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Tech Tuesday: Scrivener 2.0 is coming!!

It’s coming, it’s coming! Scrivener 2.0 is officially—finally—almost here. I cannot wait for the release, currently set for an undetermined date in October. Here are a few of the new/updated features I’m looking forward to.

  • Improved integration between the Corkboard, Outliner, and Edit Scrivenings views.
  • Move index cards totally freeform around the Corkboard.
  • Print index cards!
  • For those used to Page Layout view in Word or similar software, Scrivener 2.0 now boasts its own version. Great for visualizing your writing by pages instead of just word count.
  • Snapshots will now show up in the Inspector, and best of all, will include a compare feature. I’ve been waiting for this.
  • The full screen function was updated with several features, including the ability to put in your own background photo instead of just solid colors. I’m envisioning some leaves or an ocean view in my future…
  • Organize documents into collections in the Binder. For example by POV, status, or whatever label you want.
  • Make revisions with a different text color to help you keep your edits straight.
  • Copy a document as an HTML file for easy blog posting. This will be super handy for me since I now use Scrivener to write and archive all of my blog posts.
  • Scrivener will now support exporting to EPUB format for use on Sony Reader, iBooks, etc. Super Brownie points for this one!

That’s a brief taste of what’s to come with 2.0. The best part? The upgrade is only $25, and new users get the wonder that is Scrivener for only $45. I would gladly pay double that or more. And, no, I’m not an affiliate. I don’t make any money if you click on the link from here.

Scrivener has changed the way I write—and organize my writing—for the better. I’ll never go back to a plain old word processor again. I’d rather write longhand. :-p

Go to the Literature and Latte blog for more details on the upcoming release.

Write on!

Looking for more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

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Tech Tuesday: Stuff you should know

It's been a while since my last Tech Tuesday post, and today's is a bit different (sorry, Scrivener fans). I want to tell you about my favorite new podcast. It's from the people over at, and it's called Stuff You Should Know. It's part of a collection of podcasts under the How Stuff Works umbrella (part of Discovery), and it's a blast.

The hosts Chuck and Josh are half of the reason I listen. Their easy, humor-filled banter makes for a fun listen, regardless of the subject. Show topics run the gamut from How a Narco State Works to How Organic Farming Works. It's been a great resource for my writing, and is just plain entertaining.

I've learned about mercenaries, high fructose corn syrup, quicksand, food cravings, and pirates. Even the topics that don't sound particularly interesting almost always surprise me. I now try to catch them all.

The best part about a podcast is that I can listen while I'm doing something else. Cleaning house, working out, driving, you name it. Each show is about 20-35 minutes long, and they're released every few days. You can subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed, and if you just can't get enough of Chuck and Josh, you can catch their blog every few days as well.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

What about you? Do you have any must-listen podcasts?

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Tech Tuesday: Advanced Highlighter Features in Scrivener

You probably know that you can highlight text in Scrivener using your choice of colors. Big deal, right? Any decent word processor offers that. But did you know that you can also search by color, and rename the colors to something more meaningful for how you use them?

If not, then read on.

Just in case you don't know already, here's how to highlight text in Scrivener with one of the standard highlighter colors (or one of your own choosing).

  1. Select the text you want to highlight.
  2. Go to Format–>Highlight, and then choose the color from the submenu.

Now on to the really cool stuff. I know several people who mark up their paper drafts with highlighters. Why? One does it for items such as dialogue, emotion, conflict, and setting. Another marks each character's dialogue so he can track it through the whole MS and make sure it's consistent. Still another uses it to mark areas that need research or revision (much like we did with annotations).

You are only limited by your imagination here. Once you've marked up your draft, you can use the Find Highlight function to search for all highlighted text, or one color.

  1. Go to Edit–>Find–>Find By Formatting.
  2. In the Find drop-down menu, select Highlighted Text.
  3. To search for only one color, check the box next to Limit Search To Color, then click the color box to choose the desired color.
  4. Click Next (or Previous if you want to go backwards).
  5. Scrivener will take you to the next instance of the chosen color(s) in your MS.
  6. You can edit or read the text and then click Next again to move to the next instance, without closing the Highlights Finder dialog box.

Image of Formatting Finder window
If you'd like the change the color names to something more meaningful, you can do that too (currently Mac only).

  1. Go to Format–>Highlight–>Show Colors.
  2. Select the color label (double click) and type your own label.
  3. The new labels will show up in the Highlight submenu of the Format menu.

I hope you found this as cool as I did. Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

Happy highlighting!
[updated 7/31/14]

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Tech Tuesday: Saving Layouts in Scrivener

You already know you can create project templates in Scrivener, but did you know you can also save multiple layout settings? Honestly, mine are kind of boring. I pretty much stick to one layout and toggle between that and full screen mode. However, after Keith and David put out a call for user layouts recently, I realized that there are as many layout preferences as there are Scrivener users.

Here's how to set up and save yours.

  1. Set up your screen in the layout you want to save. This includes the binder, editor, outliner, corkboard, and inspector visibility, as well as the size of each.
  2. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts (or Shift+Cmd+) ).
  3. Click the + button at the bottom left of the dialog window.
  4. Give your layout a title and description, and check all of the settings you want to save.
  5. Click Save.

Now, if you mess around with your screen layout and want to get back to your preferred layout quickly…

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Select the layout you want in the list on the left, and choose Set.

To delete a layout:

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Select the layout from the list on the left, and click the – button.

You can export layouts to share.

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Select the layout to export from the list on the left.
  3. Click on the Manage… dropdown arrow.
  4. Choose Export Selected Layout, and save it as desired.

You can also import layouts from your friends.

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Click on the Manage… dropdown arrow.
  3. Choose Import Layout, select the desired layout file, and click Open.
  4. The imported layout will now be visible in the list on the left.

The best part is, these layouts are now available for all of your Scrivener projects. For more information about Layouts, see the Scrivener Help under Windows & Panels, The Layouts Panel. Or check out the Scrivener Online Support page.

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

Write on!

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Tech Tuesday: File and photo tidbits in Scrivener

Today's post is a short list of handy features for working with your project documents and photos. The first hint I believe I picked up from David Hewson's blog.

A lot of writers like to collect photos of people, places, and things relating to the project they're working on. But just having a picture available isn't always enough. If you want to use it as a reference while writing, you may have thought you were limited to working in split screen view with the picture in one editor and your writing in the other. Not so.

In fact, you can drag the photo into the Document Notes for the document you're working in (or Project Notes if you need it in more than one doc) and reference it from there.

Here's how:

  1. In the Inspector bar, click on the Project Notes header and select Document Notes. (Document notes are only visible for the selected document.)
  2. Click and drag the photo from your Binder and drop it in the Document Notes section.
  3. You can select the photo and delete it when done, if desired.

In the screen shot below, I moved the Lamborghini photo to the Document Notes for my Practice File document.

Now let's talk about documents. You know how to export various parts of your MS using Compile Manuscript, but you can also quickly export one or more documents from anywhere in your binder, even notes and research files. This feature will create an individual file for each document you select. If you export more than one at a time, Scrivener will create a folder using the name you choose, and stick all of the individual files inside. Nifty!

  1. Select one or more files in the Binder (cmd+click for noncontiguous files, shift+click for contiguous files).
  2. From the File menu, select Export, and click Files.
  3. In the Save As box, provide the name you'd like the File (or folder for multiple files) saved under.
  4. Choose your location.
  5. Use the Export Main Text As button to choose the file type you want (e.g. DOC or RTF).
  6. Click Export.

Okay, but what if you have a document or photo in another Scrivener project and you'd like to move it to your current one? This happened to me when I decided to write the second book in a series. You don't need to export it and then import it into the new Scrivener project. Oh, no. We're much smarter than that!

  1. Open both Scrivener projects.
    -With one already open, click the File menu, select Open, and choose the other project.
  2. Size the windows so you can see both of them.
  3. Select the desired files to move.
  4. Drag the selected files from the original project to the new project.

Congratulations. You have just shared files from one project to another.

By the way, if you have a file that you want to routinely have available in every new project, check out the post on Templates. And be sure to visit the Scrivener online support page for more help.

May the Muses be with you.

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

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Tech Tuesday: Scrivener Format Menu Tidbits

[Aug 10, 2012 UPDATE: A reader pointed out that this entire post was out of date because the Text menu made like the dinosaurs sometime in the two years since I wrote this. Most Text menu features are now available under the Format menu on both Mac and PC. I've changed the instructions below accordingly.]

Scrivener is full of many small but very useful features. I have stumbled across most of them by accident, and I thought I'd share them over the next couple of Tuesdays.

Converting Multiple Spaces to Single Space

In many parts of the publishing world, the new standard for spacing is a single-space between sentences. Until I got used to typing that way though, I had a complete MS that was double-spaced. You could use Project Replace to fix it, but there's an even easier way. Of course.

1. View the affected text in the Editor (view your Manuscript folder in Scrivenings view to affect the entire MS), and click inside the Editor pane to activate it.

2. From the Format menu, choose Convert.

Note that the Convert submenu also offers easy text conversions for UPPERCASE, lowercase, and Title Case.

3. Click Multiple Spaces to Space.

If you just can't get over typing two spaces between words, another option is to convert from multiple to single spaces during the compile process. You'll find the option under the Transformations tab.

Show Invisible (non-printing) Characters

Have you ever wanted to view the non-printing characters in your MS? You know, like paragraph marks and spaces? Scrivener has a function called Show Invisibles that does just that.

1. From the Format menu, choose Options, then Show Invisibles (affects all documents).

2. To remove, repeat Step 1.

Use Typewriter Scrolling in the Editor Window

In Full Screen mode, the line you're typing is always at the center of the page by default. Unless I'm editing, I love it because I'm not always looking at the bottom of the window while typing, but I don't always write in Full Screen. This feature–called Typewriter Scrolling–is also available in the Editor window.

1. Click within a text document.

2. From the Format menu, choose Options, then Typewriter Scrolling.

3. Will affect all documents until you turn it off by repeating Step 2.

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

 If you have any ideas for future Tech Tuesday columns, please let me know. Happy writing!

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