NaNo Update: Loving Scrivener Themes

I’m—in—love. I’m talking about Scrivener Version 3.1.1, especially its themes. From a writing perspective themes might not be the app’s most important feature, but for someone who’s been in love with Scrivener for a long time they’re like the pie that comes after the turkey.

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

My love affair with Scrivener began on February 4, 2013 when I purchased it for my Mac via the Apple App Store. It changed everything and has continued to do so over time. What changed was the convenience of having all my needed files available via a single click, the ease of rearranging scenes and chapters, split screens, reference panels, the name generator, compiling … the list goes on seemingly forever.

Over time I altered how I approach writing, not because Scrivener dictated how I should work, but because it was so adaptable I could, for the first time, write the way I wanted to. The only thing that slowed me down was discovering what my approach looked like.

Starting the last few days of October, several events happened in quick succession…

The first was that my computer was updated to macOS Mojave, which included, much to my delight, dark mode, which is far easier on the eyes. A couple of days later Apple informed me my version of Scrivener had therefore become out of date.

I’d known the new version of Scrivener (3.0) was out, but held off replacing it because I was just returning to work and knew Apple was forcing buyers to pay full price for the upgrade.

Regardless, it was time.

Rather than going to Apple, though, I visited Literature & Latte, the folks who make Scrivener, and discovered they offered an upgrading discount even to those who originally purchased from Apple’s App Store. All I had to do was produce my receipt and purchase the upgrade directly from them.


That was about a 0.7 second decision. I emailed them the receipt in the morning and by afternoon they’d verified the receipt and I had the upgrade.

If the themes were there then I missed them because I was busy jumping into NaNoWriMo. I discovered them when Scrivener later updated to 3.1.1.

How do I love thee? Too much to calculate.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

The first not-so-great image shows the theme in the regular editor, my NaNo2018 scenes off to the left (rearranging merely requires dragging and dropping). All the panels are the same color, but even in Themes you can change that if you want. I rather like them this way.

*WARNING: Changing the colors in Scrivener is addicting.

The second image better shows the color and was taken while in Composition Mode where all other distractions are removed (I’ve chosen to have reference panels visible to the left). At upper left you can see the drop down menus showing Themes.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

*On the first menu above Themes is Appearance. That’s where regular dark mode is located.

Believe it or not, I’m grossly oversimplifying this, largely because I have a novel to return to. I won NaNo on the 10th and am currently at 73K. I intend to draft the entire novel even if that means running into December. Yes, Scrivener makes that kind of production possible!

So, there you go. Scrivener Themes. Now you know 1% of what there is to know about the app, the best one I’ve ever purchased. It’s the program I’ve been waiting for since I first learned to write a sentence. 

One Reply to “NaNo Update: Loving Scrivener Themes”

  1. Pingback: NaNo Update: Loving Scrivener Themes | Christina Anne Hawthorne

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