There's a 30 day free trial and the days only count down every day you use it, so if you only open it a couple of days a week the free trial will last longer than a month.
When the trial is up you either purchase it or remove it.
Friends do say it is a learning curve but there's lots of helpful info available: YouTube videos, a user manual within the programme and instructional videos. Then there's Anne Rainbow's ScrivenerVirgin site.
At the moment it's all making my head spin...
I can import a Word document, but apparently Tabs are not good and muck up the formatting later.
Since Word 2007 no longer has technical support- no updates- I've found it creating glitches in my formatting of documents and I've had to use the tab key more.
I'd considered Office 365, but apart from having to pay monthly or annually, the version of Word would not read my much earlier documents; as I understood the info it would remove my 2007 version during the download.
I bought the Office 2007 disc when I purchased my previous computer and then had to reinstall Office 2007 when a Microsoft update created major issues with my current desktop (resulting in it having to be wiped) I am now on my third and final use of 2007.
I've downloaded Open Office and found it useful for a number of things, but I wasn't comfortable with it for the novel. So I've persevered with Word.
Now I'm trialing Scrivener.
As I'm mid-rewrite of Chapter 9 in Word 2007 I've decided to start Chapter 10 in Scrivener and see how it goes. If it works for me and I buy it, I can sort out the earlier chapters in Word and then import them in.
I like the ability to make your own templates so you can use them with every novel or use the pre-existing templates.
Like any new programme it's as much about learning where things are and how to use it.
The biggest advantage is being able to prepare the finished novel for being an e-book, in ePub for example. (Of course you still need an editor.)
Today I set up the title and the chapters, then tomorrow I'll try the cork-board bit...
I must admit that the last time I looked at Scrivener (about four years ago) I didn't like it, it confused me, but now I'm at a stage with my writing where it makes sense and I can see how helpful it could be.
Are you a Scrivener convert or a Word or Open Office user?