Automated Transfer of a Scene from OpenOffice to Scrivener

I compile my manuscript to a DOCX file and send it to my editor. She makes changes and sends it back. I go through the DOCX file and accept or reject each change. Finally, I copy the scenes back to Scrivener.

I automated this when I was on Windows, and now, on the Mac, I’ve created a Keyboard Maestro macro that does most of the work for me. It looks like this:

Thus, I go to the scene in Scrivener then highlight the text of the scene in OpenOffice and press Cmd-Shift-S. The macro does the rest. Next, I’m adding automation that will move to the next scene on the OpenOffice side and perhaps select it. If I can do that, I can copy the whole manuscript pretty quickly.

Note that in the proof format, I include scene-start indicators, like this:

Also, by setting magnification low, I can see an entire scene more easily.

If the Word file already has a (matching) structural hierarchy, doesn’t File > Import > Import and Split… already do what you want?

Slàinte mhòr.

No, that fails to import things such as synopses.

There is a neat trick with the Edit ▸ Convert ▸ Text to Default Formatting… menu command: if you hold down the Option key while triggering the command, it will bypass the settings dialogue, using whatever conditions you used last time. That’s all fine and good for the mouse, but a second trick is that if a keyboard shortcut includes the Option key within it, then if a menu command has an optional trigger mode, it will be used—and with that we open up that behaviour to the keyboard and automation.

In my experience this behaviour is not triggered by third-party tools for some reason, so this is one of the few commands that I use System Preferences to set the shortcut for. I use ⇧⌥⌘D (ordinarily the Insert ▸ Current Date & Time command), for example.

Now just trigger the shortcut from the macro instead of the menu command, and you’ll save yourself a good second or so for each execution. And of course it’s handy when you want use it yourself with normal settings (which for me is 99% of the time).

Nice. Thanks.