Character-position exact text compile

Hello Scriveners

What do I seek? A means of turning what I see on screen when viewing a screenplay, written in scriptwriting mode, into a text file which contains lines of text that are padded with spaces so that they start (and end) at exactly the same character position that Scrivener automagically provided for me for each of the script element types.

The result would be a pure ascii text file that, when viewed in a vanilla text editor displaying in Courier, would look essentially the same as it does on the Scrivener screen.

I’ve tried so many things. The regular compile mode, with ‘original’ and ‘as-is’ settings, produces perfect pdfs, but loses the text file formatting. I’ve tried save as txt in my PDF reader, compiled to .doc or .rtf then subsequent format changes. Tried save to file with the Windows generic printer driver. Online format converters and OCR converters. Nothing works quite right (closest was compile to .doc, load in Word, save-as to pdf, save-as to txt in Foxit, but still some rogue tabs appear in text elements).

My ultimate goal is to write a little utility that then reformats the txt file to correctly break and continue sentences in the various types elements (essentially so that I don’t need to buy FD just yet). This is almost a ‘hello world’ level of program once you have a contiguous set of lines that all start and end at the correct character position. OK, not quite.

It would be soooo much better if there was a compile to formatted txt mode that exploited the fact that scripts are supposed to have come out of a knowable, deterministic, monospaced, line-oriented rendering engine - the typewriter!

You can go off-forum to if you want to ping me directly! Thanks!

Yes, this is indeed already on the list of planned features. There will be an option in the compiler’s Transformations pane which will enable the conversion of word processor formatting to literal whitespace. This will be useful for saving scripts to .txt, as well as a few other scenarios.