Compile Manuscript (to Microsoft Word) produces RTF?!?

Subject says it all: Scrivener 1.11 on OS/X 10.5.2, attempted to Compile Manuscript to Microsoft Word format file, ended up with RTF. Compile Manuscript to RTF produces RTF, too, and the DOC and RTF export files are identical (according to diff). Note that texutil -convert doc [target.rtf] works fine and produces a Word document. Is this a problem anyone else has run up against?

(I only ran into it because I was trying to generate a DOC file that Documents to Go could read on my Palm. When it complained that I was trying to feed it RTF, I did some digging. MS Word itself doesn’t whine if you feed it an RTF file with a DOC suffix, it just deals with it silently.)


Yes, you are right. The .doc export isn’t a true .doc export. The problem is that the standard Apple exporters for .doc format don’t support images, footnotes, comments or headers/footers - so they would get stripped entirely. Neither does Apple’s RTF exporter, for that matter, but given the open standard of RTF I was able to hack into the Apple importers/exporters and add such features to RTF. Originally, Scrivener didn’t offer .doc export at all for this reason. Now, it generates an RTF file, then changes the creator codes and extension so that Word reads it as a .doc file - this is perfectly legitimate as far as Word is concerned. Nisus Writer does exactly the same (at least it did the last time I checked) - which is where I got the idea from.

I’ve improved this behaviour for the next free update, though. In 1.20, if there are no footnotes, comments or images in the text, and if you set it to have no headers or footers, it gets exported as a true .doc file.

Hope that helps. Does your Palm not read RTF, by the way?

All the best,

P.S. Loved Singularity Sky, by the way. I didn’t realise it was the Charles Stross posting about ODT support (which is also coming, as you know, with 1.20). It’s great to have you using Scrivener!

Documents To Go can parse Word 95/97/2000 and (recently) Word 2007, but it doesn’t handle RTF at all, which is a problem for PalmOS users (and folks with DTG on other PDA/smartphone platforms, and also for other WPs that can’t automatically tell the difference between RTF and Doc and do the right thing). I look forward to 1.20 – in the meantime, textutil is good enough for my purposes. Just as long as I know what’s going on!

(Yes, I’m the same guy who wrote Singularity Sky. I’m using Scrivener right now because I’m spending this year writing volumes 5 and 6 of the Merchant Princes series, and it’s helping me out of some horrible deep structure headaches I was having. Hope you like the end product …)