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Blog How to Use ProWritingAid How to Use ProWritingAid's Desktop App to Edit Scrivener Files

How to Use ProWritingAid's Desktop App to Edit Scrivener Files

prowritingaid desktop app on a pc monitor

Scrivener is a powerful word processor that many successful writers use to plan, organize, and write their work. In this article, we break down how to use Scrivener with ProWritingAid's Desktop App to improve your writing.

  1. How to Use ProWritingAid with Scrivener
  2. Looking for quick tips to get started with Scrivener and ProWritingAid? Watch this video overview of the process:

How to Use ProWritingAid with Scrivener

While Scrivener offers some fantastic tools for making the editing process easier, combining Scrivener and ProWritingAid can upgrade your editing even further.

Here's how to use the two tools together.

First, you’ll want to make sure you’ve downloaded and installed ProWritingAid’s desktop app. You need to have a Premium ProWritingAid license to use the Desktop app. If you don't have a Premium license, you can always upgrade.

After logging in to your ProWritingAid account, you’ll see this screen:

alt text

Since you’ve already created your project in Scrivener, click Open. Then, select your Scrivener project from your computer and click to open.

Important: Make sure your project is closed in Scrivener when you open it in ProWritingAid. Otherwise, your changes won't save.

Once you've selected your file, it will open in the Desktop app. Don't worry if you don't see your formatting—it will be preserved when you reopen the saved file in Scrivener after editing.

On the left-hand side of the ProWritingAid app, you’ll see a navigation pane very similar to Scrivener’s binder. This navigation pane works the same way as Scrivener’s binder: you can collapse and expand folders to view and open your different texts.

ProWritingAid Scrivener

Navigate down to the scene you want to edit and click to open.

From there, the ProWritingAid window on the right-hand pane will display your text. You can pull up the reports and tools we all know and love, like:

  • Style
  • Grammar
  • Overused words and phrases
  • Cliches
  • Sticky words
  • Diction
  • Repeats
  • Sentence Length
  • Pronouns
  • Alliteration
  • Homonyms
  • Transitions
  • Thesaurus
  • House Style check
  • Plagiarism report

Statistics will appear in the left pane after choosing a specific report. You can return to the folder navigator for your Scrivener project at any time by selecting the “X” in the upper right corner of the pane.

ProWritingAid Scrivener 1

While in the ProWritingAid app, you can run through all the changes you need to improve your writing.

Once you've completed all the edits you want to make, go to the ProWritingAid menu and click "Save" to save the changes in your document.

Any changes saved within the ProWritingAid Desktop App will show up when you open the same project file again in Scrivener. No need to import or copy-and-paste.

Looking for quick tips to get started with Scrivener and ProWritingAid? Watch this video overview of the process:

The best way to find out how much ProWritingAid can do is to try it yourself!

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Hayley Milliman

Hayley Milliman

Content Lead

Hayley is the Head of Learning at ProWritingAid. Prior to joining this team, Hayley spent several years as an elementary school teacher and curriculum developer in Memphis, TN. When Hayley isn't hunched over her keyboard, you can find her figure skating at the ice rink or hiking with her dog.

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This is the way that I primarily use the desktop software. It's great in almost all aspects for working through issues in your document and each change is saved as a Snapshot within Scrivener so you can easily track changes. The only issue is that the word count at the bottom right corner is inaccurate. It has improved with recent updates but is still misleading and I would recommend everyone to ignore this number.
Thanks for the love! The word count is something that we take seriously, but use a different metric to calculate. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes! And thanks for sharing your feedback.
I installed Desktop Prow Writing Aid, but cannot find my main Scribner files. The use of prowrituingaid would greatly assist me in editing my novel, but I must copy and paste portions of the novel to use it. Very inefficient. Any help appreciated.
Hi there! I'm so sorry to hear that you haven't had an easier time with ProWritingAid and Scrivener thus far. Please reach out to us at so that we can take a closer look at the issue and offer you some viable solutions!
A great tool... and the integration to Scrivener makes it so much easier! Thanks!
Just tried out the Scrivener integration and it seemed to be exactly what I wanted. I keep a daily journal in a Scrivener file on Dropbox. Opening that in Pro Writing Aid opened up the entire folder structure and when I closed and saved it I could open it up in Scrivener with my changes. This is amazing with one caveat, there is a horrific keystroke delay that is very unsettling. I'm trying to figure out if this is because I'm using Dropbox if it is just the normal way the desktop app works on a Mac or if it has something to do with the very large size of the Scrivener project. I'm not trying to edit the entire document only the latest entry which is typically one or two thousand words. The project though has several thousand folders and a couple of million words. Is there something I can do to make this a workable situation?
Thanks for bringing this to our attention! Unfortunately, it sounds like the issue that you're experiencing is due to the size of your Scrivener project - darn! Some customers have luck splitting their documents into smaller Scrivener files before running them through the program. If you'd like us to take a closer look, please reach out to us at and send us the file so that we can run some tests to see if there's anything more than can be done at this point. We are thrilled to know that otherwise you are enjoying the software!
Awesome writing aid, THANK YOU!! At first i had to do the copy-paste thing, but once I downloaded the app, I could open scrivener.doc right in the app. My manuscript was ready to be published, but with the sticky sentence finder and the repetition and grammar checker i have found plenty to enhance the quality of my writing. I can highly recommend this program!
Wow! We love hearing that! Thanks for love. :)
Thank you for this helpful tutorial. I just purchased ProWritingAid to use with Scrivener. I write non-fictional daily articles for a website and therefore have all my writing in one scrivener file. It is over 100,000 words! In opening the new projects from ProWritingAid desktop, the huge scrivener file becomes a problem as it slows down ProWritingAid. I guess the only way forward is to create new documents each time in Scrivener, which will be cumbersome for me. Is there another walk around? Any of your users reported this problem and found an alternative solution? Thank you,
Unfortunately, I think your best bet is to create a new, smaller file in Scrivener. I'm so sorry! However, you don't need to make a new document in Scrivener for every article! Just, every once in a while when the program begins to slow down. I'm sorry that we don't have a better solution at this time! We are always working to improve our programs functionality and this area of use is no exception!
I am finding problems working across two computers in two locations and iCloud. Whilst my Scrivener changes update these do not synch with the PWA. How do I address this? I can't see an option for deleting a file and uploading a newer version.
Hi there! This may have something to do with your Scrivener set up. You can set Scrivener to save your files as zipped back-ups to save space. Unfortunately, ProWritingAid can't read the files when they are zipped. To edit the files in ProWritingAid, please locate the zipped file first, un-zip it, and then open it for editing. This should allow the files to open correctly. If this doesn't work feel free to reach out to us at and one of our lovely tech support rep would be happy to further assist.
Firstly, great service and application. It has really helped with my writing. I've got a small issue that is confusing me though. I'm using the Mac version of Scrivener and the App. When I create a snapshot from within Scrivener itself, they appear in the explorer on the right. When I save a document in the App, it doesn't appear as a snapshot in Scriveners list. I think this is because Scrivener and the App are saving the snapshots into different folders. Scriveners own snapshots go into "Project.scriv\Snapshots" whilst the ones created in the App are going into "Project.scriv\Files\Snapshots". Ideally I would like the snapshots to all go into the same place so I can manage them in Scrivener. Am I doing something wrong?
I'm glad to hear that ProWritingAid has helped you! Unfortunately, I did not think that there is anything we can do to help in this situation but if you would like us to investigate the issue further, please email :)
Since 2008 I have written, edited (along with a proofreader), and self-published eleven (soon to be 12) books. I've used ProWritingAid for the last 4-6 of them, and I cannot say enough good things about your program. PWA isn't the be all, end all, at the very least a proofreader (or another set of eyes, preferably several) is necessary for an error-free manuscript, BUT, having it has improved my writing style exponentially. I write my first draft, get the story where I want it, and then use PWA to do at least one run-through of the entire manuscript before sending it on to be looked at with a fresh set of eyes. The first run-through is always an eye-opening experience. At first, it was truly exhausting. I was seeing that I needed to correct for repetitive words, punctuation, and word choice. Over time, those have improved as I learned "the rules of the road" I may or may not have skipped over in high school (lol). The passive voice, though, that has been a major improvement. I went from having manuscripts rife with passive voice, to manuscripts full of rich detail and active voice instead. If you are open to it, PWA will teach you the rules of the road, far more patiently than any English teacher I ever had to deal with.
12 books in just over 12 years. What an amazing achievement! We really appreciate your feedback and totally agree that PWA is a stepping stone towards publishing, alongside a whole host of other processes.
I've just downloaded the update and it has messed up my desktop app. The update doesn't work and even reinstalling the previous version causes problems. I haven't updated my laptop and the version there works normally. I really hope you can help.
Thanks for reaching out! Please could you e-mail into so we can get some more specific details? There are a few kinks in the desktop app that we are working hard to fix.
Sorry, but though the product is good I am sure. It is totally unusable and I want a refund please. Bought Premium license and trying to use it with Scrivener. Even though I CLOSEd down Scrivener file first, the application froze. It is a large document 160,000 words but NOWHERE on your website does it say that it cannot handle that. Bitterly disappointed. with you and the product. Fortunately, a year or more's work was not harmed but SORT THIS OUT!
Hi there, I am sorry that you haven't had a better experience with ProWritingAid. If you purchased the product in the last 14 days we will be happy to provide a refund! Please send an email through to and our support team will be able to do this for you. In term of the word count, we recommend that users pop no more than 10,000 words into the software at a time because otherwise the reports may not run as quickly as they should. We also believe that it is easier for writers to make edits when there is less work to go through. If anyone has any questions about this please drop them in this thread.
Downloaded the free trial before purchase to try it out. I had Scrivener closed, opened my file in PWA, corrected the document, saved the file went back to Scrivener and none of the changes were saved. I like the idea of the software, but it doesn't seem to work for me between the two products. Any suggestions? Also, my backup in Scrivener saves every time I close the file, now I have a dozen extra backups - OK, but when I open PWA, does it not open the latest backup? Help.
Hey there! Thank you for reaching out. We're sorry to hear that this is happening! If you haven't already, could you please send an email to our support team at They'll be happy to help.
Doesn't work, it just freezes, Ive seen advice to leave it for a day. How dumb is that. Please fix this, we need it to work with scrivener. Cutting our work into smaller projects just to get this to work is so frustrating. Thanks
Hi there, I am sorry this isn't working as it should for you. Please could you email the support team at They will look into this for you and sort the issue out.
Now that I've connected my manuscript to ProWritingAid, I cannot open the original Scrivener file. Is that normal?
Hey there! Thank you for your comment! You should still be able to access your Scrivener document as normal. However, there might be some issues if you try to open the same document in both Scrivener and ProWritingAid at the same time. If you have additional concerns about this, could you please send our support team an email at
Do you see a time when it will be as easy to use PWA with Scrivener as it is with the Word plug-in?
Hey there! We've actually released our newest integration, PWA Everywhere, that integrates directly into Scrivener. Right now, it is only available to Windows users. We are, however, working on a Mac version. Please see PWA Everywhere here:
This is helpful. Thanks!
We're so glad we could help! :)
I love using the desktop tool to directly access my Scrivener files but it removes italicized words. Any way to prevent that?
Thank you for your comment! Unfortunately, since ProWritingAid is built chiefly for editing the content of your writing, it will not show formatting such as italics. However, we have now released ProWritingAid Everywhere for Windows and the beta version of ProWritingAid Everywhere for Mac. With ProWritingAid Everywhere, you can edit directly within Scrivener, rather than having to swap between the Desktop App and Scrivener. You can download ProWritingAid Everywhere on our website. We hope this helps!

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