I'm glad people found the previous post useful; for me, having someone show me works much better than trying to explain. However, I have had a few questions about things I didn't cover. As the previous review was mostly an overview of the shiny Scrivener-only features, today I'll show some of the actual word processing.
Too many times alternate word processors sacrifice features for simplicity (and sometimes amazingly, like Ommwriter, which knows what it does and does it well). Fortunately, Scrivener doesn't. As far as word processing features are concerned, I've never wished for MS Word.
Formatting is important, and people get tetchy if their favourite options aren't there. Fortunately, Scrivener has oodles of them, and with the same shortcuts as you're used to, so you don't need to flail around wondering where the 'italics' option is.
The basic formatting options are there. This isn't such a big deal for me in the planning stages, but definitely when it comes to the actual writing — this year's NaNoWriMo novel involved telepathy, which I denoted with the use of italics. Having to go back and put those in later would have been a huge pain in the carpal tunnel.
The more technical options; smart quotes, em-dashes, margins, paragraphing, all that. This is just for the document you're editing, mind; this doesn't affect the compiling later.
I turn this off when I'm doing writing spurts, because the red squigglies distract me, but I turn it back on once I've finished. Spell-check is essential for some people and completely unnecessary for others, but it's nice to have the option.
If you like having in-line corrections, that's an option! If you hate them but still want to run spell-check manually, that's okay, too! You can check spelling on its own or spelling and grammar together.
Something I really, really like is the ability to change languages in spell-check mode. I'd assumed it only matched the default language, but after a question (thanks, JB!), I did a quick check and found that you can have it be any number of languages. This I'll find extremely useful when I'm submitting something for publication in the United States and will need to de-Canadianize my spellings for that particular document.
Just a few more notes about what things actually look like when you're actually writing:
If you're leery about just writing into a white void, you can turn on "Wrap Mode", which creates artificial pages the same way MS Word does. In the settings you can customize the width, page size, etc. of wrap mode so it looks the way you want. It also gives you the word/character counts for the section you're in, and what pages.
I love fullscreen mode. I use it when I'm writing a scene and don't want to be distracted by other windows, particularly when participating in a word war during NaNoWriMo. This is just my setup, of course; I chose colours that would be easy on the eyes when writing in the dark (so as not to disturb sleeping roommates with my screen brightness, for example).
Full screen mode is entirely customizable in options. Opacity of background, font size, font colour, etc. There are also a few options available right from the screen, if you mouse over to the bottom:
Depending on your browser width, that may or may not be legible, so I'll give a rundown: text size, paper position (left, centre, right), paper width/height, keywords, word/character count, and background opacity. The tiny window is the 'inspector', which gives you the option of looking at the scene's synopsis, notes for the section, notes for the overall document, etc. Good if you use the synopsis section to outline your scene and want to check what you need to cover without leaving fullscreen mode.
Of course, this is only helpful for the actual writing. What about when you're done and want to share? Whether it's printing off an easy-to-read version for longhand copyediting, or putting it into ePub format to read on your eReader (both of which I do regularly), printing off an official manuscript format to send to publishers/agents/editors, or meticulously designing a version to print yourself at CreateSpace or Lulu, the "Compile" options have something for you.
I could probably do an entire post just on the "compile" feature, but it's pretty hard to try to cover everything without knowing what sort of thing people want. The options change depending on your format; there are table of content options for ebooks, for example, and image embedding for web pages. You can choose which sections to include, whether to include your notes or comments, and all sorts of fiddly options. Unfortunately the best way to look at this one is to play around with it yourself.
I've used "compile" to make a plain text document for uploading to the NaNoWriMo word-count servers, an ePub version for iPod Touch to give to one of my beta readers who wanted a portable version he could read on the train, a manuscript-format version to print out and edit by hand, and a mock-up of my CreateSpace proof that I plan on getting in June.
The ePub format isn't yet available in the Windows version, and to be honest I haven't played around with the compile features in Windows overmuch, so you'll have to take this section with a grain of salt. But at the very least, if you want to export your multiple chunks of story into one long document, you can definitely do that.
Extra Features (Mac-only)
There's one more feature I want to highlight, though users of the Windows beta will have to wait until the full version that brings 2.0 functionality. For those on Macs running 2.0, though, you have another interesting option that's extremely useful for revisions, when it's time to check for continuity:
This is the "QuickRef" option. Select any scene in the sidebar, click the "quickref" button, and a mini window of the scene shows up, giving you not only the text of the entire scene, but the word/character count and custom labels (like POV or dates for me). You can even search for text within the mini-windows.
I find this extremely useful when I'm doing my continuity checks, or in stories where I have the same event viewed by two different narrators. I can make sure I haven't made any mistakes between scenes without having to tab or scroll or keep multiple windows open.
Hope this helps answer a few more questions. If anyone has any more, feel free to ask! I get no money or incentives from the Literature & Latte people for doing this; my motivation is just a genuine love of the software.