adventures with an iPad: more on Scrivener and Dropbox Elements

No laptop experiment: traveling with iPad + Zaggmate. Love it.

As I’d blogged previously, Scrivener is my main application for writing fiction and essays, and is my tool of choice for a host of other projects as well. As there’s not yet an iOS version of Scrivener, I’ve been working on my projects on my iPad using Dropbox Elements, and then synching to the Scrivener files on my MacBook.

(A recent newsletter from Literature & Latte?the producers of Scrivener?indicates an iOS app may be available toward the end of this year. Wouldn’t it be great if it’s released in time for NaNoWriMo?)

It’s not a bad arrangement, but it’s also not perfect.

One of the challenges with using Dropbox Elements as my text editor on the iPad is that it is simply that: a text editor. It doesn’t allow me to do any text formatting. I can make notes to myself for the text I’d like to underline or put in boldface or italics, but I really wasn’t looking forward to having to go through every bit of the manuscript I’ve revised to change Elements’ straight quotes to smart quotes instead.

I mean, really. That would be a huge pain.

Luckily, Scrivener has thought of this last issue for me. In the Format menu, the Convert feature has an option for converting straight quotes to smart, or vice versa. This feature has probably been available for a good long while, but I’ve never had to go looking for it before. So, in a way, it’s good that I’m being forced to learn more about this writing tool on which I rely so heavily.

I’ve also had to get used to not using a mouse or trackpad while I’m working. It does take some time to get used to touching the screen to place the cursor or to highlight text?and then after I’ve been working on the iPad for a while, I have to re-orient myself to my trackpad once I’m back at my MacBook. And I feel pretty silly each time.

(As an aside, I’m also impressed that Literature & Latte provides links to their direct competitors on their website; in case Scrivener isn’t a good fit for you, they still want you to have the tools you need to help get your creative writing done. How cool is that?)

Creative Commons photo by Amelia Bellows.

Posted in writing & publishing.

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