I realize that this will not be of much use to anyone except, perhaps, me. Perhaps there is a way to do this already, and I just haven’t found it yet, since I haven’t used Scrivener very much at all. I know that this almost certainly would be months away, and not in 1.0. I also have almost no experience with programming (as in, I did a teensy bit on an Apple IIe in the 1980s as a kid), so this may be purely impossible. On the other hand, this is the place for making wishes, and so I continue…

I would love to be able to use Scrivener for writing my dissertation. There are just so many things about it that excite me! The one problem that I have, however, is that in writing a history dissertation, I decided to invest in EndNote so that I don’t have to do nearly as much work in formatting footnotes and bibliographies.

(Yes, I know that Scrivener doesn’t do actual footnotes and I think I have it right in saying that you have to export to RTF and then use Word to open that document to get the “footnotes” into Word as footnotes.)

Well, EndNote has this special functionality with Word, called “Cite While You Write.” Essentially, it places some kind of marker in the Word file that it then formats. In order to put page numbers in, however, you have to unformat it. You then end up with what I think it actually sticks in the footnote (and then later goes back and changes). This “unformatted” bit looks like this: {Burns, 1908 #175@137}. Basically, EndNote has a way of referring to references by author, date, and number in the particular bibliography. The “@137” part is something I added to tell it to put in a reference to page 137.

At any rate, I wouldn’t want Scrivener to format this at all (making it look like the correct bibliographical citation). But since there obviously is a way to grab or collect this data from a particular EndNote bibliography file (since Word does it), I thought maybe there was a way to cull just that information (the unformatted citation) in another program, like Scrivener. If I could go to EndNote, select a particular source, and then have a way to put that unformatted bit into a Scrivener “footnote,” I could then export it to RTF, then to Word, and I should be able to get Word to format the citations (since it looks for the delimiters {}).

It’s not impossible for me to do this by hand, and I very well might, since I love how Scrivener looks and operates (vs. how Word looks and operates) for writing. Again, I recognize that this would probably not affect very many people who aren’t writing in the academic world, and maybe not even very many there, since it requires an investment in another program. On the other hand, who knows?

Thanks for giving me a place to post wishes…

Hi stepheather,

The issue may a bit more complex than it first seems. I did my PhD using Endnote and Word. The thing I found was that you need to get several ducks to line up to get the most out of Endnote.

The designers of Endnote seem to have made Templates for all the major thesis types (for example, APA 5th) - in Word format, and styles that match the Word templates in Endnote citation and referencing code using Endnote plug-ins that patch into Word. These are all informed by the actual referencing Filters for searches you need to use for your discipline.

In any case you will build ENDNOTE libraries in the Endnote folder for each paper, thesis or dissertation and these are Endnote only code. You will need to use your University Department’s recommended citation system. Endnote will have a filter for that citation layout, no question, but it will be a Word filter.

My humble recommendation is think of Scrivener as First Draft ready only, use RTF to export to Word, and use all the power of Word and Endnote’s dedicated Word Plug-ins to format your dissertation.

In any case, you would want to use Word’s Style Sheets for building your thesis structure and layout - even if only for having a Table of Contents and Index automatically generated. These are best done in a Word Processor - and Word has the Endnote plugs and filters, why not use them.

I am inclined to think that Scrivener will handle a lot of early stuff but don’t try to use it to format a really critical major work that relies on deadly accurate, rigourous detail, structure and layout, such as a thesis. It was never designed to do these things. I don’t think Scrivener is a duck you can get to line up with Endnote, yet.


Hi stepheather,

I think Lord Lightening is right. If you want to use the formatting functions of Endnote with Word, Scrivener will never have that kind of ability. I myself am in the throes of the final revisions of my dissertation. I didn’t even know Scrivener existed when I began, so this issue never came up! However, I did start my thesis in Word then switched to Mellel when I found it, since it handles large, complex projects much more effectively (and I don’t need indexing or cross-referencing, which Mellel doesn’t yet have).

I use Bookends instead of Endnote, but Bookends and Mellel work together in a similar way as Endnote and Word. If you have taken the time, or plan to take the time, to learn how to get Endnote and Word to work together, then you probably want to use it and LL is quite right to steer you in that direction. I believe as well that if you began the project in Scr., you’d have to eventually switch over to a genuine word processor to handle the more complex and lengthy foot/endnoting requirements of such a long and involved document (and indexing, etc., if needed).

That said, I do use Scr. to house revision notes and research material relevant to the dissertation, as well as to house all my other ideas in development. For anything but very large, complex projects (like the dissertation) I plan to use Scr. from start to finish. It is the perfect solution, for me, for shorter monographs, essays, fictional pieces, or even book-length non-fiction projects that don’t need a lot of footnoting.

Hope this helps! I know it’s a tough choice, but it’s a good idea to have this worked out before you begin, since it can slow you down a bit to do it later in the process like I did!



If you are working on a thesis/dissertation, this may be of interest:


I am also aware of a plug-in for Firefox that may be useful - I think it is called Scrapbook.

Worth a look.

I’m biased of course, but this is exactly the situation where I would use Scrivener, MultiMarkdown, and BibDesk.

Export to LaTeX/BibTeX, and you’re formatting and bibliography needs are all taken care of…


LL - Zotero IS a plug-in for Firefox2

I certainly agree with everything said so far about SCRIV being a first-pass writing tool, and not really intended for the sorts of final formatting that EndNote entails. Having said that I wouldn’t be surprised if the developer of BookEnds would work with Keith to make it compatible with SCRIV. Like Keith he is exceptionally responsive to user suggestions, and like Keith he has a great product.

I abandoned EndNote for Bookends 2-3 years ago and have never looked back. I do not use the Cite while you Write feature in Bookends, even in WORD, because I have always found this ‘feature’ (in EndNote too) more trouble than it was worth. In Bookends I simply maintain a ‘Group’ for each manuscript I am working on, where I store ‘Hits’ for every book, paper, article that I refer to. Then when I am done writing and ready to submit, I copy that Group in the format of choice and paste it into my Bibliography/Lit Cited. This method works with SCRIV of course because it’s just cut and paste. I find this method more efficient and less error prone than using CWYW. If you insist on using CWYW, then it would not be too much trouble to wait until you take your scrivenings to your word processor for final editing.

Yep! bobm, I feel you have put forward a strong line of reasoning, but stepheather said, “I decided to invest in EndNote”. I figured that since stepheather had already invested in Endnote and Word, mentioning other apps such as Bookends and Mellel was probably a line of exploration that would cause some unnecessary cognitive dissonance for stepheather. One of the reasons so many Masters by thesis and PhD by research candidates give it all up is their experience of cognitive dissonance. The last thing that is needed is to introduce doubt, particularly if a decision resulting from that doubt will cost time and money.

stepheather is writing a history research paper so apps such as LaTeX/BibTeX related solutions are probably overkill, but very interesting. In the end software choice probably is influenced by the candidate’s supervisor preferences.

stepheather has already invested in the basic applications that hundreds of completed PhDs have been written with, and probably did so as the result of Unversity research recommendations. Any projected Bookends - Scrivener integration, while desirable for a few, would not be a strong marketing USP for either application, and in any case is set way in the future and is very speculative. stepheather is working right now on the thesis and needs tried and tested solutions that will enable completion of the work in the shortest possible time.

Regarding zotero, I had meant to say ‘another’ plug in for Firefox.


LL, all reasonable-sounding arguments but in my line of work we refer to that reasoning (i.e. having already invested in EndNote) as ‘committing the Concorde Fallacy’, wherein past expenditures dictate future behaviour rather than the utility/efficiency of changing course. Lyndon Johnson is also famous for committing this fallacy when he said ‘our boys will not have died in vain’ when he chose to continue the VietNam war.

My experience working with Bookends is that it is easier (more user friendly), and much less expensive ($$) in the long run to use than EndNote.

Just to put in the “official” word: there are no plans to add any native support for either BookEnds or EndNote at this time (which means any consideration of this sort of thing is at the very least a year away).

If you guys do reach some conclusions about the best way to integrate these things, this would definitely be one for the Tips & Tricks forum (or the Usage Scenarios forum, when I get around to adding it. :slight_smile: ).


LL, all reasonable-sounding arguments but in my line of work we refer to that reasoning (i.e. having already invested in EndNote) as ‘committing the Concorde Fallacy’, wherein past expenditures dictate future behaviour rather than the utility/efficiency of changing course. Lyndon Johnson is also famous for committing this fallacy when he said ‘our boys will not have died in vain’ when he chose to continue the VietNam war.

My experience working with Bookends is that it is easier (more user friendly), and much less expensive ($$) in the long run to use than EndNote.


You are obviously not at present a Ph.D. candidate. :slight_smile: I know for myself that ‘investing’ in a program often meant spending every spare cent I had on it. It’s not so easy to simply purchase another program, no matter how inexpensive.

Plus there is the time factor. LL is quite right that all this messing around with different programs can really kill one’s progress for a time, and only adds to an already intense state of confusion and, well, stark terror!

I may be projecting my own experiences onto stepheather’s, but I would not recommend spending more money or time at this point, even though I totally agree about Bookends! I would encourage stepheather to make a decision and then dive in. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using Endnote and Word–the dissertation will get written just fine with both. And there will be fewer combatibility and conversion issues that way.

And I think Keith has put to rest stepheather’s original question about Scrivener and Endnote. :slight_smile: So really now it’s just us talking about our own preferences and, well, er, avoiding our own work perhaps…ah, right, I’m busted. So bye and good luck, stepheather, and remember, it will all be worth it in the end!!!


You are quite right that I am not a PhD student but I do supervise lots of them (though never more than a few at a time). I forget, though, that some students have to buy their own software because my students do not. Part of being a good supervisor, for me at least, is providing students with ALL of the tools they need to get the job done well. They are, after all, working for pittance and largely furthering my career as well as their own so it seems to me that the least I can do is pay for their tools.

Anyway this thread is getting way off topic, interesting as it is

I assume the implication of your statement that it is a history paper is that there will not be equations, etc. That makes MMD->LaTeX even easier to use, and even more likely that your results will be acceptable.

The concept of a word processing program is an unfortunate convention that has been furthered by the likes of Microsoft. IMHO, a much better model is “Let me focus on content and let the computer handle fonts, margins, footnotes, references, bibliography, page numbers, headers, footers, table of contents, etc.”

However, I have long given up on trying to “convince” anyone of the benefits of this model. People either see it or they don’t. Those who see it will never go back. (And those who don’t will continue to shell out money for the latest version of Word… :wink:

It took me probably an hour two to convert a friend’s PhD dissertation from Word to MMD and a bibtex file (~130 pages, 97 references). The difference in the output quality is roughly comparable to the difference between crayon and a laser printer… :wink: I can’t say for sure, but I would be willing to bet that she spent far more than an hour trying to set up the formatting and ToC in Word. It took me an hour to undo that, and essentially no time to reformat it using LaTeX (it formats automatically, does the bibliography, citations, Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables, etc). The fact that I could then reformat the work as a book for hardcover printing in a matter of minutes was definitely a bonus.

To each their own.

Well, stepheather, see what you started! It is great that the Scrivener forum can bring a few academic types together in a healthy, productive dialogue. I reckon you must feel an extra burst of enthusiasm to know so many people understand and encourage your efforts.

Scrivener attracts a bunch of really great people. I can’t emphasise enough how Alexandria’s advice is so spot on - particularly the stuff about making things as bare and straight-forward as possible. Everything else is basically a form of procrastination. Honestly, most PhDs are actually awarded for overcoming procrastination. So get that research done. We are all cheering for you!

If you find you have time to fiddle about with the suggestions here, you might like to follow the excellent exchange between fletcher and AmberV, regarding LaTeX etc, here: literatureandlatte.com/forum … c&start=15

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Stepheather, I did an admittedly short and sweet test with Endnotes when I was deciding how to make use of Scrivener. I found that simply copying the reference citation (cntrl-c on the citation in endnotes) and pasting it into my scrivener document worked fine. Below is some of my experience with Endnotes, some of which I hope is useful.

I’ve used Endnotes since 1.0 (Niles Software). It was terrific then in my view. However, I agree with people that it’s gotten increasingly expensive, bloated and, while it is probably great for IT librarians, it’s overkill for keeping a bibliography. It’s an enormous distraction to some Ph.D. students who try to download everything written about their topic into the Endnote library. This looks like procrastination to me; the bottleneck is really the brain.

It’s rare that I’ll put something in Endnote without knowing more or less how I’m going to use it in a specific paper. Also, once or twice, I’ve added libraries from other people to my my main Endnote library without checking them first. While it was nice not having to type in references, I found that they added to a sense of clutter in my main library, and also, that these tended to have more errors (missing data, capitalizations where they shouldn’t be, punctuation that the style I use adds) than my own library. I check and double-check before committing a reference to Endnote (and still find errors), but I value the feeling of being able to trust my main library. In contrast, I don’t hesitate to dump any remotely interesting pdf or website into DevonThink.

About a year ago (when I switched from a pc to my first mac), I tried Bookends. It was cheaper and less bloated, but there were a couple of features that seemed to be missing or documented in a non-obvious way, so I went back to Endnotes. I don’t think there’s a need to upgrad to every new use.

The Cite While You Write feature is useful to the extent it fits in with your work habits. I print a lot of drafts and prefer not to have the citations in until the end because it uses less paper and delays dealing with the niggling citation issues, and then they can be dealt with in a clump. When I’m on a writing roll, I just write in the name and year or other identifying information and find or enter the reference citation later.

Fletcher, what keeps my colleagues married to Word, despite all its frustrations and flaws, is the tracking and commenting feature, combined with it having become a de facto standard. Is there a work around in your approach?

I am not aware of something exactly similar, and the approach that I would use is probably something that would appeal to programmer types only.

I prefer to use a versioning system, like CVS or SVN, for my documents. After a suitable number of changes, or new text (the definition of suitable being up to the user), I commit a change in the versioning software. Something like “All those changes I just made… That was me correcting a word I consistently mis-spelled.” These changes are logged, and I can use the software to move back and forth to any edit, and make comparisons between any two versions.

These sorts of programs work really well with text files, which is one of many reasons I prefer to work with MultiMarkdown files, since they are plain text.

So the short answer is no — you are stuck with Word if you wish to use this sort of versioning amongst a group of people who are unlikely to understand and be willing to use the sort of software I am talking about.

The longer answer is that I have often considered writing a program to make this process simpler. Version control is such a straightforward concept that it’s a shame it’s so difficult to implement.

You are a god among men! I’ve never heard of any advisor buying software for his or her students. And I completed both my Masters and at present an working towards my Ph.D. at a university with plenty of money. Maybe I should submit a bill…:slight_smile:

dear stepheather,

Like linn, I have been using Endnote since vers 1.0 and so have a considerable investment in my Endnote database and in an Endnote-involved workflow. Here are my thoughts for you on using Endnote with Scrivener.

  1. Endnote provides some services for applications other than Word, and which can be used with Scrivener. Look in the Scrivener>Services>Endnote menu, and you will find three menu items: i) find citation, ii) insert citation, and iii) RTF document scan. For instructions on how to use these Endnote facilities, go to the Help menu in Endnote and choose the Help>Search for Help On… menu item, and do a search for ‘services’ to find the “Using Macintosh Services” Help document.

  2. Like linn, I have always preferred to insert Endnote temporary citations in my documents instead of letting the Cite While You Write plug-in insert pre-formatted citations. I think linn is right that, when I am writing, temporary citations are shorter and nicer to have hanging around. Plus, as you mention, if you want to do anything fancy with page numbers, or to make an in-text citation suppress the authors name (b/c it is already in the text), or want the citation to /just/ show the page number (after a long quoted passage), then you need to have access to the temporary citation anyway. I would add an additional reason: it is a virtue that the temporary citation is just plain text. The pre-formatted citation put in by cite while you write is /not/, it is in Word-specific code. That always seemed to me a bad thing in the long term. [I will resist telling you a horror story about an unaccountable change MS made to Word not long ago that made many years of my Word documents unuseable.]

  3. So, given (2), moving to Scrivener for my research and writing did not require a big change to my own workflow. I just toggle over to Endnote when I need to pick up a citation (cmd-c) and then toggle back to scrivener and paste it in. [If you actually wanted full citations, cmd-k will copy a plain-text formatted citation.]

  4. Of course, you can Export Draft to .rtf (or .doc) format and then open the result in Word and have Endnote format your citations and add the bibliography when you are ready to produce formatted copy.

  5. If for any reason you wanted to get Endnote to format the citations in a Scrivener document or project without resorting to Word, you can do that too. Select in the binder the stuff you want to get formatted, and choose Edit Scrivenings to get the composite view of your text. Click over in the Editor pane and choose Select All. Now choose the Endnote>Scan RTF Document item from the Services menu. Endnote will grab a copy of everything you have selected, scan and format it, and present you with a dialog box where you can save the result as an RTF file. Save it some place handy like your desktop. Then, if you want just drop the resulting RTF document back into some place in your project binder in Scriv.
    Voila!, you now have an Endnote-formatted copy of your composited text in Scriv. The original text you selected in Scrivener remains untouched (which is a good thing, because that is your base text—the place you would want to do your further editing or whatnot).

Hope this is useful.