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Scrivener: The Best Alternative to Microsoft Word For Writing Books

I’m a writer, and I’ve used Microsoft Word for almost two decades. But after discovering Scrivener, I haven’t opened the Word app on my computer in years. If you’re like me and you love writing books but hate spending hours doing research or organizing chapters, then this article is for you!

Think of Scrivener as your book-writing toolbelt.

Think of Scrivener as your book-writing toolbelt. With it, you can easily manage all aspects of your book from start to finish.

  • Think of Scrivener as an outline and research manager that allows you to collect all your ideas, notes, and material in one place. You’ll be able to organize them by chapter, section, or scene (depending on how far along you are with the writing process).
  • You can also use this tool to save all your research in one place—which is essential for long-form writing projects like books—so that you don’t lose any important information when switching between devices or files.

Scrivener makes it easier to organize and finish a book.

  • Organizing your ideas: Scrivener makes it easy to organize your ideas, research, outline and even the book outline itself.
  • Organizing your research: You can organize all of your research notes in one place. This means you can quickly find everything without having to search through multiple documents or notebooks on different devices.
  • Organizing your outline: You can create an outline for each scene in a separate document so that you can easily move scenes around when necessary without losing any of their content. It’s like having a jump drive with every single piece of information organized into one place where you can access it easily at any time during the writing process (and beyond).
  • Organizing your book writing process: With Scrivener there are no more distractions since everything is contained within one program which also makes it easier to stay focused while still remaining productive because there aren’t any other programs vying for attention onscreen!

If you’re writing a nonfiction book, you can use Scrivener to outline and organize your research.

If you’re writing a nonfiction book, you can use Scrivener to outline and organize your research. For example, let’s say you’re writing a book on how to manage your finances. In this case, it would be advantageous for you to have all of your financial documents in one place. With Scrivener, all of the information about managing finances could be organized into categories like “taxes,” “credit cards,” and so on.

You may also want to set up separate folders for different types of documents — for example: articles that discuss various aspects of personal finance; spreadsheets showing historical spending habits; receipts from recent purchases; etc. You’re able to create these folders within Scrivener by dragging items from your computer directly into the document window or by creating them from scratch via the Library panel (Windows) or Binder (Mac).

A powerful search option makes it easy to find specific words or phrases.

Search is one of the most powerful features in Scrivener. You can use it to quickly find specific words or phrases, such as:

  • The word “in” on page 5
  • The name “Mary” on page 20
  • The character name “Kate” anywhere in your manuscript
  • A plot point related to a certain theme

Customizable takeaways make it possible to keep track of whatever you want, from character names to plot points.

Customizable takeaways make it possible to keep track of whatever you want, from character names to plot points. You can even organize your takeaways into folders and subfolders. For example, if you’re writing a novel about three sisters as they go on a trip together, you might have a folder for each sister’s individual storyline and also an overarching folder for the entire book, with each of these containing its own unique library of takeaways.

One thing that keeps me coming back to Scrivener is the fact that all documents within this program are searchable by keyword or phrase—which means if I’m working on a manuscript and need quick access to my research material—or even just need some inspiration in general (as I often do)—it’s right there at my fingertips!

Break long pieces of text into chunks that are easier to work with.

Scrivener allows you to break long pieces of text into sections. This makes your project easier to work with and helps you keep track of what you’ve written so far. You can use the ruler on the top of your document to make divisions, or add titles and other information using the inspector at the bottom right corner. The inspector also has a tab for adding a table of contents—that way, if someone wants to read your book without Scrivener, they can easily find what section they want without having to scroll through each chapter and looking for chapter titles.

Compile all your notes, outlines and ideas into one place.

Scrivener is a writing software that compiles all your notes, outlines and ideas into one place. It helps you organize content in a way that makes sense to you. With Scrivener, you can import documents, notes and outlines from other sources like Google Docs or Microsoft Word.

For example, if you want to write about how the city of Los Angeles uses technology for water conservation programs then you could search for articles about Los Angeles water conservation on Google articles or Wikipedia (or even copy-paste this article). You can save these articles in Scrivener by clicking on the “Import” button under the Tools menu at top left corner of screen which opens up an Import Window where we can select our source file(s) and choose which ones we want to import into our current project by checking off Select All/None buttons above each column header (in this case Title column header).

Once done importing check out how organized everything looks inside our Working Document! We now have multiple tables of contents that link directly back into our original source files but also allow us to navigate between sections within those pages such as subsections within paragraphs or even sentences within titles where applicable—you know those long long titles I mentioned earlier? This is why they’re so useful: because they allow us quick access anywhere within them just by clicking on any word

Save all of your book-related research in one place so it’s easily accessible.

  • Import documents from other applications.
  • Import notes from other applications.
  • Import images and audio/video files into your document.
  • Import PDFs directly into Scrivener to use them as background material or reference materials for your book. In addition, you can also search any PDF file you have on your computer using the built-in PDF indexing feature in Scrivener (just right click on a PDF file in the binder and choose “Index This File”).
  • Import other Scrivener files (or even Word documents) by dragging them onto the binder in the main screen of Scrivener’s UI; this will automatically import them with all their content so that they are available for editing at any time.* Create web page links within your text by typing [Link Text] at the point where you want a link to appear, then clicking on it and typing in http://www

Scrivener has a word count feature that helps you pinpoint exactly where you are in the writing process and what’s left to do.

  • Word count feature: Scrivener has a word count feature that helps you pinpoint exactly where you are in the writing process and what’s left to do.
  • See what’s left to do: This is especially helpful for seeing how much of your book you have left to write, which can be demoralizing when there’s still so much more to go.
  • Get motivated by seeing how far along you’ve come: Seeing all those numbers will motivate you to keep going with your goal of finishing your book before the end of summer!

Scrivener is cheaper than Microsoft Word and won’t limit how many computers you can download it on.

  • Scrivener is cheaper than Microsoft Word.
  • You can use Scrivener on multiple computers.
  • Scrivener has a word count feature that helps you pinpoint exactly where you are in the writing process and what’s left to do.

You’ll save time and be able to finish more books if you use Scrivener for writing

Scrivener is a great tool for writers. It’s especially good for those who are working on longer pieces of writing, such as books or research papers. Scrivener can help you organize your ideas, write faster and edit more effectively than Microsoft Word can. And if you’re writing a book, it will make it easier for you to find information when you need it later on in the process of writing your book.


Scrivener is a great alternative to Microsoft Word for writing books. It offers many of the same features as Word but with more flexibility and customization options. It’s also much cheaper than Microsoft Word, which means you can use it for any work you need done without worrying about spending too much money. The biggest drawback is its learning curve; if you’re new to Scrivener then expect some frustration until you get used to how everything works together. But once you do learn how everything works together, it will be worth all those hours spent learning how best practices from other writers might apply in your own workflow!

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