Scrivener – Why It’s What You Want to Use

By | August 23, 2015

Scrivener is a program to write long-form documents of various types: novels, short stories, blog posts, dissertations, scripts, legal documents, and so on.

A common question that comes up, though, is “Why would I use Scrivener when I have Microsoft Word?”

Here are some reasons why Scrivener works better for you than Word.

Long-form documents

Long-form documents are easy to create and lay out in Scrivener. You create a large project, such as a novel or a script, as a set of individual sections, such as scenes or events. You can create a hierarchical structure, moving pieces around as you need them, and then when done, create the final publication, such as a PDF or Word document, with everything you want in the format you want.


This is a feature of Scrivener which is perhaps the most interesting thing to use when reviewing your documents.

As you create content, you can tag it with keywords, which is something you can do with Word, of course.

But then you can select just the pieces you want and review just them. Want to see just the scenes in the Wizard of Oz where Auntie Em appears? Select her as the keyword, and then only those scenes will appear, so you can check that the Auntie Em in the first part of document has the same character and speech patterns as the last part.

Types of Input

You can bring in lots of types of documents into your project, Word docs, text files, images, PDFs, even videos, and have them around for research as you develop your content.

Types of Output

You can take your document/project and produce output for your needs. If you are creating a book for the Kindle platform, you can create a .mobi file. You can create a .epub file for other e-book readers. You can create a PDF for distribution to your readers, or a Word file if you want to distribute your file for editing and review.