External Editor... BBEdit?

Hi Everyone,

This is my very first post here, so please be gentle…

Background: I’ve been writing a series of scifi books using BBEdit (from the nice folks at Bare Bones Software). I don’t need any fancy formatting (yet), and I detest the bloatware plague known as Microsnot Word, but I really do need the extremely powerful text-handling features BBEdit has… see… I’ve got slightly more than 1.8 million words written so far (yes :open_mouth: you read that correctly… and yes, it’s become an obsession), and as a result, every software app I tried out seems to break under the weight of that much ASCII data (yes, it’s in lots of reasonably-sized files, but still…). So, I bought a copy of Scrivener and I’m rather liking it so far. [size=50]Also, I’ve been using BBEdit since it came out something like two decades ago and I’ve never found anything quite like it. I think it’s a shame that BBEdit is Mac-only, because it leaves every PC text editor I’ve seen in the dust and I really think that folks needing to edit text a lot should consider changing platforms just to be able to use it (but I digress). Anyway, I consider BBEdit to be my “main” work application, and it’s practically bulletproof, stable and, well, if there’s a feature it doesn’t have, I haven’t found it yet. And no, I don’t own any stock in Bare Bones…[/size]

My Technical Problem: (and please forgive me if it’s been answered, but I did look, to no avail, in Scrivener’s Help and also searched these forums before posting) …there’s a feature in Scrivener called “Open in External Editor”. I’ve just begun adding the first few dozen of the hundreds of text files I have to folders in the Binder, and I can’t figure out how to open them in BBEdit with this command (it’s grayed out). I want to open them in BBEdit, edit and then save them there and then return to Scrivener to see the updated content. I note in the Help docs that Scrivener can pass PDFs to Preview/etc. I also noted how you have to click on another file in the Binder and then back on the PDF you’ve edited externally to refresh it there, but nowhere do the Help docs mention how to pass TEXT files between Scrivener and an external TEXT editor. It’s also not made clear how the “default” external editor is set in Scrivener: I’m assuming that this is done with the Get Info dialog’s “Open with…” panel (in the Finder) and that once that’s configured to use a specific app for editing a specific file extension, Scrivener honors that setting (if I’m wrong, please disabuse me — and someone? forgoodnessakes be more specific in the Help/documentation!).

Now, I’m sure someone out there agrees with me that BBEdit is so insanely cool that it’s important for Scrivener to play nicely with it, and that it’s an indispensible tool for working on large amounts of text data and yadda-yadda-yadda… What I’m hoping is that someone among you fellow Scrivener users is going to say “oh, that’s easy-peazy: just do X, Y and Z, you big doof!” (but gently)…


[size=50]N.B.: so far, I’m quite impressed by Scrivener. It’s already helping me to organize this enormous amount of stuff, plus all the additional research and notes, and I haven’t even started to import all the hundreds of MB of graphical data I have collected. It has only a few minor annoyances (I’ll whine about them later, after I’ve looked around more deeply to see if there are settings that ameliorate them), so I really hope I don’t break it with the sheer mass of ASCII I’m about to throw at it, because if Scrivener works out, I’m going to be doing an awful lot of work in it for the next N years…[/size] :unamused:

I’m pretty sure the External Editor functionality only applies to non-RTFD files that you’d usually have in your Research folder. If I ever need to edit a single Scrivener document in a plan text editor like TextMate, I use QuickCursor – http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/quickcursor/. Unfortunately I don’t think it yet works with BBEdit, but that’s apparently the plan.