After hearing several people, including James Fallows (“ the single best bargain ever offered in the software world”), praise Scrivener, a software program for writing, I tried it again. I had tried it a year ago, but there were so many bugs I quickly stopped. There were fewer bugs this time, but my experience was not good.
The free-trial copy says you can use it for “30 non-consecutive days”. I didn’t know what that meant. I was told it means “30 separate days before the trial expires — the trial is measured in “days of use”, rather than elapsed time since installation”. Someone thought that would be clear? I suggest “30 not-necessarily-consecutive days” plus an explanation of what that means.
When I imported material from Microsoft Word — the most common possible import — links were lost. I filed a bug report. I got an answer: “Unfortunately that’s the reality of importing: some information can be lost when you move from one file format to another.” Well, yes, but how about fixing the bug? I asked. In reply, I was told that Scrivener for Windows was the work of one person and that the import software was third-party. “We are constantly striving to find new [import software], and to make improvements on our own, where we can,” said the spokesperson for Scrivener.
I used Scrivener for about two weeks. Then, trying to put a quotation block in my text, I found that particular formatting is not available. It has been a long time since I came across writing software that did not include quotation blocks. The final straw. I went back to Microsoft Word.
In a way, it’s a miracle I lasted two weeks, given the difference in resources invested in Microsoft Word and Scrivener for Windows.