Scrivener Quick Start Tutorials

A series of Blog posts designed to get you up and running on Scrivener as quickly as possible, with plenty of images showing exactly where things are and what buttons to press

This page is a Table of Contents directing you to the next Quick Start blog post. Once you have learned everything here, open the BLOG in my navigation menu to see what's new.


I demonstrate using Scrivener 3 for Mac but nearly everything applies to previous versions of Scrivener and Scrivener for Windows. These lessons are perfect for beginners or anyone who just needs to refresh their skills.

Setting up Your Scrivener Project


How to open a Scrivener project using the correct template for the task you wish to perform and where to find your project again after you close it.

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An overview of the three main working areas and what they are used for so that you get a general idea of how Scrivener works; where you keep your folders, where you do your writing and where you find your metadata. 

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A Quick look at the different view modes you can use to view your work in the Editor. I will cover each mode in an individual post but you need to know what they look like before we can move on.

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Where Scrivener's main menu, toolbar and the format toolbar are located and how they work. How to customize your toolbar preferences for both Scrivener for Windows and Scrivener for Mac.

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How to set up the font style you want to use when writing in Scrivener and some of the display fonts on the user interface.

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How to change your language settings, or if you are writing in English, to set your spelling to either British English or American English. How to correct your spelling on the fly.

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How the Scrivener Binder Works


How to manage your folders and files in the Binder. Creating, opening and closing, rearranging and making selections. Changing files to folders and vice versa, and customizing your icons.

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How to move folders, files, images and other documents between Scrivener projects, how to import documents from your computer or the internet.

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How to import your manuscript from Microsoft Word already broken up into chapters and scenes.

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How to import your manuscript from Microsoft Word already broken up into sections.

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As long as your mind map software exports to OPML thats — Outline Processor Markup Language — or .mm you can import your mind map plot into Scrivener

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A quick look at what folders come preconfigured with some of the different templates in the Scrivener Binder like front matter folders and templates for character and place sketches.

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You need to know how this works so that you don't get surprised when you type a word or phrase into the Project Search Box and a purple temporary replacement display appears in the Binder.

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A quick overview of the Search tool and the Quick Search tool and how they work.

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How the Scrivener Editor Works


How the Editor works in normal text editing mode or Scrivenings mode which is when you can view your documents as a composite stacked one below the other. How to set the width of your text display in the Editor. 

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The quickest and easiest way to get going in Scrivener without first plotting out your book.

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Scrivener has a completely distraction free writing environment called Composition Mode. This post shows you how it works as well as how to access your navigation tools and customise your background image whilst in Composition mode.

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How to plot in a more structured way by using Scrivener's corkboard feature. How to manage your index cards on the corkboard, add synopses, labels and status stamps to them and move them around.

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How to manage the Scrivener Outliner view: Moving documents around, adding synopses to them, adding labels and status stamps, adding and removing 'Sort By' options in the title bar and a couple of examples of why you would want to view your projects and sort them this way.

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How to split your editing window in two, how to toggle between vertical and horizontal splits and several examples of how useful it is to have two different documents or two versions of the same document open at the same time in different view modes.

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Normally in Scrivener, whatever you have selected in the Binder will show up in the Editing window, taking up all the space available. This video covers how to set your preferences so that you see your documents as a page and how to set your page size. 

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Scrivener Inspector Menu Functions


How to add Document Bookmarks and Project Bookmarks to your project and link them to other documents or resources outside of your project like web pages or files you have elsewhere on your hard drive.

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What metadata is and what types of metadata are added to your documents by default. Examples of useful metadata, how to add it to your project and where you can view instances of it.

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How to take a snapshot before you make major changes to a document incase you decide you don't like your changes and want to revert to a previous version. 

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How to apply comments and footnotes to your documents, how to manage them in the Inspector pane and how to make inline annotations, which are small notes or special instructions you can jot down to yourself right inside your text as you are composing.

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In previous posts we already saw how you can select a document and then open the Status Stamp, or Label dropdown menus and assign status stamps and labels to them. In this blog post I will show you how to customize your labels and status stamps to suit your own particular workflow.

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