Scrivener Cheat Sheet: Start Using Scrivener Now

by Corina Koch MacLeod

Scrivener is a wonderful tool for the drafting and revising stages of a book. It allows you to move chunks of text around with ease, organize everything, including research notes, in the same project file, and convert your book to ebook, web, and print formats.
When you first open the program, though, it can seem a little confusing. It doesn’t operate quite like the word processor you might be familiar with — mostly because things aren’t where you’d expect them to be. Don’t despair. Scrivener is a powerful tool with many features you’ll learn to locate and come to appreciate.
With a cheat sheet, though, you can begin using Scrivener right now. 
Open Scrivener, Select “New Project,” choose a template (the Blank template is least confusing) and click on the Green Plus icon at the top. This will create a new “file.” Park your cursor in the “Editor” pane in the middle and begin writing.
Begin typing in the middle panel

Downloadable Cheat Sheet

If there’s something you’d like to do, but you don’t know where to find the command, consult this downloadable cheat sheet at the Tech Tools for Writers site. 
* This list favours Scrivener for Windows, but I’ve included some Mac features, too.
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8 thoughts on “Scrivener Cheat Sheet: Start Using Scrivener Now

  1. Thanks for this, I started the tutorial and got kind of lost, I know hopeless right? lol, anyway I’m not giving up so I’ll give this a try next. 🙂

    1. You’re not hopeless at all. Scrivener takes a bit of getting used to. It helps to realize that you can simply begin by typing in the middle pane. When you have a “how do I do this” question, check this cheat sheet to see if I’ve addressed it. I found that working through Scrivener by trying something and then looking up what I didn’t know prevented me from getting overwhelmed.

    1. You’re welcome, Gwen. And thanks! Your guide, Scrivener for Dummies, and your blog are two sources I consult when I need to look something up. And I think you offer a Scrivener course, too, right?

    2. Glad to hear it, Corina. I do offer courses several times a year. I’m in the middle of one now, but my next full course should be in September. I’m also planning on a one-week, Compile course in late spring. Thanks!

  2. Great post Corin! And I really appreciate your mention of my Scrivener Course.

    I love how you’ve organized the commands by “writing moves” here. That is so helpful. I’ve added this post into my collection of recommendations 🙂

  3. You’re most welcome, Joseph! People learn in lots of different ways, and it’s nice to have lots of learning options. And thanks for adding this post to your list of recommendations. This post is a work-in-progress, so feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything.

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