One of the greatest benefits of Scrivener is the ability differentiate text the author sees from text the reader sees. In programs like Word and Pages, this can only be done by using the "comments" mechanism. Comments, however, can only naturally handle a subset of the kinds of texts an author may wish to hide, as discussed here. Scrivener is more sophisticated, without being more complicated.
There are several ways to distinguish Author's Text from Reader's Text in Scrivener. I'll begin with the least fine-grained way.
Scrivener --> Compile Action and Options.
In Scrivener, what the reader ultimately sees is the result of Compile command. This command filters the author's text in a variety of ways and set the output format.
There's too much going on... but not right now.
Scrivener is worth every penny. In fact, it's the only piece of software I recommend students buy. Everything else can be done open-source. For this post, I'll merely list why I use Scrivener, and leave more detailed instructions for later posts.
Lets start simple. Paper works.
Some scholars have a "system" they use to keep track of research, writing, feedback, revisions, etc. Students can spend years figuring out what a good "system" is, partly because scholars are bad at sharing, After some conversation with students, I decided to devote some posts to my "system." I recommend cherry-picking parts that make sense to you.