Installing Scrivener for Mac OS X

If you have purchased Scrivener from the Mac App Store, please refer to these instructions. This article pertains to installing the demo, or installing and registering the software for direct sales only.

  1. Download Scrivener from the main product page. You will need to select a version appropriate to your system. There is one version for 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard), and another version for all systems running 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or newer.

  2. The file that downloads is entitled "Scrivener.dmg" or "Scrivener-Legacy.dmg", depending on which version you chose. This is a Disk Image (a virtual disk) containing the program, and not the program itself. Depending on your browser settings, the disk image may open automatically once it finishes downloading. Otherwise, double-click on the DMG in the folder to which you downloaded it.

  3. This will open a licence agreement window. Once you have read through the licence and checked that you aren’t signing away your first-born, click to agree to it:

    Disk Image Licence Agreement

  4. A window will appear with two icons on a decorative background. Because it is a disk image (a virtual disk), an icon will also appear in the “Devices” section of the source list in the Finder. Drag the black and white Scrivener icon from the left side and drop it into your Applications folder icon on the right side:

    Dragging from the Disk Image

    You may also, if you prefer, drag the icon to your personal Applications folder rather than the system folder. This can be a useful option when you do not have administrative access to the machine.

  5. Once that is done, you can click on the eject button next to the Scrivener disk image icon under the “Devices” section in the Finder:

    Ejecting the Disk Image

  6. Launch Scrivener directly from your Applications folder (do not run it from the disk image). If you wish to have Scrivener in the Dock, just drag Scrivener from your Applications folder to the Dock (do not drag Scrivener directly from the disk image window into the Dock - you must drag it into the Applications folder first and then from the Applications folder into the Dock, to ensure that the icon in the Dock points to the copy of Scrivener in your Applications directory; icons in the Dock are just links to applications you have on your hard drive):

    Dragging the icon to the Dock

  7. If this is the first time you have launched Scrivener, you will be informed that it is the trial version and that it will expire after 30 days. If you wish to use the trial, just click "OK". If you have purchased a serial number, you can click on the “Enter Licence” button and enter your name and serial number (alternatively, when Scrivener is running, you can go to Scrivener > Register... to enter your serial number). This will unlock Scrivener so that it becomes the full, unlimited version.

    Trial message

    For Registered Users: if you have already registered Scrivener on this Mac account then you will not see the trial version message. Scrivener will simply continue to run unlocked, as it did when it was installed last.

Happy writing!