File export is more of a pain than it needs to be

Keith,

This is not so much a bug as a usability issue. I find it more of a chore to export texts from Scrivener than it should be. If I try to export a single text, it comes up with a dialog asking me to name it. If I have already assigned a potentially complex name to the text, I have to exit the dialog, copy the name and start again. Or remember to copy the name before I export. Either way that’s a pain.

If I try to export two or more texts, it wants me to set up a folder to receive those texts. If I make changes to one pr more of those texts, and want to re-export them again, I have to set up another folder with the same contents. Before long the folder I’ve exported to is littered with folders containing various versions of the same documents. Not very helpful!

Can I suggest you implement this in the same way as DevonThink Pro. When you choose “Export”, one of the submenu items is “Export files and folders …” and it just exports the currently selected folder and text hierarchy, with each folder and file named identically to how they have been named in DTPro. Easy. Painless. Quick. Hassle-free. A no-brainer? Speaking personally, it would greatly enhance the usability for me.

I would also like to add a wishlist item, and that would be to see “Import” and “Export” menu items on the contextual menus. I keep meaning to make the same request to Devon Technologies, as I click on a text, bring up the contextual menu, then remember that export isn’t there, but I wish it would be!

Rollo

You raise a good point about exporting one file and I’ll add the title in there by default.

As for more than one file, though, I think the enclosing folder is a good thing. (Mori does it the same way, or at least it did the last time I checked.) If I export a whole lot of files, I don’t want to accidentally save them all into, say, my Documents folder and then have to sort through them all. Having an enclosing folder saves this problem.

Best,
Keith

Yes you’re right about Mori. I tend only to use it when I am exporting a bunch of texts though, so this limitation hasn’t bothered me, as it suits me to create a folder, but it is unnecessarily complex as I can always create a folder at will within the dialog once I’ve navigated to my destination.

In my first uses of Scrivener, I have imported a bunch of documents relating to a specific project. I have then worked on some of the documents and needed to export two or three of them to attach to an email. All I want to do is navigate to my destination folder, and save them there using their names within scrivener. The way it is treated puts extra barriers in the way. DTPro handles this perfectly. I am always moving stuff in and out of it. It’s never any hassle.

Rollo

I’ll leave this open to the floor. If other users agree, I’ll certainly reconsider.
Best,
Keith

That’s fair enough. Thanks!

What about import and export on the contextual menus?

Rollo

I don’t want to bog down the contextual menus so I doubt that will be added beyond what is already there (in the binder you can already ctrl-click and go to Add > Existing Files… to import files).

Another consideration on the Export Files thing, though. There is a bit of an issue here in that if multiple files are exported into the destination folder, they will silently overwrite any files (newer or older) with the same name that already exist in that folder. That is one of the reasons I took the folder route - by doing that, the built in features of the OS X save panel check that another folder of the same name doesn’t exist and if it does, it spews a warning. Exporting multiple files doesn’t allow for this, though. You can see for yourself in the DT export - it overwrites any existing files with no warning. I’m not sure that is such a good thing.

Best,
Keith

Yes it probably does, but I have never had an issue with this.

Rollo

One simple mod would be to supply a generic default name for the folder when one is doing multi-file exports.

This would have some advantages. For transient exporting (which is probably most of them), it would streamline the export process a wee bit (since there is little cause to custom-name a transient folder), and ii) it would minimize Rollo’s folder-sprawl by gently encouraging export folder overwriting.

–Greg

P.S. Personally, I almost never use the Export function (so I can’t really weigh in on the folder/no-folder issue). To produce content files of all sorts, I am typically using the Compile function and sometimes Print Current Document for a quick Print to PDF.