Creativity

Laying-out This Summer With Scrivener

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

To begin with, let me take care of a little house-cleaning on two points of information. First, I’ve updated my website so that the Store page is now the Store/Downloads page. I’ve posted all the Scrivener project templates I’ve create there for anyone to download and use free including a new one for articles. Second, if you’re looking for a great post about using Scrivener for blogging then check out Bryan Collins’ Using Scrivener For Blogging: The Ultimate How To Guide.

Now onto today’s topic: The Layout Manager. This feature is one that at first seems rather cryptic or even redundant to other features. However, a closer look reveals that the Layout Manager has a specific purpose – saving multiple work layouts of Scrivener bars and views. That’s a simple explanation for what it does but it actually provides a certain flexibility according to need – but more on that in a moment. Let’s look at how to use it and then discuss context.

Scriv Window_Layout Menu

Opening the Layout Manager

To access the Layout Manager, click on Window (Alt + w), slide down the menu to Layouts to get a fly-out menu for Layout Manager. If you have no layouts then there is only one choice available – the manager.

Once you open the Layout Manager you have this window, you can name and save different work layouts. Read the description for the manger’s purpose and you get a bit more idea of its purpose. To add a layout click the + button and name the layout. To delete click the minus button. There’s also a gear button to further manage your settings by updating, importing or exporting the layouts. You can also choose to “Save outliner and corkboard settings” and “Preserve all meta-data appearance options”.

Scriv Layout Manager

The Layout Manager

So, you have a way to save your layouts, meaning what settings you have turned on like the Binder, Inspector, Corkboard and split views of the editor. Without the Layout Manager if you are working in one layout in one mode you have to manually change multiple settings depending on your activity. You may be developing or editing and want consistent views for what your tasks are. Just like using project or document templates, you can change views to suit what you are doing. One handy tool is the update feature which you use to save changes to a layout by choosing the layout in the manager and then choosing the settings button and the update option.

Scriv Layout Settings Saved

Settings saved in the Layout Manager across projects.

There are some caveats to all this as well as some useful benefits. First the caveats: while your layouts are for your installation of Scrivener on a specific machine, not all of the settings are preserved between projects since not all settings are meaningful in every project. One of the main settings not preserved are collections which are project specific. Also, I have not found that the manager allows you to toggle to a Full-screen mode with or without a backdrop. However, there are a lot of settings that are preserved including the outliner/corkboard views and the meta-data options if turned on for a specific layout. Here’s a screenshot from the Scrivener manual that lists all the settings preserved:

Now more about the benefits: the Layout Manager allows Scrivener users to setup their individual layouts based on workflow for differing tasks. Then users can toggle between layouts to perform various tasks without taking time to change individual settings, thus saving time.

Essentially, with each new project you have the ability to progress through your own workflow of development using your layouts without making constant changes to the view. Want to write with nothing else on at some point? Just change to that layout. The usage is meant to allow users to make layouts based on beginning project development and progressing through all the stages of work. It’s just one more way that Scrivener allows flexibility in project development to suit individual user needs.

But what happens if you replace your computer? Or what if you want common layouts on multiple computers where Scrivener is installed? This is where the Export/Import features are valuable, allowing you to setup layouts on new and different computers.

Once again we see how valuable Scrivener is to writers of all kinds in the development of their work. Why not try making a few layouts and see if using them helps you through your daily writing more efficiently? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. I’ve updated the site with a new landing page starting today but you can still view the News page for announcements. As part of the changes, new email subscribers will receive my free new guide, 15 Must Have Apps for Self-Publishing Authors. Sign-up today! I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.

Scrivener Quick-Tip: Feed Your Muse

Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

Scrivener is such a handy tool. I now use it for almost all my writing and secondary composition activities. I’m constantly in and out of my various projects.

But as with much of writing, it is a task – enjoyable as it may be. Sometimes you just wish you could look outside or have something nearby to keep your muse going. Perhaps you need a picture that reminds you of what you’re writing.

Well, leave it to Literature & Latte to come up with a setting to help us writers along with motivation and muse. How did they do that? By including a setting to add a backdrop while writing in full-screen mode. You can add a picture which lends inspiration and experience a bit of wind in your sails.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Here’s a quick tip to add the backdrop of your choice. Click on View and then go to Full Screen Backdrop. From the fly-out menu click on choose. Browse your computer for the picture of your choice and choose it. Once you’ve set a background picture go into full-screen (F11) and you’ll see your picture around the editor. Want to leave full-screen mode? Just push Escape (ESC) on your keyboard. Here’s screenshot to help you along:

Scrivener Screenshot backgroun

Here’s what it looks like from my laptop – results vary depending on screen size:

 

Scrivener Background

I write about Scrivener about once a week. If you would like to see previous posts just click on the Scrivener category or tag below to find additional content. Also, check back on weekends when I often re-post previous popular posts that often end up being a Scrivener topic.

The Bow of DestinyI hope this quick tip helps you with your writing muse. There are many other settings so take time to learn those according to your project parameters. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

8 More Ways Scrivener Aids My Writing

LeftHandScrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

There are so many ways that Scrivener helps me as a writer and it’s hard to narrow down the most important. I’ve already shared 8 ways it improves my writing experience on a daily basis. But since the time I wrote that post I’ve begun using Scrivener more heavily. Here are 8 features of Scrivener that have dramatically impacted my writing.

1. The Binder – it’s an obvious choice but the Binder is so incredibly effective a feature in Scrivener. The ability to re-structure a large project is huge. Just grasping this in other software like Word used to be monumental, if no monolithic. Now I just drag as many folders or document-scenes around to a new location as necessary within a few minutes. Then I only have to do some re-writing to smooth out the changes.

2. The Inspector bar is laden with so many useful tools it’s hard to cover them all in one blog post. The list is long for the all the tasks that can be addressed in this feature. They are all meant to help a writer track, document, reference and enhance the writing process.

3. Snapshots – this is actually part of the Inspector but I single it out as an important way to manage different versions of content. Do a snapshot before you make major changes and you can easily revert back to another version you prefer or need. I recommend using it before making any large-scale change in a project in case you make mistakes or delete something.

Scriv Collection Save Search Tab4. Collections – I recently wrote a series of posts on this multi-function tool. It has been a useful aspect of Scrivener for making structural changes where I need to write more scenes or edit for style. I can select specific folder or documents to add to the collection, work with it and remove each part as I complete them until I’m done with the mini-project. Very handy, especially when you consider you can use it in other ways – like compiling a manuscript.

5. Document templates – I find this most useful for my year-long blog project. I have different types of posts so I have a different templates to use for each one. I can update each template as changes occur throughout the year and all my new posts will have that without having to add the content by other means (by typing it out or doing a copy paste).

6. Project Templates – I can create a template for projects like short stories, my year-long blogging, a book, book reviews, newsletters, my blog tours and promotions as well as managing my overall writing. Each template is specialized to what the project is and they can be updated as necessary to reflect my changing needs.

7. The Layout Manager – this is really a cool feature to me. I can setup specific layouts for different types of writing tasks based on the stage of my project. If the project is new and in development, then I can have certain features turned on. Once I move to a new stage all I have to do is change to a different layout that I’ve created and transition into the new phase seamlessly where some parts of Scrivener are turned off and others are visible.

Scriv Scratch Pad8. The Scratchpad – you don’t hear a lot about this feature but I’ve written about it before. It’s found on the Tools menu and lets you write notes and insert the test to other parts of the project within which you are working or even to another project you may have open. For instance, I often have several projects open at a time and I may come up with an idea for another in which I’m not currently working. I can use the Scratchpad to write the note and insert it into a specific folder or document in the same project or another open project. I especially do this while journaling since that’s where I may generate a variety of ideas. I can journal it and then transfer the notion elsewhere using the Scratchpad.

That’s all for this list but I think these cover the bases well. Everything in Scrivener is designed to help writers write intuitively, fluidly and effectively. There’s no wasted effort once you’ve learned the software to any degree. You don’t waste time creating all the environment you need to write – you set it up and then you are able to start writing without worrying about all the details – and that’s the best feature of all.

Just as a reminder – my Scrivener posting schedule is changing to Friday’s to accommodate several writing events during September as well as the release – most of which occur on a Mondays. So I’ll be back next Friday with more Scrivener goodness. Until then, you are welcome to check back on other posts here as well as my writing news.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

 The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4 Black Bag Cover 7

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor. However, I am working on becoming an affiliate for Scrivener ads since I like the product so much. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. For more about my FTC statement see my sidebar.