top of page

Manuskript - the Free Scrivener?

Previously I made a video talking about Manuskript with Docaqui. If you want to see a breakdown of how the program works as well as download links, please click on the video below!

Patreons to credit: -This could be you. Join now.-

Alright. So, you didn't click the video because you were lazy to watch it all and wanted a summary. I get it. If you're considering between Manuskript and Scrivener, I will make the comparison here for you since you took the time to read my blog.

#1: Cost

Scrivener is expensive. Manuskript is free. Make the comparison yourself because I'm not good at Math.

#2: Ease of Creation

Both software are rather simple to use with preset text formats to choose from as a beginner. Writing an e-fiction is somewhat different from writing a traditional novel, so I will only cover the ease of creation from scratch without the use or modification of presets.

In Scrivener, there are many functions which can be extremely confusing to new users. However, the high customizability becomes handy over time if you can get over the initial frustrations and constant need to refer to their user manuals.

For Manuskript, the blank template creation is much simpler. Unlike Scrivener, it doesn't have many segregations or functions. Unlike Scrivener, there is an option to auto-create chapters from the very beginning instead of the 'add on demand' culture in Scrivener.

Both are rather similar in creating folders, text files and media input functions. However, I'm not sure if Manuskript has an import from word document type of function that Scrivener has. For writers who wish to transfer their half-written works, that's something to consider.

#3: Template

As mentioned above, there are preset templates. I will focus on the types of templates provided by both software.

In Scrivener, they provide the template for character creation and world setting in the drafts section of writing a novel in their preset category. It is not available in a customised template, but you can definitely create and steal their format. The format has no restrictions as it is an open input. You can create new outlines and new headers and even import pictures in your drafts.

In Manuskript, the templates are catered to more novice writers with guided steps for character and world-building. The template is an open text field that encourages writers to think about the input (sometimes forcefully), and there isn't an option to import images into those files (yet). Manuskript uses the SNOWFLAKE method. It can be a little restricting or overwhelming if you're not a planner or you don't use this.

#4: Formatting & Exporting

This is important. The ease of creating formats for exports to e-books and paperback is important for indie writers. Although neither software works flawlessly, finding one that reduces the formatting time from writing to polishing is important.

Scrivener does this best with many tutorials online, catering to the big publishing houses with a useful compiler function. I did not have the chance to test it out personally as of writing the blog, but I watched videos and read their user manual. It will tremendously reduce my formatting time for e-books and paperback. It also helps to save storage space on my hard disk as there is no need to duplicate the manuscript file with a selective compiling option. It's an all-in-one workspace for writers who are non-novelists on top of the novel exporting options.

Similar with Manuskript from this website, you may deselect things that you don't want to include in the compiler when exporting. However, Manuskript does not cover as many formats as Scrivener. It covers the more common ones, so you might need to do more tweaking after exporting for margins, different font styles, page blanks and numbering.

Do note that you still need to do some manual tweaks and quality control checks after exporting to a word document. Of course, as the developer introduces new features for both software, things may change. The competition is stiff in the market, after all.

In conclusion...

If you're looking for something leaning towards a commercialised solution with various publishing formatting, Scrivener works better. However, if you're solely writing for web fiction and don't need all the additional features, Manuskript works just fine. This software is already an upgrade from Google docs and MS Word. You can always upgrade the software once you have the dollars for it.

45 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page