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Monday, August 8, 2016

Scrivener for iOS: The CloudAge™ Author's best friend.

As I noted a few days ago, Literature & Latte was finally able to get their outstanding writing tool Scrivener on iOS devices. As soon as I could, I purchased and downloaded it, and today set about to both edit a novel I'm working on and test out Scrivener for iOS as a tool for the CloudAge™ Author.

Since I just started using it, let me mention that as a writing tool, this all by itself is amazing. If all you use it for is to write your Great American Novel, it will work just fine for you. At $19.99, it's a little bit more expensive than some other options in that category, so if literally, all you want is a tool for writing, there are less expensive options available.

(Note: while I may describe some operations in the app right now, I will do a much more in-depth & step-by-step guide to the various uses of Scrivener for iOS in a short series of posts).

If you are using Scrivener on your desktop computer at home, however, the additional 20 bucks for the iOS version is an easy purchase, I think. The sync feature uses Dropbox, and really couldn't be much simpler. From the desktop side, save your project inside a folder on Dropbox (L&L recommends using Dropbox:Apps:Scrivener as the location, but you can use any location you'd like). Open the iOS version, and step through the opening screens. In the main interface, there are two main panes; the one on the left starts as a project view and the right side is the main editor. In the project view, click the "Edit" button, and then the Settings gearwheel that appears in the lower left. From there you can link your Dropbox and tell Scrivener which folder to use. It will sync the items it finds in that folder, whether they are Scrivener projects or not, so it is best to choose a folder where only Scrivener projects will be stored.

Once that's set up on the iOS side, you should see your projects populate the left pane. Tapping a project reveals that project's various divisions (Manuscript, Research, etc.), and drilling down into these areas allows you to open your manuscript's documents & so forth. Create a new document by clicking the "+" icon in the left pane, and giving it a title & synopsis. Type in the document until you are done, the sync with the sync icon in the top toolbar (it looks like two curved arrows). Close the app, and go to your desktop machine, and open that same project. If it does not automatically sense the changes, click the "Mobile Sync" button in the upper left of the main toolbar, and watch as it populates your project with your new changes!

So that's just a short intro to the new Scrivener for iOS, and I will be doing a series on using it for your main mobile writing tool over the next couple of weeks, as I explore more and get more comfortable with it. So, hopefully, you'll join me for that, and I'll see you in the next episode!

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