Conventions, Assumptions, Software Versions, and Other Important Stuff

Read Me

This lesson probably looks/sounds boring, but please read it through for the best class experience. Thanks!!

Software Versions

This course was created using Scrivener for Mac 3.0.3 on a Mac running Mac OS X High Sierra (10.13.1), though I've made some updates for Scrivener for Mac 3.1x, which are noted in the text. If you’re using different versions, you may see some differences in appearance or functionality between the course material and your own system.

NOTE: Scrivener 3 requires MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) or higher.

To check which version of Scrivener you’re running, go to Scrivener>About Scrivener. The version number is at the bottom of the window that pops up. Close the pop-up window by clicking anywhere outside of it.

About Scrivener window

To check your OS version, click the Apple on the menu bar and choose About This Mac.


Text Conventions Used in the Lessons (Please read to avoid confusion! 🙂 )

  • A keyboard shortcut is represented like this: Command+V. This text means that you press and hold the Command key and type the letter V, then release both keys.
    NOTE: Some keyboard shortcuts are combinations of more than two keys, such as Shift+Command+S. For this one, press and hold Shift and Command, and then type the letter S. Then release all three keys.
  • Menu commands are written like Project>New Text, which tells you to click Project to open the Project menu and choose New Text from that menu. Within a lesson, it might be written: Go to View>Corkboard.
  • When I’m directing you to type specific text, it appears in bold. For example, you might see: Type Bob didn’t know what to do next.
  • When you see text in angle brackets (e.g., <filename>), that means you don’t type the actual text (or the angle brackets), but rather what’s represented by that text. So if you saw <your name> in the procedures, and your name is Marilyn, you’d type Marilyn instead of <your name>.
  • If I tell you to Option+click, that means you should press and hold the Option key on your keyboard while single (left) clicking your mouse. The same applies to Control+click, Command+click, or Shift+click, except you’d press and hold the specified key on your keyboard while single (left) clicking.
  • I refer to the folder that contains your manuscript as the Draft folder or, simply, “the Draft.” Depending on which project template you used to create your project—or if you’ve chosen to rename it—your folder might be called something different, like Manuscript or Screenplay.
  • When you see the term “print” (as in: “Scrivener will print the first chapter”), I generally mean it in a virtual sense, as a stand-in for some other awkward word like “output.”
  • If you see “(Advanced reading)” next to a topic, that means the topic is an advanced feature and can be safely skipped.


You need to know how to click, double-click, and right-click with your mouse or trackpad. Right-clicking opens up a whole new world of contextual menus that apply to whatever you’re working on. Also called a secondary click, you can Control+click on the Mac if your mouse isn’t set up to right-click. Trackpad users can use a two-finger click.

NOTE: Trackpad users can set other gestures for secondary clicks. Go to System Preferences>Trackpad>Point & Click.

Drag and drop

Moving an item by dragging is accomplished by clicking on an object and holding the mouse button down while moving the pointer on the screen. You drop by letting go of the mouse button.

TIP: Don’t know how to drag with a trackpad? While hovering the pointer over the selected items, click the trackpad and hold it down while using another finger to drag the items where you want them to go. (I usually click with my thumb and drag with my index finger, but use whatever feels comfortable to you.)


In order to create this course, I had to make a few assumptions (scary as that is). I assumed that you have some fundamental skills with your computer, such as turning it on, starting a program, using a mouse, and accessing and saving files (if you’re weak on file management, see Working with Files on Your Mac below).

In addition, I assumed you’ve at least used a word processor before, so you have some familiarity with selecting text, basic formatting (such as font, font size, justification, and spacing), and keyboard use.

Working with Files on Your Mac

If you’re not very comfortable working with files on the Mac, I recommend browsing the links below. You will need a basic understanding of Finder (Mac’s file system) for this course.

An introduction to Finder:

Also, this link explains the keyboard shortcut symbols:

For a more in-depth overview of Mac OS X High Sierra, try the Mac Basics Overview: