Replacing Scrivener with Emacs and Vim

Here’s a video showing how I replaced Scrivener and Evernote using Emacs with the EVIL Vim emulator package.

It’s not for everyone and requires a certain type of writer to tolerate Emacs’ quirks. But hey, it’s free and open source; give it a try and you might end up liking it as much as I do! The sample configuration zip file I’ve provided below will get you started with minimal hassle.

Installation Instructions

Download the Scrivener like Emacs config with Vim bindings HERE.

Windows:

  1. Download Emacs at http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/windows/. The file that you want is called emacs-24.5-bin-i686-mingw32.zip.
  2. Create a new folder called "Emacs" on your C: Drive and extract emacs-24.5-bin-i686-mingw32.zip to it. No install necessary.
  3. Type "%appdata%" in the windows explorer bar.
  4. If there is an ".emacs.d" folder, delete it.
  5. Extract the contents of the Scrivener Emacs config zip above to the ".emacs.d" folder in this folder. The folder location will be something like "C:\Users\bob\AppData\Roaming.emacs.d", where your name replaces bob.
  6. Run Emacs with C:\Emacs\bin\Runemacs.exe. Create shortcuts as desired.

Mac OS X

  1. Install emacs 24.5 from https://emacsformacosx.com/builds
  2. Delete ~/.emacs or ~/.emacs.d folders if they exist.
  3. Extract the contents of the Scrivener Emacs config zip above to ~/.emacs.d
  4. Run Emacs

Linux

  1. Install Emacs 24.5 from your package manager
  2. Delete ~/.emacs or ~/.emacs.d folders if they exist.
  3. Extract the contents of the Scrivener emacs config zip above to ~/.emacs.d
  4. Run Emacs

Note: Emacs 25 will also work and you’re welcome to use that version. I recommend Emacs 24.5 here because it is faster and we’re not using anything from Emacs 25.

The outline functionality here is supplied by the amazing Org mode package. The theme we’re using is Leuven