Scrivener for Mac: The ultimate guide

Scrivener on Mac

Scrivener is arguably one of the best, and certainly one of the most popular Mac writing app for serious writers. It's bursting at the seams with dozens of tools to help get you started, keep you on track, and finalize your work. Whether you're writing a screenplay, manuscript, or just want to practice your writing skills, Scrivener has everything you need from creating your first ideas to preparing for publication. This is a comprehensive guide to getting started with and using some of the more advanced features of Scrivener for Mac.

What is Scrivener?

Maybe you've heard your writer friends talk about it. Maybe you've searched for the perfect writing app and Scrivener keeps popping up. Maybe you've landed on this page by accident and now you're intrigued. Scrivener is the Swiss Army Knife of writing apps and its available for Mac.

Scrivener: An Intro to the Mac's best writing app

How to get started with Scrivener

Scrivener on Mac

OK, so you've jumped, both feet first, into Scrivener (or maybe you're just trying it out with the free trial period), but you don't even know where to start. Don't worry. You're not alone. It's a big program with a lot of tools and features. Take a deep breath, relax, and read this.

How to get started with Scrivener for Mac

How to write a screenplay in Scrivener

Scrivener on Mac

As I mentioned before (a few times), Scrivener has a lot of writing tools. One of them is a nicely designed screenplay template that includes such things as a virtual corkboard so you can workshop your ideas, scene instructions, and more. Not everyone knows how to layout a screenplay, but Scrivener makes it so you don't have to know. You can just start writing and let the tools do the work for you.

How to write a screenplay in Scrivener for Mac

How to compile your manuscript in Scrivener

Scrivener on Mac

So you've done the writing and even went through a second or third draft, and everything seems good. Your book is done. But, there is still one last bit of work to do, and that's to compile everything into one, cohesive work of art that you can send off to your agent to get some feedback. Luckily, You don't really have to do much to finalize your project. Scrivener does it for you with a dedicated compile tool, designed for whatever type of project you're working on.

How to compile your manuscript in Scrivener for Mac

Best advanced features of Scrivener

Scrivener on Mac

Scrivener has so many features that its user manual is nearly 850 pages long. That's a lot of stuff to learn. It's almost a guarantee that you won't become an expert at everything Scrivener can do. You can, however, learn about some of the most useful advanced tools and add them to your arsenal of tricks.

Best advanced features in Scrivener for Mac

Need more help?

If you're still trying to figure out the basics, or want to get into a specific feature more, put your request in the comments and I'll make sure that we cover your topic and add it to this guide.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).