Have to use a windows machine

I’m about to get a win laptop for work, which I will primarily use away from home (and the mac).

Is it possible to take the scriv file (and all it’s little rtfs) and edit that with Notepad or somesuch and then still be able to open it in Scrivener when I’m back in the universe proper?

If not, what are some suggestions (and no, I’m not lugging two laptops around with me :wink: ) to make things as painless as possible?

Buy a MacBook, and use Parallels Desktop to run both Mac/Scrivener and Windows. It’s two laptops, at the price of one.


Using Parallels or BootCamp, a MacBook IS a Windows machine. Will your employer buy you one?

I don’t have a choice about the laptop. It’s a windows shop where I work and it’s a work computer. I don’t control or have a say in what they buy.

I’m guessing but I would think it would be better to import/export any files you’re working on rather than try to use the .rtf files in the Scrivener package.

(If I misunderstood your intentions, my apologies. Others who are more familiar with moving back and forth between OSs can probably offer better advice.)

Thanks, no problems. I wasn’t very clear in my original post.

I haven’t got the beast yet, so I’m just doing “disaster planning” at this stage.

Definitely keep things simple and use import and export. For a start, the internal format used by Scrivener (inside the .scriv file) is .rtfd. Windows doesn’t recognise RTFD. It will show RTFD files as folders inside which you will find the text and any attachments separately. More importantly, though, whenever you edit a text file inside Scrivener, it saves the modified date and also saves a plain text representation of that text which is used for the search feature and for Spotlight. So, if you edited any files inside the .scriv package outside of Scrivener, search or Spotlight wouldn’t find those files.

So, I recommend that you export files you want to edit from Scrivener as RTF and then open them and edit them on Windows. You can save them and re-import them into Scrivener, deleting the originals.

Oh, and be sure not to use too many advanced formatting features in the RTF file. Annotations and footnotes should survive the process, as should most images (but not all) - at least as of the latest beta. But even then it’s not perfect…

Hope that helps.

All the best,

OK. That sounds straightforward. Thanks Keith and everyone.

As for perfection…this is a windows machine we’re talking about here, so I’ll be happy with “turns on and notepad works”, although I realise this may be expecting too much.

Using windows is making me sad and I haven’t even got the machine yet.

I’d recommend getting a copy of RoughDraft (free) on your notebook, if it is still available. It is a nice little RTF editor, especially for those of us accustomed to easily working in multiple files. Notepad (or at least the version of Notepad I remember), only edits plain text files. At the very least, you’ll probably want to use WordPad, which is roughly equivalent to TextEdit.app, except in a Microsoft kind of way.

I think it might be best to avoid WordPad, if this post on the Mac Word list is accurate (and I think it probably is – the poster is an expert on Word, Microsoft and related things):

Whoa! Scary about Wordpad (and Word 2 - was that the best version of Word ever? I loved it).

Well, after Amber’s suggestion about RoughDraft, I asked the geeky guys at work and they have suggested Notepad++.
Notepad++ has the added advantage of helping me with web stuff as well.

I used Notepad++ on Windows for a couple of years. No problems at all.

I still think you are going to want an RTF editor, unless you intend to lose all of your formatting and highlights and export as plain-text from Scrivener. Notepad++ is an excellent text editor, but like TextMate, it will open up an RTF file like a plain-text file, all of the codes visible. Something like RoughDraft will actually show bold as bold, and it also has a lot of tools for writers as opposed to programmers. But for your web site, definitely Notepad++ is better. So get both; they are both free, and are designed for completely different purposes.

Yes, Amber you’re quite right. For some reason I keep thinking it’s got to be an either/or situation but what I should do is put on both.

Excellent. Thanks everyone.