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Q&A

Good tools for writing (game) manuals and sourcebooks

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As I had asked in another part of Stackexchange (didn't know about this part until some comments there) I'm writing manuals (mostly for computer games, but in addition to this also for tabletop games, pen and paper rpg games) and sourcebooks (world books for tabletop games).

Now I've run into a few troubles there with MS Word, as the text grew fast very cumbersome to organize (I lost oversight quite fast and had to search for parts of the text quite long time and again) and in addition to that I couldn't position text as I needed and also including pictures (screenshots and graphics) was more cumbersome than I would have liked (also using pictures as backgrounds for some of the pages was cumbersome).

So my question is: Are there any good tools out there where I can create such manuals and sourcebooks with?

As a note here: I'll have to print out those manuals/sourcebooks but also want to put them into PDFs.

Edit: As it was asked in a comment:

  • Pictures are very present. Part as charts, part as pieces of art to lighten up the book
  • Some pics are taking up a whole page, others take up only part of a page and are in between a section and its text, and others again are background images above which text is printed.
  • There are up to 8 different types of texts (titles,...) At some locations the text must be even displayed so that "2 columns" are on the page while on most it's 1 column per page.
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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/12382. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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1 answer

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This is a job for Scrivener! :)

Scrivener is an incredibly flexible writing program. It allows you to sort your thoughts into multiple documents within a project, see two documents at once, create hyperlinks, drop in photos and audio files, and then export as Word or print to PDF. You can view your documents as notecards on a corkboard with tags and summaries so you can rearrange things easily. You can create "folders" for your documents and view them like a file tree.

If you search the site for Scrivener and check the scrivener tag, you'll find more comments here from other users detailing the program's usefulness.

The only other recommendation I could make would be InDesign if the layout is very important, but that's only for the design part, not the organizing and writing part.

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