For xmas: Excel import...

I’m a new user and I love this new creative hub. I’m just dropping everything in there and go creative. Having a ball!
However, when writing my stuff I have one or two documents produced in MS Excel to keep track of my time and efforts but also to keep track of story time and chains of events. Is there any way that read/write of Excel could be integrated for a future release?

Love Fnuffnert

Glad to hear Scrivener is working well as a hub! As a hub, it can’t really serve as an editor, or even a read-only parser of all of the various formats you might put into it. There is just far more work packed into your request than is remotely feasible for one programmer to take on. But the good news is that this generally is no problem at all. Programs like Scrivener, that help you organise research files, have easy ways of opening the resource in a proper external editor, like Excel. Just hit Ctrl-Cmd-O, or use the Documents/Open/in External Editor menu command.

Thanks Amber. Didn’t know about the shortcut.


David, I’d like to know how you use Excel “to keep track of story time and chains of events”. A search on “spreadsheet” in this forum reveals that many users have worked up ingenious ways to harness the database qualities of Excel, Bento, Numbers, and Google Sheets for story-writing purposes. One I’ve seen (and saved) listed character motivations, story arcs, and key events in order to create a plot line, arranged in chapters. Can you describe your methods a little?

Well druid.
It’s really simple - and basically along the lines of what you outlined.

Depending on the project I simply place a timeline on x-axis. If (as is the case right now) it’s a loooooong story spanning 100 years it’s simply 100 years. Other times it’s a time scale of weeks, days or even hours.

On my Y-axis I place all the characters or whatever I need to keep track of and then assign them all a colour and pretty much fill in whatever needs to go there.
If I want one more dimension I’ll simply add on a pattern (in the fill section) for each storyline and thus keep track of a storyline in character rows or vice versa.
Because I (aside from color/pattern) also want to write what each box represents I often use several rows for each character and thus the texts wont collide with each other.

Basic, basic, basic. I’m pretty sure someone else has come up with more elaborate spreadsheets loaded with bells and whistles. If you find one feel free to send me one.