Category Archives: Scrivener

Scrivener for Genealogists: April Tech Moment

This month, I’d like to introduce you to Scrivener, if you are not already familiar with the Literature & Latte program.

Scrivener is one of several powerful word processing programs that work well for those wishing to write lengthy articles or books pertaining to family history.

First consideration is the cost of Scrivener. The full program, available both for Windows and Mac, costs $59.99, which is quite reasonable for all that the program offers.

The best news, though, is that a 30 day trial version is available and it’s not 30 CALENDAR days, it’s 30 days of actual ACCESS! That means you can jump in and try out the program for free for, say, three days, get sidetracked for a week and return to the program with only three days of the trial over.

There are also support options for Scrivener users:

What does Scrivener look like when it opens for the first time?

The user is prompted in the top left corner to START HERE with the Key concepts and The Basics. This section is packed full of details on what Scrivener does and how to get started.

The second yellow folder covers Going Further and Tips. Clicking on Tips opened the work screen with the Tip cards.

Mastering Scrivener takes some time, but there are videos by Literature & Latte and YouTubers to take the beginner through the process of starting, creating, editing and publishing his or her work. The toolbar at the top of the above images is a bit hard to see since it is on a gray background, but most of the tools are similar to Word.

The Scrivener Features tab provides a snapshot view of what a manuscript will look like:

Have I used Scrivener to publish my research? Honestly – no, I haven’t mostly because I haven’t written any lengthy articles in the time frame in which I’ve been aware of Scrivener. I will add, though, that if Scrivener had been around when I was writing my one-name articles or my Williams book, I would definitely have jumped in and not used Word.

Here are several Literature & Latte tutorial videos to help you learn more about how Scrivener works. Several of the videos are less than 7 minutes, but most are shorter than 4 minutes:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Mastering View Modes
  3. The Binder – The Heart of Any Project
  4. The Binder – Getting Oriented in the Binder
  5. Organising Your ProjectsOrganising Your Projects – Working with Project Templates – Using Folders and Text Documents Effectively
  6. Organising Your Projects – Using Custom Icons to Make Your Projects Stand Out
  7. Organising Your Projects – Working with Document Templates
  8. Organising Your Projects – Tailor Projects Using Custom Metadata
  9. Organising Your Projects – Tagging Documents with Key Words
  10. Organising Your Projects – How to Use Collections
  11. Organising Your Projects – Working with Project Templates
  12. Outlining and Structuring – Get to Know the Corkboard
  13. Outlining and Structuring – Getting to Know the Outliner
  14. Outlining and Structuring – Getting an Overview with Synopses
  15. Outlining and Structuring – Freestyle with Freeform Mode on the Corkboard
  16. Outlining and Structuring – Tracking Threads on the Corkboard

If you are considering writing an article, take a look at Scrivener before beginning your project, but pause before you jump in because in the May Tech Moment, we’ll look at another program similar to Scrivener.