Compile Draft to DocX/ODT

Hi everybody!

I am used to use Scrivener in conjunction with MMD as I prefer the clean look of LaTeX documents. However, since MMD has its issues with LaTeX commands (I know I can use HTML comments, but still) I wonder if I should switch to DocX or ODT for my next scientific paper, especially since our institute now works with Endnote/Word/OpenOffice.

My question: Is it me or is it simply not possible to compile a draft so that the formatting structure is accounted for? I mean I know that I usually have to format my paper in another word processor but is it really the case that Scrivener does not account for the standard formatting options such as “normal”, “Heading 1”, “Heading 2” etc.? Why should I want to write lots of pages with Scivener when I cannot easily customize the final layout?

Don’t get me wrong, this might be very difficult to implement. All I want to say is that without this functionality, Scrivener is of no use for me as long as exporting to DocX or ODT does not take the very basic formatting into account.

Help is very much appreciated!

Kind regards!


Hi pascal,

This comes up fairly frequently, and unfortunately you are right, style information such as structure is not retained in .docx or .odt export. Unfortunately this is just a limitation of the standard OS X exporters that I have to rely on to generate these formats. As a small company (one developer - me, one sales/marketing/dogsbody guy - hello David!), we don’t have the resources to write our own exporters for all the formats. So I use the ones built into OS X - the same as the ones that TextEdit and most other OS X shareware programs use. And these exporters just do not maintain any styles or structural information. In fact, it would take a major overhaul of the standard OS X text system to implement such a system - it wouldn’t just be a matter of writing exporters (a big enough job in itself). I keep hoping that Apple will make some major changes to the text system they provide for developers, but for the past few OS releases the changes have been mainly cosmetic. And there is no alternative to their text system for shareware developers on OS X…

Thanks and all the best,

Thanks for your information, anyway!

I’ll drop a line at the Apple feedback corner although it likely won’t change anything…

Kind regards,


I don’t want to barge in on this thread, but if you chose to stay with MMD and LaTeX you could use TeX4HT (ships with MacTeX 2008) or latex2rtf (must be compiled from command line) to create your ODT or RTF documents. Both tools will preserve MMD styles like emphasis, blockquotes, footnotes and heading levels, which makes it a lot easier to reformat exported documents in a word processor.

If you find it tedious to run terminal commands, you can use a GUI like SimpleTeX4HT or set up a TeXShop .engine in ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines/

#!/bin/tcsh set fbName = `basename "$1" .tex` htlatex "$1" "xhtml,ooffice" "ooffice/! -cmozhtf" "-coo" open "${fbName}.odt"