Scrivener: Names and Autocomplete

In this ongoing series on Scrivener, you should have the basics under your belt. Let’s dive a little deeper into those basics with your new imported project or with the blank project we created early on in these tutorials. In this tutorial I’ll cover the Name Generator and Autocomplete Suggestion features in Scrivener.

One of the great tools Scrivener includes is a Name Generator. It helps you to generate possible character names.

To access it, go to Tools > Writing Tools > Name Generator.

Scrivener - Tools - Options - Writing Tools - Name Generator - Lorelle

The Name Generator generates random character names and can be customized to generate names specific to region and cultural areas for male, female, or both. You can set the the generator by first and last name letters or include specific letters. You can even search for names with specific meanings.

Scrivener - Name Generator - Lorelle VanFossen

Set the options to change the name generator suggestions based upon your writing needs.

Scrivener - Name Generator - Example of selecting regional name variations

Another feature of the Name Generator is to import your own names. Scrivener will work with those to generate custom names.

When you find a name based upon the random generator that looks good, select it and click Add Selected to My Shortlist. Keep generating and adding names, and when ready, you can copy the list to the clipboard or send the list to somewhere within your project.

Scrivener - Name Generator Shortlist - Lorelle VanFossen

For those needing help with character names, especially with minor characters, this is a powerful tool.

While you are in the Writing Tools, notice that you have a variety of options to help you with your writing.

Scrivener - Tools - Options - Writing Tools - Translate to Another Language

Select a word or phrase in your writing or research and go to Tools > Writing Tools to select from a variety of search engines, quote sources, and other references. There is even an option to translate a word. Choosing all of these options opens a web page in your browser with that word or phrase.


Save yourself a few keystrokes with the Autocomplete feature of Scrivener. Have a name you use all the time, a long place name, or other redundant text, you can reduce this to a few keystrokes. Microsoft Word has a similar feature and this isn’t much different.

To add autocomplete items:

  1. Go to Tools > Options
  2. Choose Corrections
  3. Click Edit Substitutions
  4. Click + to add a substitution
  5. Type in the abbreviation, taking care not to use a common word
  6. Type in the full word or phrase
  7. Click Okay then Apply

In the text area, type in the abbreviation or acronym and hit the spacebar for the word to appear.

This can be used in so many ways. If you will be publishing content from Scrivener onto your website, there may be some HTML you wish to add to multiple posts such as the link to your book in posts promoting the book. You can save this HTML link code to an abbreviation such as booklink. When you need to embed the link, type the words.



  1. The autocomplete list of words that appear while typing has the top word highlighted in some kind of shade of orange. I have a great deal of trouble reading it. Can the highlight be changed to some other color or eliminated entirely?


      1. I figured it out. The color of the highlight is a Mac OS function, not a Scrivener one. Go to System preferences> general> highlight color: then pick blue. The top first choice autocomplete words will now be displayed in an easy to read white font on a blue background. Blue is actually the default color.


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