Compiling to Plain Text

I write in Markdown. Because Scrivener and Markdown have agreed to disagree, I compile to Plain Text. (If there’s a better way, I’d like to know it.)

Our colleague @nontroppo uses some Scrivener styles while writing, to make things a bit more clear as the writing proceeds. I decided to try that today with a billeted list. In Markdown you prefix such a list with an asterisk. The result in the text is that you have a plain paragraph that starts with an asterisk. So I painted the list with Bulleted List. This gives something that looks like this:

    • Item one
    • Item 2
    • Item III

That looks a bit odd but is visually set off nicely. HOWEVER …

When this is compiled to plain text, Scrivener inserts the bullets. I had hoped it would not do so. I can find nothing in the compile templates that suggests a way to turn this off.

Is there such a way? If not, what would be a better way to proceed? (I think I’ll try using the block-quote style, which should at least set the paragraph indented which may be enough.


Arrgh. Can’t actually set a format for block quote to have an indent … because even in plain text mode, Scrivener iOS will export it with leading spaces.

No, I’m wrong again. The Quick View button (hamburger) at the bottom of the text page uses some magic File Format of its own. The real plain text export does not include leading spaces.

Whatever that hamburger button is called, is there a way to control what it does? What is its purpose, exactly?


The “hamburger” button? Do you mean the icon with three parallel lines? That’s the Draft Navigator, and it’s the iOS version’s answer to the desktop Scrivenings view. It’s intended to allow you to view your entire draft as a single document, and jump to a particular location by tapping on it. It’s not a Compile preview, as it will simply show you whatever (RTF) formatting you have in the project.

If you haven’t already, it’s not a bad idea to read through the Tutorial project. It has pretty good coverage of how iOS Scrivener works and in particular how it differs from the desktop versions.