about the ipad app 'indexcard'

It’s been awhile since i used the sync feature between scrivener and indexcard. I was pleasently surprised that the main text from scrivener now got synced to the back of the indexcard.

i would love to be able to flip the card over in indexcard and be transported to a kind of full screen viwe, were i can read and edit my text more easily, that would make indexcard my main writing app on the iPad.

(I tried to post an image of what i meen, but i couldn figure out how)

and the reason i posted in this part is a request for labelsync, if i colorcode something in indexcard i would like the color to go with the text into scrivener.

I love scrivener and indexcard is on the right track to become my main writing app on the iPad.

what is your thoughts?

Hi Psyed,

You’d have to ask denvog about the index card flip thing, as we don’t develop Index Card, he does:


As for label syncing, that is problematic unfortunately because of the differences between the systems. Index Card uses a specified number of named colours (“red”, “yellow” and so on) whereas users can assign any colour at all to labels in Scrivener and internally labels are stored using an ID number. So there’s no real way to map the labels across from one program to the other without messing things up.

Thanks and all the best,

Thanks for you fast reply Keith.

Ok, i see the problem with the labelsync. would have been nice.

I did contact denvog about the “flipthing” and i just wanted to hear what others thought about the idea.


You looked in my head! :smiley:

I’ve just bought this app. I want to use it the other way around: make notes in Index Card and import them into Scrivener when I get home to work on in detail. Do I need to import a compiled RTF or can the Index Cards import directly?

Yes, it is possible to work that way. Just create a new corkboard in Index Card as per normal, and export an .indexcard file to Dropbox. When you get back to your computer, create an empty collection in your project, and then run File/Sync/with Index Card for iPad. Select the blank collection, and choose Update Collection from Index Card File. After you have selected the .indexcard file, you’ll get a warning about the collection not looking anything like the imported material, just click Okay. That’s there in case you accidentally load the wrong file.

If you work in this fashion, it will probably be easiest to just wipe out the note board in Index Card and start from scratch. Otherwise you’ll want to sync back and forth to make sure everything is current. If all you want is one-way in though, just follow the above instructions every time.

I tried that solution of importing twice, once with a blank collection and when that didn’t work, I created a collection with a single card from my research folder. Again tried to import as suggested here in the forum and nothing happens, no notes appear in the collection and no error messages. Any ideas?

So I tried a different approach and exported the iPad indexcard notes as an RTF file and successfully imported into the research folder. Unfortunately, even though Indexcard had a number of notes to deal with, it does not place a delimiter between when it exports to Dropbox, so everything came into one file.

Also while I realize this requires coordinating between at least three different software companies, I find that the concept of creating collections first on the computer and then uploading to the Ipad is at odds with the stated philosophy of Scrivener, which is allow you to generate ideas.

I have my Ipad with me most of the time I am not near my computer (including recent cross continent travel from northern British Columbia to south Texas) and am always coming up with ideas and notions for both current and future projects. There should be a simple way to download original concepts from Index Card to Scrivener.

Oh, you know I might have been reading you wrong. I can definitely import new cards into a project without a prior sync, but the notes do not import. That looks to me more like a bug. The title and synopsis work though.

Exactly. When I sync the card as you suggested, in Scrivener I get only the title of the card and the text appears in the Metadata. However when I convert it to Scrivenings the cards appear with lines between them. It sounds like a bug or an unintended consequence, but is it Scrivener or Index Card that can fix it?

I work in the same way as rowlandr, so it’s a function worth keeping.



The bug whereby text isn’t imported from Index Card files should be fixed for 2.0.6. In the meantime, be sure to tick “Sync main text with Index Card notes” button is ticked in the Index Card sync panel before clicking anything else.

All the best,

Slightly off-topic, but I just (finally) got one of those cheap(er) iPad 1’s and I’m trying to figure out if there are any programs that make it possible to import/export using RTF files. I’ve tried Dropbox with the Quickoffice app, as well as others, but it looks like nothing works with rtf. Now, this thread suggests that IndexCards does use rtf and syncs with that format. Is that correct? Are there any other apps that allow me to sync Scrivener files with ipad using the rtf format?


No, Index Card uses plain text. Nothing on the iPad to my knowledge supports RTF - Apple haven’t made a rich text engine available yet. A couple of programs have started implementing their own basic rich text support, but usually using HTML, and the biggies like Docs2Go support Word format (which isn’t good for syncing with Scriv) - I think it will be a while before rich text becomes common on the iPad.

All the best,

I’ve tried several times this morning to synch and again nothing happens, I click on the correct file, and I tried both Scrivener and going directly to Dropbox. I don’t even get the title as mentioned in the previous post. Have reread the manual and don’t see what I am missing. (And Dropbox is working fine with other apps, I successfully imported 40 photos taken with my mobile phone camera)

For the next upgrade I believe that to have Indexcard add a delimiter between cards if you export as RTF is essential for adding notes to Scrivener.

(I use both Windows and Mac. On Windows I have used InfoSelect for the past 20 years but that company once a leader in note style software has not transitioned to mobile - they are still at the Palm 1 stage. :exclamation: BUT since InfoSelect does place a delimiter between notes on export I was able to import a couple of years worth of notes into Scrivener for the Mac with no problem)

On a longer term, there should be an option synching/importing new cards created on a mobile device without having to go through the collection process. I can see how some folks would like a full card file synched. But the way I work is like carrying an old paper 3x5 cards with me. So if I came up with an idea, I couldn’t “synch” in any case in the old days, but could add the new 3x5 card to the appropriate spot in a card box.



It may be Dropbox. When I export from Indexcard to Dropbox, it gives me the choice of Index Card format or RTF. Since Dropbox is universal (I use it on my Mac, my PC, my iPad and my Android phone) it is likely that is how the RTF option comes up.


I’m not really sure what you mean about an RTF delimiter - all cards in Index Card are different documents in Scriv, so there’s no need for a delimiter.

As for collections, that’s a necessity - Index Card doesn’t have a structure like Scrivener’s so there’s no way to sync directly to the binder in a way that is meaningful, and collections are perfect for this kind of thing.

Apologies for the brief answer, I’m on my way out (a rare Saturday night with babysitters).

All the best,

Hope you enjoyed your evening out

Again it may be Dropbox, but as I said in previous postings, you get the option of exporting to RTF, which I did exporting a dozen index cards. But when I imported into Scrivener, using the import function, because there was no delimiter, it came into Scrivener as one card, not the dozen.


Sorry but I can’t accept that argument. I realize that Index Card is created by a different company. I do know what I am talking about, however. (I co-wrote the first book on how to do research on the Internet, published in 1995, robinrowland.com/reser.html and have taught computer assisted research both to conferences and at universities in Toronto as an instructor and as a guest in Boston and Hong Kong. ) These functions go back more than 25 years to the first personal computers.

The first index card/ note taking program for DOS, Memory Mate, had a delimiter import/export function. There was good old Apple Hypercard which was bundled with the Macs from 1987 to about the mid 1990s when it died during the dark age of Apple. Early DOS/Windows programs like AskSam and InfoSelect, which were pioneers in this sort of software that allowed you to be flexible and both companies are still around (although not as big as they used to be)

Scrivener allows import using delimiters–I did it successfully when I transferred files from both InfoSelect and Evernote.

I really like the structure and philosophy of Scrivener, I decided to try it after seeing raves on a writers e-mail list I follow. And I like the way IndexCard operates. So unless there something buried deep in the code, I can’t help but wonder why a function that has been a standard since the first days of personal computers both PC and Mac can’t work here.
best wishes

Hi Robin,

Adding the delimiter in the RTF export is something you’d need to talk to the Index Card for iPad developers about, as that’s entirely outside of Scrivener. Scrivener can import and split based on the separator you define when choosing File>Import>Import and Split… but it’s not adding it, just reading it in the original RTF file. However Index Card produces the RTF that it exports has nothing to do with Scrivener, though it’s certainly true that if a delimiter were added (either as an option by the developers or something you inserted yourself at the end of your notes) you could use that for Scrivener to automatically split the file when imported (and all of this outside Collections, as it’s a regular import, not a sync).

You can use carriage returns and so on as split points too, when importing, if Index Card does anything like an empty line to separate the notes when exporting to RTF. Just hold the Option key when pressing return in the “Sections are separated by” field when importing into Scrivener to choose a carriage return (or two carriage returns) as your marker.

You’re going out with the babysitters? You naughty man, you!

Not for Index Card you don’t. If you are exporting to RTF then this is an entirely different thing to syncing with Index Card (which is done via the File > Sync > with Index Card menu). So it seems that you are doing something different to what is being discussed in this thread unless I misunderstand you.

So do I, sorry. :slight_smile: I’m not trying to prevent you from syncing particular elements for nefarious reasons! As far back as the internet may go, limitations always remain. It doesn’t really matter what the first index card/note-taking app was, as that has no bearing on how integrated two entirely separate applications can be. Scrivener’s collections are a great way of syncing with Index Card, and that is unaffected.

I’m still not sure what this has to do with Index Card sync, sorry.


I don’t know what you mean here - all programs are different and computing has changed an awful lot in the last 15 years - just because two programs have an interface with index cards doesn’t tell you anything about their underlying data.

All the best,


Sorry if there has been any misunderstanding here. Yes various programs have changed over the past few years and with Scrivener you have created a great program from the ground up. The point that I was hoping to make was that for most writers and researchers who have been using computers for a long time, and I would assume this is a significant part of your customer base, there is a sort of industry standard for “free form” data base systems and “free form” would include both Index Card and the Cork Board in Scrivener.

It’s not just the two or three original programs I mentioned, but a couple of dozen for PC or Mac or both and I have used or tested almost all of them. So a great many users are used to the option of either a mass synch as you have done with the Collections and synching individual cards, no matter what program they use.

As I pointed out in my initial post and as another user also mentions, ideas come anytime and anywhere. Mobile computing has replaced the spiral notebook in the back pocket or the index cards in the suit jacket pocket. (There’s even a great George Bernard Shaw short one act play based around a writer carrying a note book in his pocket, so the idea goes back at least a century).

So basically what I am saying, if you can come up with a way to synch individual cards (whether it is with IndexCard or another similar program hopefully for all mobile platforms) with individual cards on the Corkboard as well as collections, it would greatly enhance Scrivener for that older customer base and future users.