Should I buy from your web store or from the Mac App Store?

We do our best to ensure that our apps are the same whether you buy directly from our website or from the Mac App Store. In general, you should pick the store that is most convenient for you, as you will always enjoy the same updates and support regardless of the platform you choose. However, there are a few factors you may wish to consider when choosing where to buy our software.

  • When you buy from our store, we send you a license code which you can use to unlock the 30-day free trial that is available for download from our site, removing its expiry date. You can use this license code on each of the machines you install the app on, so long as they are all of the same platform (in your case, macOS). If you lose the license code, you can retrieve it from our Lost License Recovery Page or you can email us to look it up for you.
  • When you buy Scrivener or Scapple from the Mac App Store, you do not receive a license code. Instead, if you ever needed to reinstall the software or install it on another machine, you would go to the Account ▸ Purchased section of the Mac App Store and download from there.
  • Apple imposes certain security limitations on apps sold through the Mac App Store which can restrict a few features. This means that we cannot always guarantee that all features will be available in the App Store version (although we strive to keep things the same). For instance:
    • Security limitations mean that the App Store version cannot run external libraries or command-line tools. This means that the App Store version of Scrivener cannot be used with Pandoc and that its MultiMarkdown features are limited to the version of MultiMarkdown that is built into Scrivener (Scrivener from our store will use the latest version installed on your machine).
    • This also extends to Scrivener's post-processing and scripting capabilities, which will be entirely absent in the App Store version. There are no workarounds for either this or Pandoc integration being removed, so if you require these capabilities in your workflow, you will want to purchase directly.
    • App Store sandboxing restrictions mean that it can be more difficult to use Scrivener to link to or access external bookmarks and documents. We provide an "Authorise Folder Access" feature in the "Scrivener" menu so that you can grant Scrivener access to files you would like it to be able to open. This just takes a little extra setup.

The minor limitations above notwithstanding, the vast majority of users will not notice any difference between versions. If you have any further questions about the Mac App Store versions of our software, you may wish to visit our Mac App Store FAQ.

For full transparency, our web store vendors take around 5% of each sale whereas Apple takes 30-40%. So while we do make more through our web store sales, this does not affect the advice we give--you should buy from whichever store you feel most comfortable with. We treat all customers the same, and you receive exactly the same support wherever you buy. We appreciate all users of our software.