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Every time I go into Scrivener I learn something new. Sometimes I’ve learned there’s an easier way to do this or that. Other times I’ve learned of new features hidden deep in the software. It’s both exciting and somewhat frustrating to have so many options to choose from. So, today I’m going to show you 7 awesome Scrivener tools you didn’t know existed, or maybe have just forgotten they are there.

Where to Purchase Scrivener

To begin, if you don’t have Scrivener and want to give it a try, you click the link below and you can get Scrivener for PC or Scrivener 3 for Mac. In full disclosure, the link is an affiliate link and I will earn a small commission if you decided to purchase Scrivener.

  1. Word Frequency Tool

Go to the main menu and click on project, text statistics.

Open the word frequency triangle. This shows you a list of all the words that you have used. If I click on the headers, I can search by count or frequency. All the normal words will look okay, but if you go through the list, you can determine if you used one word too many times.

2. How Many Pages in Hard Copy  sometimes you’d like to see how many pages your manuscript would be if it were in hard copy. Go to the main menu click project and project statistics.

This opens the project statistics information box, where you can see how many words and characters your manuscript would have in a paperback or printed document.

3 & 4. Set Word Count Target for the Entire Manuscript or Writing Session  you can set word count target for the entire manuscript by going to the main menu and clicking projects show project targets. You can also set a word count by session. A session is how long from the time you open a document to the time you close the document.

Here you can set a target for your entire manuscript or session by clicking on the number box. You can see how many words your manuscript has so far to the left and what you want to reach. In this case 85,000 words. Progress bars below manuscript and session target will gradually fill in and will progress from red to yellow to green as it fills up.

5. Name Generator  you can find names for your characters or foreign characters quickly by using the character name generator. The method is a little different for windows than it is for Mac.  Windows people go to the main editor and choose tools, writing tools, name generator.

Choose gender. Then open the disclosure triangles to see a list of name origins for both first name and surname. Below that, you have options to choose whether you want your names to start with a particular letter. Choose a letter and then click on generate names.

Mac users choose edit, writing tools, name generator. Set the slider to the number of random names you want to generate and hit the generate names button. Then click on the gear icon to bring up more options and enter your preferences. Make sure you have a surname list selected.

6. Importing From a Mindmap Application  who doesn’t love this option!

As long as your mind map software exports to OPML ( off-line process and markup language) to mm.  You can import your mind map plot into Scrivener using the root idea as your book title, the ideas branching off the root as your chapter heading, and their branches as your scenes.

I’ll show you how to do it from within the free mind map software  I use on my Mac, but free mind is just as good if you’re using Windows and also free.

Mac people once you’ve completed your mind map, go to file export. Choose OPML document from the file drop-down. Choose a place to save it on your computer,  and then click on save.

Inside Scrivener select your manuscript folder, go to the main menu and choose file, import. Mac people, choose files, navigate to the OPML file you just saved and click on import.

Windows people choose OPML or mind map file, navigate to the file that you saved on your hard drive, and click on open. Make sure the radio synopsis button is selected and click okay.

Now if you look at your manuscript folder in the binder you’ll see that your entire structure has imported into the manuscript folder already sorted out into documents with subdocuments inside them. They may not be in the correct order but you can drag-and-drop them however you want them. 

You can convert your document stacks to folders by right-clicking on them and choosing convert to the folder from the drop-down menu.

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