5 Top Features for Editing with Scrivener #AuthorToolboxBlogHop
Scrivener is a writing software that has transformed my life. I know many people still use Word or other writing software, and that’s great, as long as it works for them. We should all use what works for us. I already discussed why this software is a great tool for writing. But, if you’re unsure whether or not this is for you, let me present you five features that will make editing with Scrivener immensely better.
A little disclaimer: I’m NOT an expert, and probably use only half of the features available in the software. But what I do use changed my productivity for the better.
Here is how:
5 best features for Editing with Scrivener
1 – Split screen
Split screen is hands down one of the most helpful features. You can select the vertical or horizontal split and even swap the screens to fit your need.
Have you ever created a character and 10 chapters later, you don’t remember exactly his/her eye color or hair color? Well, when you edit and double check the details, a split screen is a lifesaving feature. What if you add something on a character or a place? The split screen allows you to update your character/place sheet without leaving your current page. It edits both pages as you go.
How to do this?
On the top right end corner, you’ll see a square split in two. This will activate the horizontal split screen.
To have a vertical split, go to View > Layout > Split Vertical (Horizontal if you want to go back to that view after)
I tried to create a quick example above to show you how it would look like. The split screen allows to go back to your research, character, places sheets at any time and make the appropriate changes to your work in progress.
One of the advantages of using these sheets is that you have them with you all the time and can easily transfer them to your next project if you write a sequel.
2 – Color icons
There is no right or wrong way of color coding your work. We all have a system, and Scrivener allows you to add labels, flags, plain colors, or even change the icons to fit your needs. From there, you can create your own system and make it work for you.
For example, I change the icon when I change POV, so it gives me a visual of how important his or her voice is throughout the book, if it’s too broken up, or it simply reminds me of who the chapter belongs to without opening the document. I use the book icon with each color representing a character.
At a scene level (not chapter), flags help me figure out if this is my first draft, if I still need to revise, or whether I revised or not, but still not quite happy with it.
You can use these options in a variety of ways that will make your work a little easier. I’m a visual person, and it helps me understand how much work is left at any time.
3 – Speech
** This feature is for Mac users only.
You write a sentence, read it several times, and everything sounds proper. Then, someone else reads it later (or even you), and you realize instead of “on,” you wrote “of,” or the verb in mind is different from what is written.
Does that sound familiar?
When it happens, it drives me insane, and that’s when the Speech feature comes in.
The Speech feature will read your text for you, so it’ll allow you to notice if the flow is broken or when you have a typo or grammar issue. This feature will make editing with Scrivener a whole new experience.
Reading your work out loud is an effective way to edit, but having someone else do it is even better. Your voice will be thankful, but more importantly, your mind won’t trick you in reading what you think is there, but isn’t.
4 – Snapshot
The snapshot is a feature that allows you to start over without losing your previous work. Writers have the right to change their mind and try out new ways to approach a scene. Snapshots will allow you to go back to a previous version of your work stored. Thanks to this functionality.
Before you make a change, make sure to click on the button shown below. The date and name should appear in the box below under time and title.
You can rename them and go back to it if needed.
Here is a little video from the company who created the software. Please note that it’s an old video and the icon for the snapshot now looks like shown above, but the principle remains the same.
5 – Text Statistics
This feature provides insights on your writing, more specifically on word frequency. I love how the Text Statistics can help determine if you use too much of a word or if your verbs/adjectives are strong enough. Take a look and spice things up.
The button may be available on your toolbar, or you can go to Project > Text Statistics.
Bonus – 6 – Document view
This is the first of the three modes.
The Group Mode contains three different view modes – Document, Corkboard, and Outline. The first view allows you to select all or specific chapters (or scenes). You can then edit them without the need to go to another file. Your view will look like a book, and you can edit all the documents from this one view.
Each scene is separated by a line, but all three scenes are displayed on the same view. No need to go back and forth. It helps the flow and keeps everything in one place.
What’s your favorite feature? These features help me edit. There are a few more I enjoy using when I write a first draft, but when it comes to editing, these are perfect. Writing a novel can be a daunting task if you’re using the wrong tools. Writers should only focus on writing and not make the software behave in the way they want.
This article is part of the author toolbox blog hop. To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.
If you enjoyed the post, make sure to hit the “like” button below, leave a comment, and share on Social Media.
Also, enter your email to access my bi-monthly newsletter. Receive an e-Book where I’ll give you simple steps on how to built a Twitter Platform with the right audience for you. I have now 27K followers and it only took me a few months.