Shaxpir Review (Collab with Sarah Rodecker)




Hello everyone!!

It is my esteemed pleasure to finally bring to you a very overdue (like, um, two years overdue...heh heh) review post of one of my favorite writing tools - the word processor Shaxpir (pronounced the same as Shakespeare. I know, the creative spelling is really trippy).

And I couldn't have done it without the collaboration (more like kick in the skirt, actually, if I may be quite honest with myself) of my good bloggy buddy and fellow Shaxpir user, Sarah Rodecker @ Pen of a Ready Writer! If you don't follow her, please take a moment to go check out her blog and subscribe. Her writing tips are super super awesome, and she's got some really spine-chilling, nursery-rhyme inspired thrillers in the works - totally check them out!! You can view her collab post HERE.

Following Sarah's example, I'm going to be highlight 5 pros and 5 cons that I have found in the 2 years that I've been using this program. I personally use the free version, and have no experience in using the premium, so this is for all my fellow flat-broke writers who want to find a decent writer's program that doesn't break the bank.

Without further ado, let us begin!

🙞 Pros 🙜

1. The NOTEBOOK
This was, quite frankly, what sold me on this program. Included in the processor is this lovely notebook function that you can place character sheets and other loose notes into whatever system you want. It’s super awesome for writers like me who have copious notes all over the place and need a one-stop shop.

One of my *many* note pages for TWR

2. Can Add Aesthetics

If you’re a more visual person and like to add in pictures to character sheets, etc., you have the option of doing that on Shaxpir. Obviously, don’t put copyrighted images on there. You can even add in a book cover!

Those things on the middle left beneath the pictures are some of the "Connections" that Sarah mentioned in her post :) 

3. Can Export Manuscript

It did take me a while to figure it out, but you can export your manuscript into either an ePub or Word doc. It’s not the most professional formatting, but it’s a decent head-start. This is a great option for when you're ready to publish or would like to transfer it to Word for editing purposes (because let's face it, editing in Shaxpir can be difficult).

The Export Page


4. Very Organizing-Friendly

This processor has subdivisions for sub-divisions. On it’s main page, there is a spot for books, articles and short stories. You can build sub-chapters, sub folders, sub notes, sub anything…..

As a writer who hyper-organizes to to point where you need a map to find anything on my computer (literally, not joking here), this is a huge plus.

See what I mean?


5. The Free Option Actually Gives a Lot 

Sacrificing fancy fonts, the linguistics section, the graphs behind the “sentiment analysis”, extra exporting opportunities, and the built-in thesaurus, you actually get quite a lot of usable features with the Shaxpir 4: Everyone platform. So much so, that I wonder even if it’s worth paying the $7.99 a month for premium.



🙞 Cons 🙜


1. It’s a Desktop App

While there is online synching so you don’t “lose” your work, the free version is only accessible through one desktop computer. Now, if you need to, you can “switch” the computer that the account is based on by downloading the program again and logging in - you just can’t switch the account back to the other computer for an entire month. Great if you’re replacing a computer, bad for when you’re mobile. Also, there is no ability to access your Shaxpir account online, which really limits your mobility.
Pro tip: for best of both worlds, place this app on your LAPTOP rather than a desktop. Though, as Sarah pointed out in her post, that laptops are more prone to dying than desktops. Always seems to be some trade-off, isn't there????

Program Login Screen


2. Some A LOT of annoying little bugs

Like the fact that you can’t scroll the shortcut menu for the notebook (meaning that adding extra sheets to a really big notebook can be a bit of a pain). Or that the scroll bar weirdly disappears sometimes. Or it may go through a phase where it crashes and wipes out your online archive temporarily (had that happen during one of the updates). Or that only the typing window shrinks when you try to minimize it. Or that...THERE IS NO UNDO BUTTON???

Pro Tip: Keep a backup of every single thing you put on Shaxpir....just in case. I mean, you should do that for every processor, but I would really recommend that you do for this one. I use both Word and Google Docs and it's saved my tail more than once.

Main Page for TWR - notice the scroll bar for the notebook is missing.

3. No Help Menu

Because this is a fairly new program still, there are not a lot of FAQs, and those that are available are online. Benji, the programmer who designed this, is the main Support guy. I will say though, he is really prompt about fixing stuff - I had to email him about an issue I was having with an update and he was on top of it within a day or so. Really great customer service :)


4. Wonky Spell Check and....Sentiment analysis??

Okay, I’ve tried using the spell-check in here and it’s even weirder than Word’s. And as for the latter, I literally don’t know what to say about this one. It supposedly picks up positive and negative words, but their scale of weighing is just….???

Spell check and sentiment highlights

5. Don’t Trust those Stats on the Home Page

On the home page, there are stats for average minutes writing, words per day, and average words per hour. Now, I’m not sure where they’re getting some of those numbers, but I can never type at 3k works per hour. There will be days when I won’t type in it at all, and it still gives me stats. Weird, if you ask me.

I mean, I know I type fast, but isn't that a little ridiculous?
Sarah commented to me that hers showed that she wrote a pace of 35k-48k/hour....which is kind of an insane word-per-minute count. And I thought my 3k/hour was a little outrageous?!


Anyway, that wraps up my review! I do highly recommend this program, even if I seem a bit harsh on the cons. I do urge you to try it before you write if off (*facepalm*). Be sure to check out Sarah's post for more pros and cons and send her a hug and a smile :)

Now to hand the mic to you! What is your go-to processor? Does Shaxpir sound interesting to you? What writing software/tools would you recommend? Feel free to chat below! 

Scribbingly yours,

Catherine

P.S. Be sure to come back tomorrow for a special (and belated) blogoversary post!!!

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10 comments:

  1. Yeah, that Sentiment Analysis is...something. But, thankfully, it's not something I'd be likely to use anyway, so I guess it's okay that it's borderline useless.

    So glad we were able to collab!! Thanks for your kind words!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's putting it mildly. And frankly, I don't think think I'm going to use it much either. Can't figure it out anyway.

      I'm so glad we were too!! Thanks for suggesting the collab!!

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  2. I've never heard of this, but it sounds useful! Haha, the Spell Check is so weird! My computer hates the word "learned" and always tells me that I'm wrong. Also, I am just always amazed by how organized you are!!

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    1. It is SUPER useful! And yes, I don't understand that Spell Check at all. I mean, I've seen Word pull some crazy stuff, but this one takes the cake.

      *shrugs* Sometimes I'm a little too organized....I'll hide some files in a complex system of folders and then have to search for it by the bar because I forgot where I put it.

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  3. I tried Shaxpir, and while I love some of the features, I've found I can mostly arrange things the same way in Scrivener, which I'm ultimately more comfortable with.

    For people who don't want to spend the money for Scrivener, I think Shaxpir is awesome! Especially since you get so many really neat things for free.

    I do love how *everything* is in one place with Shaxpir, though. So handy!

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    1. I feel ya. You gotta use the tools that you're comfortable with. I came close to getting Scrivener and maybe I still will in the future, but Shaxpir is working just fine for me right now.

      Oh yes! You get so much bang for your buck on this program and it's super awesome. And yassss, just as long as everything is in that place...*glares at the notebooks that I STILL need to transcribe*

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  4. Your blog is looking fantastic, Catherine!!! I will definitely have to try Shaxpir out... AWESOME COLLAB! :D

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  5. I love that you can add aesthetics.

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    1. I do too. Having my avatars right there is a big help.

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How are you, dear friend? Come closer to the fire, and make yourself comfortable! I'd love to hear what you've been thinking about, even if it's an old post! I only ask that proper decorum be observed.

I always try to reply to my correspondence! Have a blessed day!
~ Catherine