collaboration with windowsuser

Me and a friend often writes pieces together, which often ends with me writing in textedit on the mac couse I hate to have to go through the whole import, command+k and clean up the document each time he sends me his version. Up to now it has mainly been short stories, but now we are going to start the work on a novell which I would hate to write using textedit.

I don’t know anything about mmd and latex and stuff. But when I read about it on the forum it feels like this might be the solution.

So, my question is, is it possible for me the set up everything in Scrivener, with chapters, notes, synopsis etc, and export it in a way which makes it possible for him to add his writing, mail it to me and finally makes it possible for me to import it to Scrivener with all pieces intact?

Or should I just continue to babble on passionately about how great Scrivener is and that he really should get a mac?

The short answer is yes, MMD would work.

The more complete answer is yes, this could work well. If you are writing a novel, that will basically consist of plain text, maybe the occasional bold or italics, chapters, paragraphs, and not much more, then MMD would be very easy for you and your collaborator to learn.

Where MMD can get complicated is when you add mathematical formulas, tables, glossary entries, etc. Your typical novel won’t have any of that, and would basically be as easy as:

[code]# Chapter 1 #

This is some text
in a single

And this is a new paragraph.[/code]

Each chapter would be a separate text document within the scrivener project. If you had scenes within each chapter, you could have sub-documents. The structure would remain intact when exported to MMD text and sent to your partner. As long as your partner used the hash marks properly when adding or moving sections, the structure would also remain intact when imported back into scrivener.

As a bonus, there is a manuscript export stylesheet that uses latex to format your document in “proper” manuscript format for submission (I realize that there is not really one single proper format, but it seems to cover the basics. But what do I know, I’ve never submitted a manuscript to a publisher in my life…)

The Manuscript Example is worth taking a look at; it includes the MMD source file as a demonstration, and a PDF that was formatted to demonstrate what the final output can look like (without you having to worry about formatting at all…) Of course, if you’re interested in publishing it yourself with an online publisher, use another XSLT and you’ve got a version that’s ready for print.

A big thanks! Will dig into this right away! Sounds like a powerfull and easy way to do what we want!

The best way would still be if my friend switched over and bought Scrivener, so I will continue to nag about it. :smiley:

But meenwhile I think this will suit us like hand in glove.

Thank you!!!

What Fletcher said. Basic MMD is… really basic. It is no more taxing than composing a text-only email with emphasised words. The primary goal of Markdown (the syntax engine that MMD uses to generate its output), was to be easy to type in and easy to read without rendering it to some other format.

Integration with Scrivener is excellent. It automatically cuts up your document into a Binder outline when importing, and creates a simple single file output for your colleague to work on. Your workflow will look like this:

Export Draft from Scrivener, using “MultiMarkdown” export format. You don’t have to worry about chapter syntax, because Scrivener does all of the dirty work for you based on the Binder structure and document titles. This will make a plain text file suitable for external editing. When you receive the updated file: Delete the contents of your Draft, and with the selection on Draft in the Binder, go to the Import sub-menu, in the File menu, and select MultiMarkdown File. No more splitting up long Word documents!

All in all, I would say that if one is willing to learn a few simple text mark-ups, MMD is one of the better collaboration methods, short of two Scrivener users working together and using a version tracking system such as Subversion.

Now as for LaTeX, that is different. It is important to understand that MMD does not mean you have to use LaTeX. It happens to be the easiest way to make a flawless LaTeX file from scratch, but the export engine itself is quite flexible, and can produce any number of file types. LaTeX has quite a learning curve, especially if you have no experience with using UNIX software. The Mac has some pretty handy installers for LaTeX, but chances are you’ll have to get down and gritty with parts of the system that do not even show up in the Finder. It produces outstanding documents; beautiful to look at and easy to read–at the cost of some complexity.

Despite all of that, LaTeX is a very mature publishing platform with a large user base and truly extensive documentation. Getting answers using Google search is often quite simple, if you know roughly where to look. And, in many cases, things work right out of the box and you’ll only have to learn one command line: “pdflatex filename.tex”.

That was all my long answer. The short answer is: MMD is so basic, most people already know how to do everything they need to do in it, without even realising they know how. Because Scrivener has structural knowledge of an MMD file, importing and exporting work like a charm (as long as the structure is logical). LaTeX is decidedly advanced, and while it probably produces the best print quality you’ll get off of a Mac, it should be treated as the professional tool that it is. Fortunately MMD is all about choices, and if all you need is an RTF at the end of the day, it can do that too.

A big thanks for every piece of advice! Love this forum, helps out alot!

A question about subversion, do anyone know of any free subversion servers out there that is for non-programmers? All I can find is for open-source projects and software teams.

A question about this, how well does svn merge scrivener files? If both me and my friend has changed the same version of file x.scriv, is this possible at all?