Typing in Scrivener for IOS

One of the many reasons I eschewed the idea of purchasing an iPad—apart from cost—was that I wasn’t convinced that it would be comfortable to type on the on-screen keyboard. Well, Scrivener knew that as writers the last thing we need is to be fooling with the constant back and forth shifting of using the numerical/symbol keypad to write. To facilitate the writing experience they added an extended keyboard row of of commonly used punctuation marks, navigational functions, and editing tools. The best part is that to activate this feature all it takes is a swipe.

So, let’s take a looksie and see how Scrivener turned the on-screen  keyboard into one that doesn’t make you groan in frustration.

The first on-screen keyboard is fairly standard, but we have some add-ons.


If you take a look at the top left-hand corner, you’ll see that there are two arrows. These are equivalent to “Undo” and “Redo”. The clipboard is your paste function.  Moving to the center, is your auto-complete list of words. To the right, you’ll see the comment icon, tap that and you can add either a comment, footnote, inline footnote, or inline annotation.


Next is the add a link button which gives you the option to add either a link or insert an image.


The last icon, which looks like ellipses, is what activates the more writer-friendly keyboard. Tap that and voilà!


What you see on that top row are the most commonly used punctuation marks. Swipe towards the left, and you’ll see the navigational tools to move your curser up, down, to the right or left. Plus you have a select feature and forward delete key.

The next swipe takes you to editing and formatting features.


Tap on the pencil icon and that allows you to add a link, inline footnote, comment, footnote, inline annotation, inline footnote, and an image. The link icon allows for a website, but also to add an internal link within your project. The striked out “S”  when activated by selecting a word or phrase will cross out the offending words or sentences during your revising process. Next, is the paragraph alignment icon that allows you to align your paragraphs to the left, right, center or justify. Head over to the right-hand side, you’ll see the highlighter icon. Tap on it and a window of color swatches will open.


The next icon, a colorful sphere, is for text color. The last two icons are for footnotes and comments. When activated, a window will open for you to type in your information.

I’ve typed this entire tutorial on the iPad without any issue. The extended rowtake little spaces and is non-intrusive. The only issue I had was taking screenshots on the iPad, but that’s just me being clumsy.

Creating a New Document In Scrivener for iOS

 I thought the best way to start this tutorial was to show how you can create a new document. It’s fairly straight forward: first open your project on your iPad and go to the folder where you want to add your new text file.


Once you’ve determined where you want to file it, go to the Binder’s footer and tap the + icon. A new window opens and you’ll be able to name that file and also add a synopsis.


After you’ve typed in the title and added a synopsis, tap “Open” and start writing.

I wrote this in SIOS and wondered what if I created the text file outside of the Tutorial folder, how could I move it to the appropriate folder. Unlike the MacBook Pro, I have no trackpad to drag and drop.

Well, that’s easy. Tap on “Edit” on the top right-hand of the Binder and then you’ll have the added function to move text files into folders. Each folder and homeless text file will have have a clear circle button. At the Binder’s  footer you’ll see that some of the functions are grayed out. Once you check the text file or folder you want to move those functions will turn to black.


The next step is to move my SIOS Tutorial into the Tutorial folder. Tap on the folder icon with the plus sign and a new window will open. I find the Tutorial folder and tap on it and my selected text file is automatically moved into that file.


Tap “Done” and you are back to your regular Binder listing. Open your folder and you’ll see your text file.

Syncing in Scrivener for IOS

Wow. It’s been a long time since I added a post. Apologies. Since that last one, I moved to Vermont and I’ve been busy writing, teaching Scrivener classes, more writing, and learning to draw. But this post should, I hope, be useful to those of you who have long hankered for an iPad version of Scrivener.

After many trials and tribulations, Scrivener for iOS (iPad and iPhone) debuted at the Mac Store on July 20, 2016. In all honesty, when Keith at Literature and Latte first announced he was working on a iOS version, my reaction was “meh.” I recently had acquired the MacBook Pro and had downloaded Scrivener for Mac so I was as happy as my Jack Russell terrier is in a pile of warm laundry.

When the beta-testing was announced for SiOS, again, the reaction was “meh” because I had no intention of purchasing an iPad. However, my “meh” changed to a “hmm” when I started reading the SiOS tutorials posted on Facebook. When a friend told me how much she loved it that “hmm” became a yearning.

Later, I was approached by a few people about teaching SiOS tutorials and I had to tell them that at that moment I couldn’t afford an iPad. It would have to wait because I had more pressing bills to pay. But after a few days, I thought that if I teach a couple of classes that would pay for the iPad and perhaps it was worth the investment. So I looked online et voila! I discovered on eBay a refurbished fourth-generation iPad reasonably priced. I went ahead and purchased it.

Syncing a project was not as intuitive for me as it was for other users. I watched three videos: Scrivener’s, Elaine Giles, and Author Strong and Publishing Tools and I was still confused about the process. What I needed was someone like me who could spell it out and show pictures of the process for each step. So I went and asked a friend to show me what the hell I was doing wrong.

It turns out I wasn’t that far off-base and I’m happy to announce that Simply Scrivener will have SiOS posts. Also, I’ll offer 1:1 private and group tutorials (email for rates).  For now, I’ll explain –as simply as possible–how to get your projects up, running, and syncing between your Mac and your iPad and vice-versa.

The first step is to download SiOS from the Mac store. Once it’s downloaded onto your iPad, open Scrivener. Your screen will look like this:


Second, to link to DropBox tap the circular arrows on the top right-hand of the screen. You’ll have two options: Update from iTunes and Link to Dropbox.  Choose the latter.


If by chance you don’t have Dropbox on your iPad, you will be asked to sign in using your username and password. If you have Dropbox installed, it will ask whether you allow Scrivener to access Dropbox files and folders. Tap “Allow”.


Scrivener will create a folder in Dropbox called Apps/Scrivener and include another one called Other Folders. We’re interested in Apps/Scrivener, which is the recommended option, this is where all your projects will be placed. Tap “Done”.


A couple of asides…if you have the Dropbox desktop app installed on your Mac, you’ll see the icon on the top toolbar. Open it and you’ll see that Scrivener automatically created an App/Scrivener Folder in Dropbox [DISCLOSURE: It didn’t create this folder for me. I had to manually create one after several tries. I don’t know why and I intend to ask on the forums].

Next, go to your Mac and find the Scrivener project you want to sync onto your iPad. If you don’t know you where you saved it, open Scrivener and go to the project. At the top of the Project, click  Ctrl+Project Name and that will show you the path of where it’s located.

After you found the project on your hard drive, close the project in Scrivener and drag it over to the App/Scrivener folder in Dropbox. Let it sync and when it’s finished—you’ll see a green tick mark indicating that syncing is finito—open SiOS. Tap the circular sync button. You’ll see a window open that says, “Syncing with Dropbox”.


Once it has finished syncing, you will see the project(s) in the Binder under Dropbox.


If you have linked a project between the iPad and your Mac, but you’re currently working on your computer or  laptop, you’ll see the Dropbox icon on your toolbar periodically syncing. Now go to your iPad and you’ll see a small orange triangular icon on your project indicating the project needs syncing to update it.


Remember, always close the project on your laptop/computer and then sync it on the iPad or you will corrupt your files. Open the project in SiOS and you’ll see your updates.

When you’re on the go and want to use SiOS, keep in mind that the only time you can sync is when you have a wi-fi connection. Thus, sync before you leave your house so that you’re able to work on your most updated project. When you’re finished writing in SiOS, tap “Done” on the top right of the screen and close the project by tapping the back arrow icon next to “Project” on the left-hand side. Once you’re back to the screen listing all your projects in Dropbox, you’ll see a blue triangular icon on the project. When you’re back within wifi reach, tap the sync key.


 Next, when you open your project in Scrivener on your computer/laptop, you’ll see that the new data you’ve written is backing up on Dropbox and on your Mac. When you open the project, your binder has been replaced with a section similar to the Collections Binder that shows your synced document(s). Hit the X on the bottom right to close it out and return to the project’s binder.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 7.11.22 PM

A couple of things to note: SiOS has some handy features on the back end that you can access on the iPad’s settings like Auto-Detect Changes and Sync Projects on Close. I have those set as ON and for the latter as Always.

I’ve seen some question about whether you can open your Scrivener project directly from your Dropfolder app or whether you access your project via the Scrivener icon on your dock. You can access your project in either manner. Just remember that if you are moving back and forth and syncing from your iPad and Computer to always close the project on either the computer or the iPad.

Winter Special: 31 Days of Scrivener Plus 5 Skype Sessions

January is a busy month chez moi. I usually have several projects going on, but February is much slower and that gives me more time to work on my Scrivener workbooks. It also gives me the opportunity to open an impromptu 31 Days of Scrivener PLUS 5 Private Skype Sessions.

Here’s the deal…these tutorials usually go for $200.00. Yes, it’s pricey, but given my ahem expertise and the time it takes me to write these lessons, $200 is a bargain.

I realize, though, for many readers it’s not affordable. After all, many of us write for a living and the income earning potential isn’t that great (now you know why I teach these tutorials on the side).

As a 2016 Winter Special, 31 Days of Scrivener plus 5 Skype sessions will be offered for $50. How does it work? You get the following:

1. A daily PDF lesson emailed to you.

2. One weekly Skype session to answer questions on that week’s lessons.

3. You automatically become a member of the Simply Scrivener Facebook community where you can interact with other students and ask questions and share tips.

4. A few perks here and there, like icons to pretty up your binder and backgrounds for Composition Mode.

To sign up, email me at rebeca@simplyscrivener.com. Registration starts tomorrow and ends on January 29, 2016. After January 29th, the price goes up to $200. NO EXCEPTIONS.


Binder Actions and a Question

I’ve covered a lot of territory in these tutorials and yet I always discover a feature I’ve never used, and once I play around with it, I think, “You idiot, this is exactly what you needed in September, but you didn’t realize it even existed.”

So today while I perused the features in the menu, I came across “Hoist Binder.” The only term I know that uses hoist in a sentence is when Hamlet realizes that Claudius plan to dispatch him and says the following:

There’s letters seal’d, and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d—
They bear the mandate, they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petard, an’t shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon.
Hamlet Act 3, scene 4

Hoist Binder doesn’t fall in that deadly category. Instead, it’s an incredibly useful feature especially when you have a Binder with numerous folders, sub-folders, and documents. To wit:

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 12.04.23 PM

As you can see, I have all my freelance writing folders and although I can unexpand the folders what I really want to do is to isolate one section of those files. Let’s take a brick and mortar scenario as an example. Say I have the inbox on my desk filled with 20 manila folders, and I need to work on just one file. I take the appropriate one out and work with those documents within that folder.

To work with that one container/folder and not have to even see the other folders in the Binder including the Research container and Trash Bin, what you do is select the folder you want to work with and go to Documents->Hoist Binder and it brings forward just that folder.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 12.13.03 PM

Does it work with text files? Yes, as long as you have a sub-document. To unhoist and see the entire contents of the Binder, go back to Documents and select Unhoist Binder.


In March, I will be launching a downloadable PDF workbook. The first one will be for Windows users. The Mac version should be available by the end of April. The format is based on the Adobe Classroom in a Book series. The workbook will consist of 31 lessons; each lesson can be completed in one day. Price: $4.99, which includes a 30 minutes private Skype session to answer any questions that might come up as you progress through the lessons.

Later in the summer, I plan to launch another series of workbooks. The first one will be on Compiling for both Windows and Mac versions. Price: $3.99 with 30 minutes private Skype session.

And now for my question. What other workbooks would you like to see in this series? To respond, please email, send me a DM on Twitter either @SchillerRebeca or @SimplyScrivener, or leave a comment below. I look forward to reading your suggestions.

Easy Peasy Printing

I have a confession: I’m not a huge fan of printing out my documents. When I need to print an article, I take an easy shortcut instead of going through the compile process.

But before I show you how I go about printing, first let me say that what I write and print are formatted simply. I don’t get fancy because I don’t have any intention of self-publishing. I just want my one-inch margins and my quarter inch indent, and that’s it.

Let’s say I wrote an article to submit to my editor. As mentioned, the formatting is simple. What stands out is that I have the following:






These are bolded, and that’s as fancy as I get. So my article is written, and I need to print it to proof it the old fashioned way. To print it, I go to File->Print Current Document. A window opens, and this is what I see:

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 4.44.39 PM

I can go ahead and hit print, and that’s that.

Let’s assume I make my edits, input them back into Scrivener and I want to send the final version as a PDF to my editor (typically you should never do that because if your editor wants to make changes, he or she has to convert the PDF to a Word document and that can mess up the formatting. As a rule of thumb, make life easy for your editor if you want more writing assignments). But for the sake of this example, we’ll send it to him as a PDF).

Go back to File->Print Current File. Click on the drop-down menu where you see PDF, and you’ll see the option Mail PDF. And, sirree, bub, it goes directly to you Mail app as an attachment.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.37.32 PM

Now let’s take a look at File->Page Setup. A window will open, and you will see that I have my page setup defaulting to my printer and US Letter.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.44.40 PM

But what if I want to change those attributes? Click on it and the dropdown menu has the Scrivener option. From there you can change your margins.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.46.12 PM

Click on options and you’re presented with a menu of print options.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.46.51 PM

I like to have the page numbers printed, so I have that option checked. As you can see, you also have the option to print the synopsis, meta-data, and notes. Don’t like your current font? You can change it.

And that’s the easy way to print your current document without having to go through the compile process.