Export to Apple Pages

The various export options in complie are excellent. Could Apple Pages be added. True, you can open .doc in Pages but this would ensure compatibility, avoid those annoying little glitches that conversions can cause and make the Scrivener experience even smoother for those using Pages. No biggie but a nice to have.

This isn’t possible, I’m afraid. The Pages format is entirely private - unlike, say, Word’s .docx format, whose specifications are public (http://www.officeopenxml.com), Apple doesn’t publish the specifications to the Pages format, so the only way to support it would be to try to reverse engineer it. This is why only Apple apps can support the Pages format; other apps have to use .doc and .docx to export to Pages.

All the best,

And that is one clear reason to simply refuse to use Apple Pages: lock-in to proprietary formats should be a sad relic of the dark ages of computing. Even Microsoft, who arguably built an empire through lock-in, didn’t continue with this deeply user-hostile tactic…

I use Apple Pages all the time, and find no difficulties exporting from Scrivener via .docx, and working with Word-centric editors using Track Changes.

Likewise, I use Pages with export to Doc/Docx PDF, ePub, plain text, so no real lock in. As with any Export/Import to Doc/x (even with Open Office) there can be issues with complex formatting.

Many of the apps we use everyday including in writing started, with or still have closed specs.

Docx is actually - surprisingly! - a nice format to work with. On the Mac, we use Aspose, a third-party set of Java converters, to convert between .docx and Scrivener’s native RTF file format. On iOS, however, there are no such tools, and Apple provides no way of converting from TextKit to either .docx or .pages formats, so I was left in a bit of a bind, in that I had excellent RTF support but no other iOS apps did, leaving Scrivener as a bit of island. So I spent a good week or so buried in that officeopenxml.com site, getting very intimate with the .docx format, and was pleasantly surprised at how straightforward it is to deal with. Then again, after years of working with RTF, anything XML-based is pleasant to work with. :slight_smile:

Well, that you can export manually is all well and good, but it still forces you to keep using Apple Pages (only Pages can convert a Pages document). And then 3rd party programs that may need to integrate, like Scrivener have to work round a deliberately closed format, or ask users to make do with klunky intermediate formats. Then Apple unilaterally adds features, takes them away again, removes applescript functions programs like Bookends rely on for integration etc. etc. Pages is superficially a nice and simple app, but many of us wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. Apple have clearly demonstrated to many of us they simply can’t be trusted with productivity apps (Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Color, iWork etc.).

Every program has its quirks. I used Microsoft Word from the MS-DOS Version 1.01 in 1984 until around 2006, when its corporate-specific bloat level drove me elsewhere. Since then I’ve done all my writing and magazine-editing in Scrivener, with .doc or .docx exports/imports being the intermediary. When I need to interface with a publisher who does track changes, I export to Pages and work with it there, exchanging .docx files with the publisher. It works fine, and I’m not in the least impacted by what Apple may or may not do in the future. Scrivener files in RTF, and exports in .docx, will still work no matter what Apple does or doesn’t do.

Not to be rude, but Scrivener isn’t exactly an open format either. Yes, I know it’s XML and RTF but it’s not exactly documented publicly nor released under a permissive licence.

I wrote a python utility for work that generates docx from the ground up. I was surprised too by how easy it was. I’ve even managed to get it work on Editorial for the iPad without much change.

This is something we may well remedy in the future. Internally, we have 200-page specifications thoroughly documenting the format (it’s all XML and RTF, as you say), and we tend to share those specs with anyone who asks (the Aeon guys, a couple of iOS apps and so on). There’s not much point sharing them right now because of various changes in the format coming up (mainly to do with naming and identifier conventions, and the package structure - the core of using a package of XML and RTF files will remain the same), but we may well put them on the site in the future. Given that we’re not Microsoft or Apple, though, there’s not much call for other apps using our file format. :slight_smile:

Well, when you consider your documentation is stable enough, I for one will be very interested!

Crikey, I wasn’t expecting that, Keith. It would be fabulous. :smiley: Being able to generate/read scrivener documents from my personal workflows would be great. Scrivener is my preferred drafting environment, but I like automating (in Python) and storing (in SQLite) stuff like world and character development. Being able to problematically dump a book-specific dataset into a Scrivener document would be awesome. I know, it’s a very niche use case, but then its exactly the kind of thing that releasing format specs or creating plugin architecture can encourage. An open format also potentially means I could explore ways to use Scrivener with my AsciiDoc workflows I use in my day job.

I guess much like the Aeon guys (great program BTW) I’m more interested in building an ecosystem around my use of Scrivener.