Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scrivener for Windows Compared to Scrivener for the Mac

See this review by David Hewson. Be sure to look at the comments too.

I bought Scrivener for the Mac some time ago and have "fooled" with it, but it has not, for me, turned out to be a compelling alternative to ConnectedText.

Hewson claims: "The Windows app looks a bit old-fashioned to me, especially when you set it against Microsoft’s new, minimalist version of Word." That leaves me flabbergasted. I have used Word since version 2. All kinds of words come to mind for this version. "Minimalist" is not one of them.[1] And this is not just because of the abominable "ribbon."

1. See also this explanation as to why he is using MS-OneNote and MS-Word now.


pohanginapete said...

When he refers to "Microsoft’s new, minimalist version of Word", I think he's referring to the beta version of Word 2013 with the ribbon hidden. I haven't tried it, but his screenshot does support the "minimalist" adjective. I might be tempted to try it out!

MK said...

Thanks for pointing this out. He does, however, prominently display a picture of the ribbon in the blog post about Word.

David Hewson said...

Yes - but as you omit to mention I also say thatribbon is easily hidden so that you get this most of the time you're working. Which looks minimalist to me, however much you may hate Microsoft.

MK said...

I do not hate Microsoft. I just dislike MS-Word very much.

It's good that you can now "hide" the complexity of the ribbon's look more easily. This seems to me to do little, however, to change its underlying functionality.

Minimalism is not (just) about looks. In fact, I think it is not about looks at all.

MK said...

From a review in PC World: "I've always liked the ribbon bar, and I'm glad to see Microsoft embracing it across virtually all of its products--but I realize that many users loathe it. Word 2013 adopts a hybrid approach that should work for both parties. The ribbon bar exists, but an arrow on the far right allows you to collapse it so that it appears to be a simple menu of links across the top. When you click a link, though, Word opens the associated ribbon interface instead of an old-school drop-down menu."

Two points:
1. I never liked the ribbon. It was the improvement that drove me from MS-Word.
2. "When you click a link, though, Word opens the associated ribbon interface instead of an old-school drop-down menu." - My point exactly!

David Hewson said...

Who clicks links in word processors? I've run around a quarter of a million words through Word 2013 since it came out and never done so - or seen the ribbon unless I wanted to.
Sounds to me as if you hate something you haven't really used.

MK said...

Well, I have also written quite a few words in Word processors (my last book has 682 pages).

Furthermore, I used MS-Word (pretty much from the beginning) until they came out with the ribbon. Perhaps you can imagine the amount of frustration I experienced trying to re-learn things that had become second nature with the old menu-based approach.

I am not going back to the new Word (because the underlying technology seems to be the same as the one that drove me away from it. Just setting up block quotes the way I wanted them was a nightmare, etc. etc. I needed to explore or try to find some of the more arcane features of the ribbon for academic writing.

No, I have not used Word 2013 and I will not use it. Nor do I have a moral obligation to do so.

The question was about minimalism or simplicity. The fact that you never have to see something, unless you want to (or I would add: need to) does not strike me as very minimalist.

That being said, I am glad you enjoy the program's apparent simplicity. As a Kantian, I understand about the importance of appearances ...

But in software matters appearance is not everything.