Scrivener Tips

A number of my graduate students have taken the [Scrivener][] challenge and are finding their writing lives made much easier. Since I feel like there is a whole lot more to this application yet for me to learn, too, I am creating this post as a place to list various tips and usage scenarios that look interesting.

* The first thing that many writers find themselves doing, after perhaps re-arranging the deck furniture (sizing windows, setting the text zoom) is to set up their preferred typographic schema: type face (font), type size, line spacing, paragraph indentation, block quote citation, etc. If that’s the case, then Gwen Hernandez has a nice [run-down][] of how to make that scheme standard for all your new documents as well as how to convert existing documents to your scheme.
* The next thing most researchers in need of citation management want to do is to figure out how to use their preferred citation manager. Scrivener supports BookEnds and Sente out of the box, and it appears that Papers is quite workable. (I am currently testing Papers, having skipped Sente because it requires syncing through its own servers, at an additional cost and because Bookends seems to have developed so slowly. I have tried and tried to love Zotero, but it does not love me back, and so I am going to spend the money to see how well Papers works for me. And let’s not discuss EndNote, which is just too expensive for my regional-public-university-salary-frozen-for-the-past-eight-year’s budget.)
* **CMD + SHIFT + T** is your friend. It allows you to check your progress for a given session, day, or other period you specific. I write Monday through Friday, and my goal is 500 words a day. I have set the pop-up to calculate from midnight to midnight, so if I quite Scrivener, for whatever reason, during the say, then my count for the day is not lost. (It also means that if I leave it open overnight, I don’t get credit for the previous day’s work.) When things are going well, I can get more work done than that — sometimes averaging 1000 words a day at a stretch — but I regard 500 words as a reasonable average. For my own records, I’ll write down the day’s word count at the end of the day in the margins of my calendar.


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