Appel aux scriveneurs francophones

Bonjour à tous,

Très ennuyé par la non prise en compte des règles de typo françaises dans Scrivener, notemment en ce qui concerne les espaces insecables avant les ponctuations doubles, mais aussi les guillemets, les tirets de dialogue etc. J’ai sollicité l’aide et la wish list à ce sujet sans résultat jusqu’ici…

Cette fonctionnalité est de base dans Libre Office, Word et autres traitements de texte, il ne doit pas être bien compliqué de l’implémenter dans Scrivener à qui cela manque pour être vraiment la Rolls des traitements de texte pour les francophones.

Suis-je le seul à qui cela manque ? Dites-moi.

Peut-être en faisant groupe pourra-t-on éveiller l’intérêt du service client et des les développeurs de Literature and latte.

Qu’en pensez vous?


In English:

"Hello everyone,

Very annoyed by the non-consideration of the French typo rules in Scrivener, notely regarding insectable spaces before double punctuations, but also quotation marks, dialogue dashes etc. I have asked for help and the wish list on this subject without result so far…

This feature is basic in Libre Office, Word and other word processor, it does not have to be very complicated to implement it in Scrivener who lacks it to really be the Rolls of word processing for French speakers.

Am I the only one who lacks this? Tell me. (added)

Maybe by forming a group we can awaken the interest of customer service and the developers of Literature and latte.

What do you think?


To fellow Scriveners:

For those of us who would like to help our French compatriots, I took the liberty to offer a largely unedited (slightly rearranged) translation of sorts from the website Translate French to English online - (apologies in advance for any poor or mis-translations):

Any thoughts to help our French-speaking writers?

Maybe the first thing to do is to compile a list of differences between English and French punctuation, certainly NOT something I have any knowledge of. Perhaps there are those who are familiar with the differences and can offer some suggestions.

I realize this ‘informal’ path is NOT what Malik is looking for, but perhaps a few Scrivener ‘Replacements’ can go a long way to solve the issues with “insectable spaces before double punctuations, but also quotation marks, dialogue dashes etc.” !

Thanks for reading,
:thinking: :pensive:

If we are not computer programmers we may not realise how complicated such things may be. I tend to think that if things are easy they will get done, and if they are not done there are probably difficulties that I am not aware of. And some of the text functionality (I don’t know how much these days) is provided by the operating system, not by Scrivener. I know that the Mac version has some additions to what Apple provides. So I would guess that solving this problem may not be as easy as it seems to outsiders. Then again, Microsoft is a vast corporation, and Libre Office is a co-operative enterprise, while Scrivener for Mac is (or used to be) programmed by just one person. What is easy for Microsoft is not necessarily easy for a small company with limited resources.

I’m no expert, but perhaps “annoyed” is not the best translation of “ennuyé” :slightly_smiling_face:.é
[personne, air]
(= soucieux) preoccupiedworried
(= contrarié) annoyed

Translation of ennuyé – French–English dictionary


/ɑ̃nɥije/ ( also ennuyée)
qui éprouve de l’inquiétude, du mécontentement


Je suis ennuyée de devoir partir si tôt.
It bothers me having to leave so early.

Elle s’est ennuyée avec ce roman.

She is bored with this novel.

Intellectuellement, les problèmes des adolescents frivoles l’auraient probablement ennuyée.

Intellectually, she was probably bored by frivolous adolescent concerns.

Non, je suis frustrée et ennuyée.

No, I’m frustrated and annoyed.

Je me souviens avoir été très ennuyée parce que la lumière m’appellait.

I remember getting very annoyed because the light was ‘calling’ me.

Très touché de voir que ça t’aurait ennuyée.

I am just very touched that that would’ve botheredyou.

J’étais très ennuyée de constater que…

It bothered me a lot to realize that…

Désolée, je me suis ennuyée en attendant mes garibaldis.

Sorry, I got bored waiting for my garibaldis.

Bored, bothered, annoyed, preoccupied, worried, et al …

I did not do very well in French class …

Thank you,
:thinking: :pensive:

Yes, I should no doubt have added “in this context” :slightly_smiling_face:

My second language is Italian, and I know that translation is difficult. An art, not a science. With lots of traps, and some insoluble problems. As demonstrated by this work:

But apologies for derailing the thread.

Hi mbbntu,

Thank you for the reference … lol! So true!

As for “derailing the thread”, IMHO you did nothing of the kind … the beauty of so many languages is the subtle nuances that they engender … allowing for expressions that may not exist in one’s native language … I listed just a few of the variant translations for that exact reason … a single word can have so many translations as they represent not only meanings, but collective experiences of the people that speak and write in those languages …

As for Malik’s original issue of “les espaces insecables avant les ponctuations doubles, mais aussi les guillemets, les tirets de dialogue etc.”, loosely translated as “insectable spaces before double punctuations, but also quotation marks, dialogue dashes etc.”, there is a recent discussion on this site regarding “smart quotes” at Replace triple periods with ellipses (…): benefit? that starts out discussing ellipses, but morphs into a discussion regarding “smart quotes”.

What I have noticed in the above post about ellipses is that the Scrivener->Preferences->Corrections screen appears to have been updated in the Windows version of Scrivener (versus in my Mac version 3.2.2 shown below) to allow for the user to specify what type of “smart quotes” are to be used.

I don’t see a similar option in the Mac version (shown above) to select a particular type of “smart quotes” as they now appear to be available in the Windows version shown below, courtesy Brix in their posting at Replace triple periods with ellipses (…): benefit? - #3 by brookter.

Perhaps this option to select a particular type of “smart quotes” will be coming to a Mac version of Scrivener near you. This leads me to think that the Scrivener authors may realize the enormity of the non-english language market, and may be tip-toeing in that direction, and have decided to test the waters by introducing an international version of “smart quotes” in the Windows version.

Pure speculation on my part, but the availability of the international version of “smart quotes” is an important step whether they are planning to go international or not, and it may be the first step toward addressing Malik’s quest for “insectable spaces before double punctuations, but also quotation marks, dialogue dashes etc.”

Thank you for your comment regarding the translation for ennuyé,
:thinking: :pensive:

I wonder if that’s because Macs already have the ability to choose the type of smart quote built into the OS, so there’s no need for Scrivener to provide it, unlike on Windows? I’m not totally sure about what Windows does provide in this scenario, but as a general point, Macs have more features built into the standard OS which Mac Scrivener can make use of, while the Windows version has to recreate them from scratch – a prime example is Spelling Checking. This feels to me that this may be one of those occasions: the smart quote option has to be in WinScriv, because it’s not already provided by the OS. Similarly, there is a Keyboard panel in Options which isn’t there in the Mac Preferences screen, because MacOS already provides a way of adding shortcuts.

In the dialogue box you’ve shown, if you click on System Text Preferences (or go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Text), you can enable Use Smart Quotes and Dashes and choose the types of smart quotes applied system-wide.

Does that sound reasonable?

Hi brookter,

Thank you for your analysis.

To answer your question, the first part is YES, it does sound reasonable … and BTW, thank you for pointing out how the MacOS accommodates the need for local language versions of “smart quotes” et al…

The second part is Maybe. Please allow me to explain.

The market for Scrivener potentially includes people all over the world. With a world-wide internet, I could be sitting in Amsterdam writing a tech manual that I will need to distribute throughout Europe in a dozen different languages.

If I am using Windows, I can duplicate the Scrivener project file for my tech manual as many times as I need for each country/language where the manual will be used, with each project using the appropriate set of “smart quotes” for the country/language where the tech manual will be read. So if I need to have the tech manual written in a dozen different languages, I would have a dozen different Scrivener projects.

Of course the language in each project would have to reflect the particular language, but the file structure, included image files, references and basic underlying structure for the project could be duplicated across all dozen copies of the project, with the specific country/language adjusted after duplication.

Up to this point, I have NOT made any changes to the “smart quotes” settings in the Windows operating system, nor do I need to.

With the MacOS as it is set up, each time I want to create a final document for each of the dozen countries/languages, I’ll need to change the “smart quotes” settings in my operating system to match the country/language I am working on at that moment.

However, this precludes the option of having two or more of the Scrivener project tech manuals, each written in a different language, open at the same time in order to check for consistency across two or more of the languages I am working in.

So, YES, the ability to change the “smart quotes” at the operating level for MacOS is reasonable. The question is, will that option at the OS level complicate my ability to write multiple documents in different languages across multiple Scrivener projects at the same time. IMHO, the answer to that question is, Maybe.

In Europe, (unlike in some countries where English is spoken) people are often multi-lingual and need to communicate across languages, often more than two. If I need to change my OS settings every time I work on a Scrivener project in a language that is other than in my native language, I imagine that could be a bit annoying, possibly problematic, particularly if I am multitasking, emailing, texting, etc. in the middle of a Scrivener project that is written in a language other than my native language that I use for email, texting, etc, n’est-ce pas?

:thinking: :pensive:

1 Like

Thanks all for your concert, (including the derailed part).

Very appy to have learned about the smart quote and the em-dash things, showing me that it is possible and easy to implement french rules.

For the smart quote, just need another choice in the list > « abc » with unbeakable spaces.

and the same fonctionality with all double signs ( ? ; : ! …) with the sign followed by unbreakable space.

almost there


Fair enough! Though, in some cases at least, we’re only talking about Smart Quotes (where an automatic substitution is required), rather than the inability to use that element at all. It probably depends on whether you’re going to use the standard keyboard layout for the other language.

For example, I can speak French (after a fashion) and Russian (very badly) as well as English. I don’t bother changing the layout to French because all of the necessary accents and symbols are easily accessible from the standard UK English layout: for example « the guillemets » are simply opt-\ and shift-opt-\, so I’m not sure you’d need Smart Quotes in that case, at least.

Russian, on the other hand, needs a separate layout: « Русский язык тоже » (I told you my Russian was bad…), but the appropriate symbols are all easily accessible. Is there a need for Smart Quotes in those circumstances? I really don’t know – all I can say is that I’ve never noticed it to be a problem, but I’m sure other people with be better informed than I.

In comparison, Windows keyboard are more limited (at least as far as I can tell – the easiest way to type an em-dash is ALT+3 digit code!) and it lacks a coherent way to input accents / symbols.


Sur MacOS:

  1. Les guillemets + espaces se trouvent bien dans la liste de « smart quotes ». Alors, ça arrivera sur Windows, je pense.
  2. C’est facile d’ajouter les espaces insecutables après la ponctuations en utilisant l’autocorrect (l’auto-corrigeur?) du système.

Malheureusement, je ne suis pas suffisamment au fait de Windows pour vous renseigner comment l’achever en attendant. Je sais que le logiciel Autohotkey est souvent utilisé pour les remplacements de ce genre (par example, pour ajouter un ‘keyboard shortcut’ pour le ‘em-dash’) – il vaut peut-être l’explorer?

Bonne chance…