Looking at the Bigger Picture

[Note: This is a Windows for Scrivener Tutorial]

Hooray! Another just for Windows tutorial. What gems are you sharing with us today?

Let me preface this that Scrivener Mac users can benefit from this lesson as well. The only difference is  how Project Notes looks in both versions.

You mean that this isn’t a Windows-only feature?

 

Before you kvetch over features one version has, and the other hasn’t, let’s take a look at how you can create notes that are specific to the project.

Okay! Ready, set, go!

That’s the spirit….Okay…you know how much I love the Research section. My second favorite feature is all the options in the Inspector, especially the Document Support panel. With just the click on an icon at the Inspector’s footer, I can change the function. Today, we’ll take a look at Project Notes.

Um, I don’t see those. How come I don’t have them? I only see Document Notes. Do I have the right version? Do I need to uninstall and reinstall? Are you sure this isn’t a Mac-only version?

You just can’t help yourself, can you? There are two ways you can access Project Notes. The first one is simply going to the menu bar. Select Project=>Project Notes. A window will open. As you can see, I have a tab that’s labeled General Plot followed by what will be tabs for each of the characters’ arcs. To add a new tab just hit the plus sign to the extreme right. To delete a tab, click on the tab’s red X. A window will open, confirming whether you want to delete it. To rename a note, just double-click on the tab and a window will open, allowing you to rename it.Hit OKAY when you’re done.

Project Notes Image

The second method to reach Project notes is through the Inspector. If the pane is showing another function, just click on the notepad icon to switch over to Document Notes. Via the up and down arrows, you can toggle them to get to Project Notes.

Project Notes Inspector

Just select which Project Notes you want to work with and the selected tab in the Inspector’s Project Notes Pane will appear.

Project Notes Inspector pane.

If you select Manage Project Notes from the drop-down menu, a window will open with all your Project Notes tabs.

Can I drag and drop images into Project notes?

Yes, and you can change the font, color, and even add a different background.

Neat! What about printing them out?

That’s not an option offered. If you want to print your project notes, you’ll need to copy and paste them into a text file and compile it.

And there you have it. Now get writing!

 

 

I Feel Pretty

[This is a tutorial for the Windows version of Scrivener]

I have no issue with Scrivener’s default appearance, but I’ve heard from many folks that Scrivener’s stark white background is a bit hard on the eyes. Today I’ll show you how to change the background to the Binder, Editor, and in the Inspector plus few other tidbits. By the time I’m done, you’ll see a rainbow and maybe even a pot of gold.

The default colors of your Binder and Editor and Inspector appear this way:

Work Environment

To change the Binder’s background to a different color follow these steps:
1.Tools=>Options
2. When the window opens, select the “Appearance” tab.
3. In the section that says Colors, click on General and select Binder Background.
4. To the right, you’ll see the box with the default color. Click on that and a color swatch window will open.
5. Select the color you like. Hit Apply and OK.

Green binder

Note: Scrivener’s window background changes because I have wallpaper that keeps changing. I’m not doing anything on my part to confuse you.

Now I want to change the editor. Same steps as above, but this time select Editor=>Page. Select the color you want. Hit OK and then hit Apply and OK.

Editor Background

On the Scrivener Mac version, my Document Notes are a legal pad yellow, and I like that, so I want to change that as well. Back I go back to Tools=>Options=>Appearance and select Document Notes Background. I follow the same steps as above and choose the shade of yellow I like.

Doc Notes

I want the font in the Binder to pop, and I admit I like Comic Sans (I have no idea why that has such a bad rep). I also want it to be bold. To do this = follow the same steps as above, but this time go to Fonts=>General=>Binder. A window will open and just select the font you like.

Fonts

Is it possible to change the Menu bar’s and submenu’s font and size? Yes! Again, follow the same steps as above, but this time select Menus and Windows. Make your selection, and hit OK, and Apply and OK. Here’s what mine looks like after I made the changes:

Overall Fonts

We’ve covered colors and fonts, but what if we want to change the folders and files to something a little more eye-catching?
To change the icon follow these steps:
1. Click the Actions menu at the footer of the Binder (it’s the gear wheel)
2. Select Change Icon.
3. Make your selection.

Icon change

I chose the blue notebook:

Blue notebook

If you decide that Scrivener looks too much like a painted harlot, you can always hit default where you made all your changes.

And, finally my Scrivener leprechauns, this shared wisdom is your pot of gold.

I’m in Import/Export

I used to date this guy in college who thought I should go into the import/export biz, but I had other career interests. However for Scrivener for Windows importing and exporting are two important functions you should learn to use as soon as possible.

Importing a Word Document

To import a Word document go to File=>Import=>Files. A window will open and from there, select the file you want to import into Scrivener. Select open. A window will pop open alerting you that your document will be converted to RTF as well as what the Draft folder supports.

Import Warning

Let’s say you’ve written a novel in Word and you have all the chapters in one large file. What you want is to have all the scenes in that one Word file broken down into several separate text files. Instead of importing the entire document as one chunk what you can do is use Scrivener’s Import and Split function.

First go back to the Word document. For every scene/chapter break, you need to type in a separator symbol like a hash mark (#) in the document. Once you’re finished, save it, go to Scrivener and go to File=>Import=>Import and Split. A window will open, select your Word document and make sure the separator is in the box. If you separated each scene with three hash marks, the box needs to have three hash marks.

Import and Split

Hit okay and voila! Your large document now appears as several text files in the binder.

Importing an Image

You can’t import anything other than text files in the Draft section, but in the Research section you can import images, PDFs, web pages, and multimedia files* as well as text files. For my current WIP, I’m writing about certain streets in Budapest and I need a good image so I can describe the scene. Using trusty Google Maps, I type in the name of the street and find the image I want. I don’t want to import it as a web page, so I download the image to my photos folder in my directory.

When it’s time to include it in my project, I go to File=>Import=>Files and find my image. I hit Open and Import. Now I have it in my project’s research folder where it’s easy to find and refer to when I’m writing about that locale.

Capture Image

Importing a Web Page

Unlike the Mac version where you can import an active web page, the Window’s version gives you a few options of how web pages can be translated into Scrivener. Some pages can be exported as PDFs. For example, Wikipedia pages can be imported as PDF via Webkit, but others don’t work as well. Your best bet is to import the page as Web Page Complete (MHT). The link is imported and can be opened in the Editor or at the Editor’s footer. Click on it, and an external editor opens with the Web page, or click on the icon on the right-hand-side of the footer to open the external editor.

Web page

*Importing Multimedia Files

Although .wav and .mp4 files are unsupported file types for Scrivener for Windows, you can drag these file types into the research section even if it can’t internally display them. Like web pages, you’ll still be able to load and view/listen to multimedia files by using an external application like Windows Media Player. The advantage to this is that you won’t have to search for them in your files via Explorer.

Exporting a Text File

I export text files often. These are articles that are no more than a few pages long. I could use the compile feature, but exporting, saving as an RTF, and opening in Word is easier for my purposes. If I wanted to export this tutorial to Word, I select it in the Binder and go to File=>Export. A Window will open that will specify where to save it, the file name, and in what format. There’s also the option to export corresponding notes, meta-data, other files, and so forth.

Export files
If you want to print the text file, go to File=>Print Current Document. From there, select your printer and print. Want to see what it looks like before you waste ink and paper? Just go to File=>Print Preview.

And that’s the easy peasy way of importing and exporting in Scrivener.

Wrap Around Workaround

On the Facebook Scrivener User page,  a member recently asked if there was any way that the text could wrap around an image. The answer is, sadly, no. However, one enterprising gentleman wrote that there was a workaround using a table. So I figured I would give it a try.

This is what my text/image workaround wrap around looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 2.39.22 PM

To achieve this you can use the table feature. Go to Format->Table->Table. I created three different tables; each one had one row and two columns. The text used was a short character biography and the images used were ones I had imported from my files.

I sized the table’s cells to fit both the text in one column and the image in the other.  Once I was satisfied with the sizing, I removed the borders by going back to Format->Table->Borders->Remove All Borders.

To get it to appear like the text and images are wrapping around took several attempts to size the photograph and have it stay in its cell. If you managed to resize the photo by making it a smidge larger, it would throw everything off.

My humble opinion is to not bother. Word, Pages, Nisus Writer Pro, and InDesign are better equipped to handle a layout with images and wrap around text.

But if you’re stubborn like me, give it a shot. You might discover a better workaround.

Um, I’m Using the Windows Version

I get a lot of that when I post these tutorials. Sometimes the tone is a bit confrontational, and my nose gets out of joint, but I’m a believer of sharing the wealth…

Does that mean you’ll buy us a Mac?

No.  As I was saying…I’m a big believer of sharing the wealth of KNOWLEDGE. Now I have the means to share it because these tutorials are written using Scrivener for Microsoft Windows software on a Windows OS laptop.

Will you give us the software for free?

No. If you don’t have the software, Literature and Latte has a 30 day trial of the software that’s fully operational. In other words, not a pared-down version. And that’s 30 days of actual use. You use it once a week then it’s good for 30 weeks. You use it once a day then it’s good for the entire months of September, April, June and November (you know, 30 days hath….). You can download it from the Literature and Latte site and later purchase it there or on Amazon. The cost is $40.00.

If I subscribe to your site may I get a discount?

You don’t need to (although it would be nice), but when it’s time to purchase the software type in the Coupon Code box: SIMPLYSCRIVENER, and you’ll get a discount.

Do you get a commission?
Yes, I do.

Sharing the wealth, huh?

Of KNOWLEDGE.
Yeah, right.

Moving on…Now that you’ve downloaded Scrivener and installed it, you should have a shortcut on your desktop or have it pinned in your task bar or if you’re running Windows 8.1 have a tile pinned in your Start window. I have it in all three.

A little obsessive-compulsive, aren’t we?

If you want to learn how to use Scrivener, pipe down! Click on any of the icons. Scrivener will open a New Project Window. On the left, you’ll see the categories and in the window to the right you’ll see the different templates for each corresponding category. The templates are designed for various forms of writing, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenplay, and even recipes!

When you select a template, a description will appear below. Click on each category, select and read through each template description until you decide which one you’d like to use.

What if I’m not sure which one to select?

I like to create templates, so I typically choose the blank one. That gives the freedom to arrange the binder with folder and text files in any way you like. Once you’ve selected the template, go to Save As, name it, and choose where you want to save your project.

New Project Page

Once the project is saved, it will open, and this is how it looks like:

Saved WinScrive Project
Let’s take a look at the various parts of the project. At the very top, we have the menu bar. Below that is the toolbar, which can be customized to include whichever icons you want for easy access. The toolbar in this image has been customized to my preference. Underneath the toolbar is the formatting toolbar.

Let’s skip over and take a look at the Binder. The Binder has three sections: Draft, Research, and Trash. The draft section is the area that will contain folders and text files. The research area can also contain folders and text files, but also PDFs, images, web pages. Trash is self-explanatory.

Binder 1

There are five ways to add folders and text files:

Method 1:
Go to the menu bar and select Project=>New Text or Ctrl+N

Method 2:
If it’s on the toolbar, click on the Green circle icon with the plus sign. A window will open with a sub-menu. Select New Text.

Method 2 To add Files
Method 3:
At the Binder’s footer, select the icon to the very left that looks like a sheet of paper with a plus sign.

Saved WinScrive Project
Method 4:
At the Binder’s footer, click on the gear (action menu) a window with a sub-menu will open. Click on Add and select New Text.

 

Select new file from action menu
Method 5:
Right-click anywhere in the Binder. A menu will open. Select Add from there select New Text.

If you want to add folders, just repeat the same steps and select New Folder or you can use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N. There’s one exception: at the Binder’s footer, you can select the folder with the plus sign.

What if meant to create a text file and by mistake I clicked on the Folder icon?

You can convert it. Select the folder in the Binder then go to Documents=>Convert=>Convert to File.

Well now…that’s a neat feature.

And there are many more. Here’s a project populated with both files and folders.

Binder

A couple of things to note: The text files have lines on them that means there’s copy.  When you create a new text file, it appears as a blank sheet of paper. Secondly, in this example, the folder looks like it has an attachment. That means I wrote something on it like a quote to kick-off Part One of the Work in Progress. Also, you’ll see the text files are indented that means they’re in the folder. Click on the expansion arrow to the left of the folder to hide the files or to unhide them.

How do I get my files into the folder?

You can click on the text file and drag the inside the folder, or you select the folder and add a new file, using the various methods outlined above.

Can I import my Work in Progress into Scrivener?

Yes, you can. I’ll discuss that in the next lesson as well as the glorious Research section. Now go create a project, files, and folders.

A Welcome Addition

win-showcase-scrivener_header

I’ve been getting some flack from readers because I don’t post tutorials for those who use Scrivener for Microsoft Windows. So you know 100% of my work is Mac-based. Part of the problem was I didn’t have a dedicated PC where I could load the software. The short time I was using my husband’s desktop PC, where I had downloaded the software, was met with so much fear his system would explode that I finally decided to buy a Windows laptop.

I don’t have an optimal mission control center that is solely dedicated to easy access to both computers so there’s a lot of back and forth, especially now that my study has been taken over by the panicky luddite. Now I work in a corner of the living room with both laptops unless Mr. Luddite is napping on the sofa, and if that’s the case, I’m displaced to working in the bedroom.

What in the world does this have to do with Scrivener for Windows tutorials? I now have a set routine of sorts between these two laptops, so I thought it was time to post Scrivener for Windows tutorials. For organizational purposes, I’ll have a Table of Contents page with links to the posts that will specify either Mac or Windows, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time searching for them.

Will they be any different from the Mac posts? The only difference will be the functions and the illustrations. Otherwise, you’ll get the same detailed, but chatty explanation accompanied by images.

See how nice I am? All I ask from you is no more grumbling. I’m trying my best.