Scrivener Alternatives & Reviews


Scrivener is a writing studio that claims to provide all the tools you need to take a manuscript from concept to completion. Created by writers for writers, Scrivener's modular take on document management adapts to virtually any style of writing and provides many of the organizational tools missing from conventional word processing applications.
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25 Best Alternatives to Scrivener

FocusWriter icon


FocusWriter is a simple, distraction-free writing environment. It utilizes a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, allowing the program to have a familiar look and feel to it while still getting out of the way so that you can immerse yourself in your work.
WriteMonkey icon


Software for full screen distraction free creative writing. No whistles and bells, just empty screen, you and your words. WriteMonkey is light, fast, and perfectly handy for those who enjoy the simplicity of a typewriter but live in modern times.
bibisco icon


bibisco is a novel writing software that helps writers to develop characters, design novel structure, organize chapters and scenes, analyze the novel.
Adobe Acrobat DC icon

Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC is the world's leading PDF software. It allows users to create, edit, and read PDF files. The software also includes cloud storage so that users can access PDF files from the browser on multiple devices.
Byword icon


Byword is a piece of software that acts as a markdown editor, and when you take full advantage of the software, you'll be able to focus on your writing with a much higher rate of success and stability.
Celtx icon


Celtx is a scriptwriting software platform with applications in a wide range of mediums but that specializes in helping screenwriters.
iA Writer icon

iA Writer

iA Writer is a tool for the brave. Because starting something new is not easy. Telling someone who you really are, never feels entirely comfortable. It takes courage.
Quip icon


Quip is a software program that allows for businesses to create "quip" documents that act as a spreadsheet or centralized data hub. Quip documents are very flexible and can get a lot of information out to large groups of people at once.
yWriter icon


yWriter is word processing software developed to help novel writers organize their writing tasks. The software encourages you to break up your novel into a set of scenes that can be organized into different chapters.
WriteRoom icon


For Mac users to write without distractions. WriteRoom is a full screen writing environment. Unlike the cluttered word processors you're used to, WriteRoom lets you focus on writing.
Foxit PhantomPDF icon

Foxit PhantomPDF

Foxit PhantomPDF is a PDF editor for creating, editing, converting, sharing, and digitally signing PDF documents. Besides these basic tasks, the software can also translate documents from over 40 languages, and utilizes OCR technology for editing and managing scanned documents.
Nitro Pro icon

Nitro Pro

The #1 alternative to Adobe Acrobat, Nitro Pro gives you all the tools you need to create, convert, edit, sign, review, and protect PDFs. Try free to start accomplishing more with PDFs today!
TextEdit icon


TextEdit is a highly versatile word processor included with OS X. Learn about the editing tools and different file formats it supports.
Gingko icon


Gingko is a new kind of tool, that lets you shape your ideas . “I can recommend gingko — very cool web tool for structuring prose.
Manuskript icon


Organize your thoughts and snippets in a hierarchical manner. Organize them as you wish, reorganize them on the go.
Final Draft icon

Final Draft

Considered the ultimate screenwriting software by professional scriptwriters, Final Draft offers a myriad of features designed for the creative and technical elements of crafting on-screen stories.
OmmWriter icon


OmmWriter is a program designed to drown out outside distractions so users may focus on their writing. It is not designed for any type of writer in particular, so whether you need to write a report for a class, a business letter or a novel, OmmWriter's features can help you get it done.
Bluebeam Revu icon

Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu is an end-to-end digital workflow and collaboration solution designed for the architecture, engineering and construction industries. Learn more.
Bear icon


Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose.
FreeWriter icon


The Freewrite is a distraction-free smart typewriter funded on Kickstarter. Leave the internet at home and write anywhere with the Freewrite.
Windward Studios icon

Windward Studios

With Windward it is unbelievably easy to create visually impressive, data-powered documents that hit the mark every time. Users can create documents in significantly less time and cost.
Pagefour icon


Atomic Scribbler & PageFour. A novel is made up of many chapters and pages, introduces major and minor characters, contains plots and sub-plots, incorporates folders of research material, and often involves first, second and third drafts.
Pages icon


Pages lets you create stunning documents on a Mac, iPad, or iPhone — or on a PC using iWork for iCloud. And it’s compatible with Apple Pencil.
Socialcast icon


Socialcast is a software program that helps businesses and other organizations come together to unlock the collective power of all of their members. Socialcast puts all of your workers or volunteers in one place so you can harness ideas from all of them and spread information out amongst them with ease.
Zoho Docs icon

Zoho Docs

Zoho Docs is an online file management tool that lets you store files securely, share them with friends, and sync them across all your devices.

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API Availability
Admin Governance
Budget Reports
Calendar Management
Change Management
Chat Client
Chat Functionality
Collaboration Tools
Collaborative Review
Collaborative Workspace
Communication Management
Company Admin Portal
Custom Subdomain
Customization Options
Data Synchronization
Document Indexing
Document Planning
Document Recovery
Document Review
Document Revision History
Document Storage
Document Tracking
Document Version Control
Dynamic Workflow
Full-screen Editor
Group Sharing
Inbox Management
Knowledge Base
Message Archive
Mobile Alerts
Multi-level Folders
Offline Access
Online File Storage
Online Workspace
People-Centric Views
Personalize Profiles
Project Planning
Project Tracking
Project Workflow
Real Time Data
Reviewing And Tagging
Search Functionality
Secure Files Sharing
Share Document
Share Documents
Single Sign On
Social Project Management
Task Lists
Task Planning
Team Messenger
Third Party Integration

Pros of Scrivener

Scrivener's customizable full-screen editor mode allows for a distraction-free writing area that can be tailored to your tastes.
The binder, outliner, and corkboard offer a valuable hierarchical overview of project sections and statuses so you can easily see exactly what you've got and where it's at in the creative process.
Scrivener makes it easy to create your own workflow. Edit multiple documents in a split-screen environment while keeping a side of notes and inspirational imagery, or, if things get too busy, all those extra bits can be hidden to leave you with a clean editing interface.

Cons of Scrivener

OS Support — Development prioritizes macOS above all, meaning some features — or even versions, as is currently the case — may be very delayed making it to Windows or iOS. There is currently no Android app available, and Linux support has been discontinued.
Book Export — Scrivener can export a manuscript to several popular eBook formats such as EPUB or MOBI, but the resulting code is, quite honestly, a hot mess. Evidence suggests that tidy HTML may play a role in how some retailers' algorithms process eBooks. Its exports fall a bit short in the visual formatting category as well, with some file formats not displaying typography or margins as expected.
Feature Overload — The sheer number of features that are present within Scrivener can overwhelm and exhaust a user who just wants to get some writing done. Scrivener doesn't do anything to gently introduce you to its many aspects. That said, fiction writers may feel it's lacking in formal methods for handling things such as characters, locations, or timelines.

Scrivener Icon Features of Scrivener

Need notes? No problem.
Document notes, project notes, scratch pad, corkboard notecards — Scrivener boasts an impressive number of ways to keep track of every detail so that you can stay focused on the bigger picture.
Scrivener's corkboard and outliner views present you with a rearrangeable overview of project sections where you can view each section synopsis, set and view wordcount targets, keep track of process status, and add customizable labels.
With Scrivener's automatic backups, your writing is always safe from the unknown.
In the event that those major revisions don't work out, you can rest assured your manuscript is safe from yourself as well with Scrivener's snapshot version control.

Scrivener Reviews

by grex about Scrivener on March 27, 2018:
Scrivener is one of the most powerful organizational tools a writer can add to their arsenal. With a customizable interface that can be catered to your workflow, Scrivener allows you to compile all of your project research and notes in a single place that can then be viewed from numerous perspectives. Scrivener makes it easy to cross-reference your notes, outlines, and draft sections from a single window or split screen, and its full-screen editor switches off the distractions so you can focus on what's most important.
by S.Cushaway about Scrivener on June 3, 2019:
It's a cute program if you spend 90% of your time playing around with how it looks, but the PC version is hot garbage when it comes to using it for actual and serious writing. Most editors won't touch a scrivener file, meaning you have to export your draft for your editor, and then manually enter all their edits because, unlike Word or other software (most editors still want .docx), you can't track changes or accept all or read the notes your editor left you. Want to format a book? Better be prepared to watch a few hours (at least) of tutorial videos for what should be a fairly simple process.

And seriously, all those great writers who came before the Scrivener era? They didn't use a damned corkboard or character profile sheet-- they sat down at their word processors or typewriters and wrote. Some even did their first drafts by hand. This is a program for wanna-be writers who are trying to impress everyone with "look at my fancy real novelist software!"

No thanks. Uninstalled.
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Review Summary
Scrivener has currently been reviewed with 2 opinions.

In total, that's a combined rating of 3.00 out of 5 stars.

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