Best Non-Fiction Writing Software

Scrivener is software for writer that allows writer to concentrate on structuring and composing long and difficult document. The focus of the software is to help writer to finish that awkward first draft and also giving the writer the freedom and complete control of formatting. Although Scrivener is not exclusively for non-fiction writing, it can be called one of the best non fiction writing software with its powerful functions. Scrivener 2.04 is the latest version and will cost writer $45.00

OS Requirement

Scrivener will require Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or above. Until recently, Scrivener was available only for Mac but currently Windows version is being developed. You can download beta version of Scrivener for Windows here.

Features

Scrivener features let you keep all your research files (PDF, files, movies, images, sounds, and web pages) all in the software. Unlike other program that only could let you view one document at a time, Scrivener allows you to split editor to view research in one panel while composing your text right on another panel beside it. You can practically transcribe an interview; make notes on images and or article without leaving the main document you are working on.

Scrivener’s innovative “Scrivenings” mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole. It’s up to you how small or large you want to make the individual sections of your manuscript: novelists can write each scene in a separate document or whole chapters as one; scriptwriters can work scene-by-scene or act-by-act; academics can break down their ideas into individual arguments. However finely you break up your work, Scrivenings mode allows you to collect the constituent components into a single editor, so that you can edit them as though they were all part of one document:
in Scrivener, you’re only ever a click away from seeing the forest or the trees. A live word and character count of the current section is always in view at the bottom of the screen, and you can set a word or character count target for each section. For a wider perspective, though, Scrivener’s Project Statistics panel allows you to check the word, character and page counts of your manuscript so far, and the Project Targets let you set the number of words, characters or pages you aim to achieve for the whole draft or just for the current session. Call up the targets panel to see your progress reflected in the colored bars as you write.

Because sometimes you want to blank out the rest of the world while you write or at least the rest of the screen. One click in Scrivener’s toolbar and you can leave the rest of your desktop behind. Fade the background in and out, choose the width of the “paper” and get writing. Prefer an old-school green-text-on-black look or your favorite countryside scene as a backdrop? No problem. Flexible preferences mean you can set up the full-screen mode as you please. Change documents, refer to your notes, apply keywords or most importantly, just write in one of the most beautiful distraction-free modes available.

Or you can switch to scriptwriting mode for automatic screen- or stage play formatting or set up your own script formats then export to a dedicated scriptwriting program such as Final Draft. You can even mix up script formatting with regular text for writing treatments.

Never be afraid to make mistakes. Scrivener’s “snapshot” feature makes it easy to return to an earlier version of your text. Before embarking on a major edit, take a snapshot and you’ll be able to return to the current version any time you want. Not sure about the changes you’ve made? Just call up your snapshots in the inspector to compare previous edits or restore an older version of the text.

Scrivener’s Compile feature has been overhauled, so you can now control everything from how footnotes, headers and footers appear to fine-tuning the formatting of each level of your draft or keep it simple by choosing from one of Scrivener 2.0’s convenient presets. Benefit from improved Final Draft 8 integration and refined RTF export. Generate a contents table using Scrivener Links that becomes a real table of contents in your RTF file or printed document. And now you can export directly to Kindle or ePub formats, too, for self-publishing or reading on popular e-readers such as the Kindle, Sony Reader or iPad

Pros

Scrivener unlike any other word processor lets you work however you want. The software does not expect you to start at the beginning and write the content straight to the end of paper. It also gives tools to help writer on planning and restructuring his or her writing.

Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want – so you can forget wrestling with one long document.

Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.

Cons

As Scrivener has a number of functions, it take some to learn and use all of them. Don’t expect to use the software at its full horsepower in a short time. You should explore the program for a while to have a full command of the software’s potential.

Developer’s website: www.literatureandlatte.com

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