with it?

Dryad
09-21-2012, 08:28 AM
Publishers have standardized on MSWord, with it's tracking and commenting, and while Pages does a fair job of coping with tracking and commenting, be prepared/resigned to shelling out for the current version of MSWord when you have a contract.

I like Mariner Write, quite a lot. I used it for a number of years, and still use it on a regular basis when I don't have to use MSWord.

Lately I've been using Pages for a lot of my writing that isn't Web/HTML based, but which does need footnotes.

I also like Scrivener. I've used it for my latest scholarly article because of the way you can collect assets/notes/research. I ended up writing the final version /submission edit with footnotes etc. in Pages.

Were I writing fiction on a Mac, I'd look very very closely at Bean. It's elegant, can handle RTF, has in some respects a better UI than Text, and it's free.

Awesome info, Medievalist. Yes, I'm aware of the standard and this is part of the problem. If I'm avoiding the latest MS Word for Mac then I don't want to end up having to use it later on in the process. I'd REALLY like to find a solid replacement, if possible.

I'd definitely like to hear, on top of general writing experiences, if people have been successful using a program other than MS Word with their professional interactions.

Medievalist
09-21-2012, 08:37 AM
I'd definitely like to hear, on top of general writing experiences, if people have been successful using a program other than MS Word with their professional interactions.

I'm a tech writer, writing about hardware and software for a couple of publishers, and have been doing this for a while.

My publishers are willing to try stuff, and I, and other writers, have tried to find alternatives to MSWord tracking and commenting.

It's just not really viable at the point where you have an editor returning a file to you. Too many tiny differences exist between MSWord and various open source alternatives, or even Pages.

Pages comes the closest, but it's still Not Identical.

I'd really and truly find something you can work with, that exports .rtf and/or .doc, and wait until you need to deal with a commented/tracked MS Word file from an editor—and then buy MS Word.

Maybe the alternatives will improve or surpass MS Word in the near future. Pages has increasingly gotten better about the tracking /comments support.

CrastersBabies
09-21-2012, 08:37 AM
I use Word. I don't see the need for other programs. Hell, I used to write in notepad. Text. On a page. Typing.

Word I can format easily.

Medievalist
09-21-2012, 08:39 AM
You say it has to go through a better word processor to get it submittable. What's wrong with it?

Scrivener on a Mac has been fine for submission for prose without footnotes.

With footnotes, I spend about fifteen or twenty minutes tweaking the footnotes in word processor because they are a bit erratic in terms of footnote style as exported.

kuwisdelu
09-21-2012, 08:49 AM
I have MS Word for compatibility when absolutely necessary. I just don't like spending more time in it than I have to. So I don't. Plus, it's not on my iPad anyway, where I do most of my writing these days, and I like the automatic iCloud backup Pages gives me.

buz
09-21-2012, 08:53 AM
OpenOffice...

Not really by conscious choice. My computer crashed, I had to reinstall everything, and didn't have a reinstallation disc for the Word that came with it originally. So I downloaded the first free word processor I found.

It's, you know, fine. :D I don't think it's very pretty, but I'm used to it, although there are some things that I find clunky (messing with page numbers and cover pages seems a lot more annoying and non-straightforward than it is in Word). You can save documents in .odt, .doc, export to .pdf, etc. I haven't had any reported problems with it in converting, although I hear tell of some formatting dickery that other people have had. (It does have a track changes thing, but I don't know if it converts well--if I need to use track changes, I usually go steal a friend's computer that has Word on it, as I'm scared :P)

*shrug* Dunno. It's free and it works okay.

Tifferbugz
09-21-2012, 08:55 AM
Scrivener and MS Word. Love Scrivener for writing, and I polish in Word.

You really will need Word if you start to sub. I just don't think anything else is perfectly compatible when it comes to using track changes and comments.

Dryad
09-21-2012, 09:09 AM
It's just not really viable at the point where you have an editor returning a file to you. Too many tiny differences exist between MSWord and various open source alternatives, or even Pages.

Pages comes the closest, but it's still Not Identical.

I'd really and truly find something you can work with, that exports .rtf and/or .doc, and wait until you need to deal with a commented/tracked MS Word file from an editor—and then buy MS Word.

Maybe the alternatives will improve or surpass MS Word in the near future. Pages has increasingly gotten better about the tracking /comments support.

Good information. Thanks.

Dryad
09-21-2012, 09:13 AM
I have MS Word for compatibility when absolutely necessary. I just don't like spending more time in it than I have to. So I don't. Plus, it's not on my iPad anyway, where I do most of my writing these days, and I like the automatic iCloud backup Pages gives me.

I haven't used iCloud but I like the idea. Sort of. My info saved by someone else is a little weird, but auto-backups is the way to go.

SkyeOhWhy
09-21-2012, 10:10 AM
Scrivener and MS Word. Love Scrivener for writing, and I polish in Word.

Same here. I've been using Scrivener for a few years now, and I have no idea how I ever wrote first drafts without it. It's especially helpful for organising multiple POV characters.

However, I export into Word for editing. I like to see the manuscript as a whole document while I'm fiddling (and in the format my agent/ editor will use).

Al Stevens
09-21-2012, 10:11 AM
You say it has to go through a better word processor to get it submittable. What's wrong with it?I can't speak for the Mac version. I use Scrivener on Windows.

Little things. It does not support a format, for example, in which the first paragraph is zero indent and subsequent ones in the chapter or scene are indented.

Scrivener doesn't have the equivalent of Word's character-based styles. Some publishers want things italicized, others want the same things underlined. So, I use Word to make those adjustments.

If you are maintaining one text baseline for all your formats (mobi, epub, doc, pdf, txt), you'll prefer to have these things adjust themselves automatically. But it doesn't work that way.

Scrivener does not have the equivalent of Word's VB macro scripts, so you have to manually go through your manuscript and tweak it for such things. In Word, I can write a macro and just run it. And I can build a different template for each publisher's submission criteria.

Scrivener doesn't have a single keystroke for the em-dash (that I've found). So I use a double dash and later use Word's find and replace to convert that to the em-dash. (Scrivener doesn't have a global find/replace that spans the whole document. You have to do it a scene at a time.)

So I export from Scrivener to Word to do the polishing.

They're gradually getting some of these issues addressed and some of the epub problems too. They are responsive to user comments, provide workarounds when they can, and maintain a wish list.

kuwisdelu
09-21-2012, 10:30 AM
Scrivener doesn't have a single keystroke for the em-dash (that I've found).

Just to note, on a Mac, an em-dash is option+shift+-.

SkyeOhWhy
09-21-2012, 10:32 AM
(Scrivener doesn't have a global find/replace that spans the whole document. You have to do it a scene at a time.)


I don't know if this works for Windows, but this is how I do Find/ Replace in Scrivener for OSX:

1. Select all your scenes in the binder at once

2. Make sure you're looking at "scrivenings" view (ie. all the selected scenes should show up as one long text document for editing)

3. Press "Command + F" (or "Control + F" in Windows, I'm guessing).

A Find/ Replace window should appear. There's an option called "Search Entire Document." Since all your scenes are currently open at once, it should let you replace all through the manuscript.

Hope this works! :)

Dryad
09-21-2012, 11:33 AM
I can't speak for the Mac version. I use Scrivener on Windows.

Little things. It does not support a format, for example, in which the first paragraph is zero indent and subsequent ones in the chapter or scene are indented.

Scrivener doesn't have the equivalent of Word's character-based styles. Some publishers want things italicized, others want the same things underlined. So, I use Word to make those adjustments.

If you are maintaining one text baseline for all your formats (mobi, epub, doc, pdf, txt), you'll prefer to have these things adjust themselves automatically. But it doesn't work that way.

Scrivener does not have the equivalent of Word's VB macro scripts, so you have to manually go through your manuscript and tweak it for such things. In Word, I can write a macro and just run it. And I can build a different template for each publisher's submission criteria.

Scrivener doesn't have a single keystroke for the em-dash (that I've found). So I use a double dash and later use Word's find and replace to convert that to the em-dash. (Scrivener doesn't have a global find/replace that spans the whole document. You have to do it a scene at a time.)

So I export from Scrivener to Word to do the polishing.

They're gradually getting some of these issues addressed and some of the epub problems too. They are responsive to user comments, provide workarounds when they can, and maintain a wish list.

Great details! Thanks, Al. I also appreciate the fixes thrown in there by Skye and Kuwisdelu.

I'm encouraged by all the Scrivener love out there.

Al Stevens
09-21-2012, 03:48 PM
I don't know if this works for Windows, but this is how I do Find/ Replace in Scrivener for OSX:

1. Select all your scenes in the binder at once

2. Make sure you're looking at "scrivenings" view (ie. all the selected scenes should show up as one long text document for editing)

3. Press "Command + F" (or "Control + F" in Windows, I'm guessing).

A Find/ Replace window should appear. There's an option called "Search Entire Document." Since all your scenes are currently open at once, it should let you replace all through the manuscript.

Hope this works! :)It does. Thank you.

Al Stevens
09-21-2012, 04:01 PM
Dryad, you might want to look at yWriter5 too. It's very much like Scrivener, and is free.

http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html?yWriter5

James D. Macdonald
09-21-2012, 08:32 PM
I use WordPerfect.

Now and forever.

MS Word (particularly tracking and comment) is a tool of Satan.

Jamesaritchie
09-21-2012, 08:45 PM
I don't think it matters what you actually write with. I write most first drafts using pen and paper, and when forced to compose on the computer, I use Q10.

But I always keep MS Office handy, and every final draft goes through it. It simply has all the tools needed, and then some. I've tried pretty much every writing program out there, and Word will do what any of them can do, and more. Word is the publisher's choice of tools, and the only tool I've found that allows me to work on a manuscript in real time with an editor.

I hated the new version of Word when I first used it, but after actually learning how to use the new version as well as the old, I find it's much, much better. It simply takes some time to learn, just as it took time to learn how to use the old version of Word effectively.

Medievalist
09-21-2012, 08:47 PM
MS Word (particularly tracking and comment) is a tool of Satan.

It really is. I wish I could talk my publishers out of it.

This current book is going to be an ebook only book, and I've asked if they'll let me just hand code it in html.

Phaeal
09-21-2012, 09:08 PM
MS Word (particularly tracking and comment) is a tool of Satan.

This is a myth.

Actually, it was Nyarlathotep (in close collaboration with Yog-Sothoth, of course) who devised Word.

I use Word because it's still standard. As for organizing chapters and POVs, etc., I've never seen any need for particular software to do that. I do it in notebooks, in a Word doc, wherever.

But the ultimate answer is: as long as your system doesn't give you submission agonies, you're good. Submissions are agonizing enough without assistance from software. ;)

Riley
09-21-2012, 09:21 PM
I use Word. Its comment and tracking features suck, and I'm constantly fighting with headers and line spacing. But otherwise, it's quite usable.

I really like the Libre software suite but haven't gotten around to downloading it yet.

kuwisdelu
09-21-2012, 09:46 PM
This is a myth.

Actually, it was Nyarlathotep (in close collaboration with Yog-Sothoth, of course) who devised Word.

I have a hard time believing such a cute girl could have devised the crawling chaos that is Word.

...on the other hand, she is very incompetent.

For the confused...

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/143553/Anime/Nyarlathotep.jpg

Al Stevens
09-21-2012, 10:06 PM
Let's give Word its due. It vastly increased my vocabularly. I know a lot more cuss words than I used to.

EMaree
09-21-2012, 10:12 PM
I love Scrivener, but it's also an easy way for me to procrastinate with making things look pretty. Word is where I get actual work done.

This thread is making me want to play about with alternatives, though. Google Docs commenting is head-and-shoulders above MS Word but my aging Macbook usually can't handle it.

JSSchley
09-21-2012, 10:35 PM
I write in Word, revise in Scrivener, and do final tweaks and submission back in Word.

:e2shrug: I like Word. I'm also a very keyboardy user (I joke that I'm allergic to mice), and so having a program with so many good keyboard shortcuts is great for me. Even when Word drastically changed their layout in Word 2007, the keyboard shortcuts stayed the same.

When I really need to buckle down and get writing done, I sometimes use Ommwriter. It's been very good at providing me with a consistent atmosphere that trains me into the "Okay, now we're writing" mode.

I also use reading preview to write in Word a lot. It cuts out all the extra menus and whatnot and forces your writing surface fullscreen.

Silver-Midnight
09-21-2012, 10:37 PM
I use Scrivener, Jarte (which is free), and LibreOffice(which is also free). I also use Microsoft Word, but I mostly use that for polishing and etc.

LibreOffice is a lot like Open Office and Microsoft Office. In fact, if I remember correctly, the people who made Open Office also made Libre Office.

Dryad
09-21-2012, 11:57 PM
LibreOffice is a lot like Open Office and Microsoft Office. In fact, if I remember correctly, the people who made Open Office also made Libre Office.

Yes, LibreOffice was made by OpenOffice, but it's slow on the Mac (even NeoOffice, made for Mac).

Al, I'll look into yWriter. Thanks. On a quick glance it's for PCs only.

I've never had a problem writing with the older versions of MS Word. I knew the quirks and worked around them. I don't really feel a need for the bells and whistles of writing programs, but I'm curious and definitely not against a tool to help make my job easier. I've really been dragging my feet about changing from the program I know to something new and suspect, and apparently also possibly created by the Ancient Ones. It's frustrating to think that the moment one of my books sell I'll have to purchase the latest MS Word anyway. As Medievalist suggested, perhaps a better version will exist at that time. And yet, I certainly hope we're not talking about some distant point in the future!

M.Macabre
09-22-2012, 12:07 AM
I use Scrivener, Jarte (which is free), and LibreOffice(which is also free). I also use Microsoft Word, but I mostly use that for polishing and etc.

LibreOffice is a lot like Open Office and Microsoft Office. In fact, if I remember correctly, the people who made Open Office also made Libre Office.

I just downloaded Jarte, and its minimalism is right on, thanks for the suggestion.

kuwisdelu
09-22-2012, 12:08 AM
LibreOffice is a lot like Open Office and Microsoft Office. In fact, if I remember correctly, the people who made Open Office also made Libre Office.


Yes, LibreOffice was made by OpenOffice, but it's slow on the Mac (even NeoOffice, made for Mac).

Just to be pedantic, LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice. It's from the same code base. The people who worked on OpenOffice didn't like the direction Oracle was going with OpenOffice, so they forked the code and started LibreOffice.

If you're on a Mac and want minimalist, I'll second Lisa's suggestion of Bean.

Susan Littlefield
09-22-2012, 12:14 AM
MS Word (particularly tracking and comment) is a tool of Satan.

:roll:

Susan Littlefield
09-22-2012, 12:16 AM
I don't think it matters what you actually write with. I write most first drafts using pen and paper, and when forced to compose on the computer, I use Q10.

But I always keep MS Office handy, and every final draft goes through it. It simply has all the tools needed, and then some. I've tried pretty much every writing program out there, and Word will do what any of them can do, and more. Word is the publisher's choice of tools, and the only tool I've found that allows me to work on a manuscript in real time with an editor.

I hated the new version of Word when I first used it, but after actually learning how to use the new version as well as the old, I find it's much, much better. It simply takes some time to learn, just as it took time to learn how to use the old version of Word effectively.

When I got the new version a few months back, I immediately fell in love with it. It is so easy to use.

Jamesaritchie
09-22-2012, 01:02 AM
Track changes and comments has saved me hundreds of hours of time, and if MS Word is a tool of Satan, then Satan gets more work done than all the tools of God put together.

I suspect those who think this way haven't used MS Word in a very long time.

Silver-Midnight
09-22-2012, 01:07 AM
Yes, LibreOffice was made by OpenOffice, but it's slow on the Mac (even NeoOffice, made for Mac).

Al, I'll look into yWriter. Thanks. On a quick glance it's for PCs only.

Oh okay, I'm using PC. Not Mac. Sorry about that.

And as far as I know, yWriter only is PC.

Scrivener is for both though.


I just downloaded Jarte, and its minimalism is right on, thanks for the suggestion.

No problem. :)


Just to be pedantic, LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice. It's from the same code base. The people who worked on OpenOffice didn't like the direction Oracle was going with OpenOffice, so they forked the code and started LibreOffice.

Oh, okay. I didn't know that.

DragonHeart
09-22-2012, 06:46 AM
Word works fine for me. I'm using 2007 right now. I need it for my schoolwork anyway and it does everything I've asked it to do so far without any major difficulty, just some minor irritation. I have used Google Docs in a pinch but I don't really like to. I also used OpenOffice for a long time until right before the aforementioned fork into LibreOffice, but by then I was in school and needed Word so it became a moot point. I'm pretty neutral about Word, really; maybe it's not the best word processor around but it gets the job done and that's all I need it to do.

blacbird
09-22-2012, 01:08 PM
if MS Word is a tool of Satan, then Satan gets more work done than all the tools of God put together.

I fear you be pretty much right on this point.

caw

Dryad
09-22-2012, 11:52 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone!

kuwisdelu
09-23-2012, 12:39 AM
Track changes and comments has saved me hundreds of hours of time, and if MS Word is a tool of Satan, then Satan gets more work done than all the tools of God put together.

I suspect those who think this way haven't used MS Word in a very long time.

The tool that does everything isn't always the right tool for the job. If it's about getting words down, track changes doesn't matter one bit.

Richard White
09-23-2012, 12:54 AM
I use Word Perfect for all my personal writing and only save off the final copy as a Word document to pass on to my editor. Been using Word Perfect since 1992.

I "have" to use Word at my regular job. Been using Word since 1995, still think it's a piece of kaka, no matter what version I've used. I'm currently using LibreOffice and LaTex at work since my current client is enamored with Linux and wants all their documents done in LaTeX, even though that takes me almost twice as long as it would even with Word.

Ah, the whirlwind life of a contract tech writer.

WeaselFire
09-23-2012, 01:05 AM
I've tried Scrivener on and off over the years. It still doesn't do it for me. I'm a Word fan, unabashed and proud of it. I use track changes, all the editors I deal with use it and it's perfect for me.

Jeff

Silver-Midnight
09-23-2012, 01:32 AM
I "have" to use Word at my regular job. Been using Word since 1995, still think it's a piece of kaka, no matter what version I've used. I'm currently using LibreOffice and LaTex at work since my current client is enamored with Linux and wants all their documents done in LaTeX, even though that takes me almost twice as long as it would even with Word.

I just tried LyX, which I think uses LaTex or is at least based off of it somehow. That was more frustrating to use than Word or LibreOffice. I mean maybe it was just me. I'm not that tech savvy honestly. :tongue I tend to like my programs easy to use.


I did find two other free office suites though; I think they are only for Windows. Also I haven't tried them myself so, I don't know how good or bad they are:

SoftMaker Office 2008 (http://www.softmakeroffice.com/)

SSuite Office (http://www.ssuitesoft.com/freedownloads.htm)

Richard White
09-23-2012, 01:40 AM
LaTeX reminds me of trying to do an entire document for printing in HTML. Sure, it "can" be done that way, but why would you want to when there's so many other programs that make things simpler?

*le sigh*

CrystalCierlak
09-23-2012, 02:14 AM
Pages. Mostly on the iPad, these days, actually.

I was thinking about doing this but I doubt I could do it w/out a keyboard (easy enough to buy one, but I haven't yet).

KateJJ
09-23-2012, 04:22 AM
Scrivener made it possible for me to write a 100,000+ epic fantasy for the first time, ever. Usually I'd write in Word and get lost after three hundred or so pages.

Scrivener allowed me to drastically rewrite by removing chapters neatly, re-arranging scenes, merging or deleting as necessary.

Scrivener lets me outline to my preferred level before starting a project. I can get a story from the "It's pretty clear in my head" to a "I have chapters and sub-scenes detailed" level in about three hours of hard work.

I've been using it for a year and it's helped me more than I can say. I love Scrivener. Also, it can do a global find-replace, I'm not sure what people were talking about upthread. It's Edit > Find > Project Replace. Works gorgeously, even hits the notes and synopsis bits.

GeekTells
09-23-2012, 05:49 AM
My own work flow is to write, create, and manage in Scrivener. From Scrivener, I compile .mobi (Kindle), ePub, and PDF versions for my beta readers as needed, and it's awesome. For own editing process, I create an ePub and read through it in iBooks on an iPad where I highlight and make notes.

For submitting, I compile a Word document that I then tweak as needed in Word itself. Scrivener handles any and all formatting, transformations, font changes, etc., while I get to keep the feel and form of my original manuscript.

Word is a wonderful writing and editing tool for short documents, but for managing the assets needed in a novel, it's awful IMO. Pages is a better tool for writing and almost as good for editing, but it shares the same shortcomings for managing a novel-length project.

I've tech edited, contributed to, and co-written Dummies books using Word—you pretty much have to because of Wiley's extensive use of templates, but for fiction I just can't imagine writing without Scrivener.

All that said, I have no experience with managing the editing process with an agent or publishing editor, as I'm still shopping my first novel. Having gone through that with the Dummies titles...well, I'm not sure how I'll handle it until I am forced to do so.

I imagine that at some point, "the manuscript" will become the Word file rather than my Scrivener project.

Perhaps someone more experienced can speak to this?

Lastly, Dryad, Scrivner's video tutorials are fantastic, but I'd be happy to give you some shortcut notes for getting started.

I hope that helps!

Medievalist
09-23-2012, 05:52 AM
LaTeX reminds me of trying to do an entire document for printing in HTML. Sure, it "can" be done that way, but why would you want to when there's so many other programs that make things simpler?

*le sigh*

Yeah, I don't miss having to support LaTeX. It was one of the hardest apps or encoding systems I've ever tried to learn. Actually, I think it's the hardest.

But I do know engineers and mathematicians who love the support for formulas, and I can understand that.

Al Stevens
09-23-2012, 08:31 AM
My own work flow is to write, create, and manage in Scrivener. From Scrivener, I compile .mobi (Kindle), ePub, and PDF versions for my beta readers as needed, and it's awesome. For own editing process, I create an ePub and read through it in iBooks on an iPad where I highlight and make notes.
Exactly how I work now.


I imagine that at some point, "the manuscript" will become the Word file rather than my Scrivener project.

Perhaps someone more experienced can speak to this?
Once you compile to .doc and submit, you're locked into .doc and Word. Those pesky editors use Track Changes and Comments, and manually porting that format back into Scrivener is possible, but it can be tedious and error-prone.

I don't believe Scrivener would be up to the task of interior layout for a self-pubbed print edition, however. But I haven't tried it. My gut feeling is that, depending on how you want the design to look, it could be rife with compromises and workarounds.

Scrivener exports to LaTex. But then the easy part goes away.

WeaselFire
09-23-2012, 06:51 PM
This thread makes me wonder if anyone has ever done a "Word for Writers" tutorial or book. A cursory search finds hints, but nothing in depth.

Market anyone? :)

Jeff

Goldenleaves
09-23-2012, 07:21 PM
I'm the fourth most disorganised person I know and ALSO try really hard to avoid having to learn any ne techno I did my last book in word but have just found scrivener. I have high hopes for scrivener purely as an organisational writing tool. It looks like it'll make reshapes and cleanups etc so much easier.

Dryad
09-24-2012, 03:21 AM
Calligra has recently put out Calligra Author. It looks like they're particularly aiming at authors looking to create eBooks. It's free software (in most cases, or so it says) and they're hoping to get serious author feedback to help with further development. Announcement link here (http://www.calligra.org/news/calligra-announces-author/). Beastly slow website. I'm not going to look further into it myself, but I thought some of you might be curious.

Dryad
09-24-2012, 03:27 AM
Lastly, Dryad, Scrivner's video tutorials are fantastic, but I'd be happy to give you some shortcut notes for getting started.

I hope that helps!

Thanks for the info, GeekTells. I'm not in need of extra assistance with Scrivner at the moment, but I appreciate the offer.

fivetoesten
09-24-2012, 03:30 AM
Calligra has recently put out Calligra Author. It looks like they're particularly aiming at authors looking to create eBooks. It's free software (in most cases, or so it says) and they're hoping to get serious author feedback to help with further development. Announcement link here (http://www.calligra.org/news/calligra-announces-author/). Beastly slow website. I'm not going to look further into it myself, but I thought some of you might be curious.

I've got a couple of posts about calligra author over in tech talk. Seems like a good way for writers to "get in" on the ground level, but so far nobody seems too interested.

GeekTells
09-24-2012, 04:35 AM
Once you compile to .doc and submit, you're locked into .doc and Word. Those pesky editors use Track Changes and Comments, and manually porting that format back into Scrivener is possible, but it can be tedious and error-prone.

I don't believe Scrivener would be up to the task of interior layout for a self-pubbed print edition, however. But I haven't tried it. My gut feeling is that, depending on how you want the design to look, it could be rife with compromises and workarounds.

Scrivener exports to LaTex. But then the easy part goes away.

Thanks for the insight, Al. Much appreciated.

Most welcome, Dryad, and thanks for the Calligra Author tip. Going to check it out.

kuwisdelu
09-24-2012, 04:43 AM
LaTeX reminds me of trying to do an entire document for printing in HTML. Sure, it "can" be done that way, but why would you want to when there's so many other programs that make things simpler?

LaTeX has its place. Just like HTML.

(Most ebook formats are just a wrapper on CSS for that reason.)


I was thinking about doing this but I doubt I could do it w/out a keyboard (easy enough to buy one, but I haven't yet).

I use the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard. I've also pre-ordered a Brydge (http://www.thebrydge.com), but they won't start shipping until next month, I think.


Yeah, I don't miss having to support LaTeX. It was one of the hardest apps or encoding systems I've ever tried to learn. Actually, I think it's the hardest.

But I do know engineers and mathematicians who love the support for formulas, and I can understand that.

As a statistician, I can say if you have any kind of non-trivial equations, LaTeX is orders of magnitude faster and easier than messing around in an equation editor in MS Office or whatever.

For slideshows, I type the equation in LaTeX and copy the output PDF into Keynote. (And lots of people I know just do their whole presentations in LaTeX using Beamer.)

Al Stevens
09-24-2012, 05:01 AM
LaTex isn't for sissies. :)

Amadan
09-24-2012, 05:14 AM
I've become a recent convert to Scrivener.

LaTeX is great for formulas, also for footnoting and doing indexes and TOCs. But even the best LaTeX processor is a beast for regular word processing, unless you're one of those folks who pines for the halcyon days of WordStar.

Dryad
09-24-2012, 05:32 AM
Amadan, how did Scrivener sway you?

Amadan
09-24-2012, 05:54 AM
Amadan, how did Scrivener sway you?


Basically, workflow and how its features match my writing habits. I tend to move chapters and pieces of chapters around, which is a pain in Word or Open Office (lots of cutting & pasting and fiddling with section breaks), whereas in Scrivener it's just right-click/drag & drop. That was really the selling point for me, so it might not be that important for someone who isn't always reorganizing their manuscript the way I do.

I also find the compilation options nice (tweak it a bit to generate output any way you want, including chapters to send to betas), and while I won't use all the bells and whistles and other features, some are kind of useful (like labels and keywords).

That and the fact that it feels like a very natural word processor to use, with a familiar interface, as opposed to some others that seem to be going out of their way to remind you that they are Not Word! And it's pretty cheap, right at the price point where I don't have to think too hard about whether it's worth it.

Dryad
09-24-2012, 06:28 AM
I also find the compilation options nice (tweak it a bit to generate output any way you want, including chapters to send to betas), and while I won't use all the bells and whistles and other features, some are kind of useful (like labels and keywords).

I generally don't do a lot of rearranging, which seems to be a big part of what many Scrivener users like, but I LOVE the idea of a more efficient chapter file generator for betas. My regular way--creating a new file each time--has been a real time suck. I'm so glad you mentioned that! There are features that I may find I like, but it's good to see a better way to do something I already do.

Richard White
09-24-2012, 08:20 AM
LaTeX has its place. Just like HTML.

You are quite right. However, for doing a three page document, it's like using a howitzer to kill a fly. It takes longer to set up all the parameters than it does to type the actual content.

kuwisdelu
09-24-2012, 08:33 AM
You are quite right. However, for doing a three page document, it's like using a howitzer to kill a fly. It takes longer to set up all the parameters than it does to type the actual content.

Depends what those three pages are.

But if it's word processing, then yeah.

KateJJ
09-24-2012, 04:50 PM
I'm going to mention for anyone considering Scrivener, for the last few years they've run a NaNoWriMo promotion. They put out a free fully-functional version that will work from late October until early December so you can write your NaNoWriMo novel with Scrivener. And if you "win" NaNoWriMo (achieve 50,000 words in November) you get a 50% off coupon. I think NaNo participants get a 20% off coupon regardless but I used the 50% off coupon last year and bought both the Windows and Mac versions for the price of just one, made it a no brainer.

If you're thinking about Scrivener it's worth signing up for NaNoWriMo even if you don't actually intend to participate :)

Dryad
09-24-2012, 11:22 PM
I'm going to mention for anyone considering Scrivener, for the last few years they've run a NaNoWriMo promotion. They put out a free fully-functional version that will work from late October until early December so you can write your NaNoWriMo novel with Scrivener. And if you "win" NaNoWriMo (achieve 50,000 words in November) you get a 50% off coupon. I think NaNo participants get a 20% off coupon regardless but I used the 50% off coupon last year and bought both the Windows and Mac versions for the price of just one, made it a no brainer.

If you're thinking about Scrivener it's worth signing up for NaNoWriMo even if you don't actually intend to participate :)

Awesome, Kate! Thanks.

JustinlDew
09-27-2012, 09:54 AM
Scrivener. I used MS word until they released it for PC but I am IN LOVE with this program.