How could one get the lists to work?

How could one get the lists to work (like they work in other word processing programs)?

Lists do not work at all here. All of my lists are completely broken.

Yes, it’s a known issue and not easily corrected.
Best practice is to use indented lists as little as possible and correct in your output documents.
Really.

Well, using lists is essential for me. I use them all the time.

As little as possible. Well, well. this somehow sounds…well, well…well…really. And then correct them after outputting…well, well…so…well…really.

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that lists in Scrivener are akin to “unstable dynamite” and do not work if they require any editing of the finished list. You can compose to a list, and all may be well. But if you need to change the item order, or change item indents, or undo and then redo any of those changes, all bets are off.

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OK, well, well, may be “unstable crap / trash” fits better, respectively is correct.

nd do not work if they require any editing of the finished list. You can compose to a list, and all may be well. But if you need to change the item order, or change item indents, or undo and then redo any of those changes, all bets are off.

That exactly is what I do (respectively try to do) all the time. What sense does these lists have?

It sounds like one can write a novell, article, screenplay in Scrivener, but if you edit / correct them all bets and more are off and Scrivener destroys some letters, formats or so. Well, well, may be Scrivener is designed for top notch writers only which do not have to edit and correct. That would be very plausible. Not for the poor writers having to correct and edit all the time, like me. Actually, if I would make a program (of course I am not able to at all), I wanted it to be used as well only by special top notch people.

If you use lists all the time, and are just now coming to Scrivener, then you’re probably well versed in Word or LibreOffice or maybe Google docs - whatever it is you’re using. Scrivener’s sync feature will let you work on a Scrivener document in a synced rtf version, using the word processor of your choice. I use Word, with my beloved customized template and macros. It’s great.

Doing this could be more convenient than it is. But if you understand how the sync feature works, and what it does and does not do, and where the gotchas are buried, and you have a good system for actually using it, and you don’t confuse yourself too badly too often, it works very nicely. When I want to work with lists, or track changes, or navigate a document using headings, I sync out of Scrivener and work in Word for as long as I need, then sync back to Scrivener.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. Having a Scrivener document open via sync in Word is hardly any different than having it opened in a Quick Reference window.

Scrivener’s sync feature

What’s that?

will let you work on a Scrivener document in a synced rtf version, using the word processor of your choice. I use Word, with my beloved customized template and macros. It’s great.

So this means one can use another word processing program, e.g. Word, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Final Draft, etc. to work on the same Scrivener project or parts of it? And Scrivener automatically keeps all the extern data, docs (only rtf? Not odt, docx, etc.?), etc. synchronized? Actually I just wanted a single program, not more, I could write anything with. But there are so many basics which do not work for me in Scrivener. What do I have to do to use OpenOffice together with Scrivener?

Doing this could be more convenient than it is. But if you understand how the sync feature works, and what it does and does not do, and where the gotchas are buried, and you have a good system for actually using it, and you don’t confuse yourself too badly too often, it works very nicely. When I want to work with lists, or track changes, or navigate a document using headings, I sync out of Scrivener and work in Word for as long as I need, then sync back to Scrivener.

Actually I am already confused (by me and others) too badly and too often. So some confusion more doesn’t matter anymore, I would think. I hope, the effort will not be too big. If I, for example, could handle all of the junk lists in Scrivener properly with an external (word processing) program, that would be great.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. Having a Scrivener document open via sync in Word is hardly any different than having it opened in a Quick Reference window.

Yes, that almost sounds really good (already because I never manage to start the quick reference window in full screen mode).

That is more or less the gist of it, but you’d need to look at it carefully and (as I said) understand how the Sync feature works, before it would become part of your routine workflow. Start with what the Scrivener Manual says about it. Note that the sync feature we are talking about here is unrelated to using Scrivener with Dropbox, One Drive, Google drive etc (although the word “sync” will be used when discussing such use.) The rtf files created by the sync feature will open right up in Word and Google docs and probably any of the other Word alternatives, where you can edit and work in it just like that app’s native format (e.g., docx, odt, etc.) Document format is not really a factor here.

You can write – that is, you can accumulate words on the screen – in any of these programs. As word processors, they all do more or less the same things more or less the same way (with some notable exceptions.) But they are not alternatives to each other. Scrivener does things that are entirely outside the scope and intent of Word or any of the other word processors.

Comparing Scrivener to Word or to LibreOffice is like comparing Photoshop to PicPick or to Paint, or Excel to Calculator, or Reaper or ProTools to the native Windows voice recorder. What the formers have in common with the latters is just a tiny subset of what they are actually about.

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Yes, alright, OK, great, many thanks for the information.

I couldn’t resist, Mad_Girl_Disease, and so I tried this.

And it does work, well enough that I could rapidly ‘fix’ a professional document that needed a complex enough list.

  • Scrivener, for its faults, doesn’t show any if you just lay out your list line by line the first time.
  • The File | Sync | With external folder works fine; just remember to create a project-named folder within a general syncs folder, selecting that one to use for your project.
  • getting Scrivener to show fault is easy – just change an indent in your list, for example. Big time results, including different format for a level you already had (indent). Other deviations possible.
  • If you had the synced file open in Word etc., remember to close it before you use File | Sync | With external folder Now (this is the command after initial setup). Closing lets Scrivener write it again.
  • Once you’ve synced Now the faulted project, open your document file where the list is by double-clicking it in the file view on windows.
  • now you see the same ‘results’ as Scrivener gave you
  • the best way to fix things is to avoid detail, using Format Paint to transfer formatting of a good same-level line to the faulted one/s,. This works. If you don’t have a good example, you could make one temporarily in Word, then remove it when you’re done correcting, still avoiding any detail this way.
  • once things look as you want, save and close the file from Word.
  • in Scrivener, once again do File | Sync | With external folder Now…Shift-F6 also does work
  • if you had the document open in Scrivener, now it looks right, all taken care of for you
  • There’s a new Collection showing instead of the Binder on the left, indicating any files that were changed, which could be handy on a more complex job, but just a confidence here.
  • You can select the Binder again on the left, to get your appearance back wherre it was. Or another Collection if you were using one.

So, much simpler to do than to write out, and a very quick pattern to have your fingers learn.

I’m sure Tiho and Lee are very aware of the fix needed, and have it prioritzed, but this is a rreasonably simple and dependable way until that upgrade happens.

I myself am happy to understand this, as actually I’d like to use Scrivener more for EU reports etc for my few activities which actually feed the bank a few beans. Its abiliies can really shine to keep such under control…

And by the way, Word itself also has a problem or two with lists – I saw it changing the level of indent quite wrongly for the line, when only tried changing the numbering format (e.g. ‘.’ to ‘a.’ I think. So, generally, patience would be a virtue…

Thanks, Mad_Girl :slight_smile:

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How could one Scrivener make open (special) docs, folders with an external program, e.g. a portable OpenOffice?

Hmm. If I understand what you ask here, as far as I can see, anyway , I don’t think this is going to be possible.

The place for external documents would be under Resources. But in trying to put an arbitrary document there, you’ll find that Scrivener wants to convert it to its internal format, RTF, unless it’s PDF or image.

This is natural, so that resources can be synced and shown across the platforms Scrivener runs on – which means you also wouldn’t be able to open the doc in its original app automatically.

If you’re using a ‘portable’ app, this kind of thing wouldn’t work anyway, as there’s no linkage in Windows which knows to open a non-installed app.

Incidentally, I got some unclear mumble from Wikipedia about OpenOffice, saying it shut down in 2010, thus is unsafe, but if you look under ‘Apache OpenOffice’ you’ll also find that this taken-over version of the project isn’t in a good situation either – security risks aren’t fixed as they occur.

It might be better to look into LibreOffice if you want to use such a thing, according to what you can see is said about the development level here, if always caveat emptor on excitable Wikpedia posts…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LibreOffice

Hmm. If I understand what you ask here, as far as I can see, anyway , I don’t think this is going to be possible.

May be I understood Mad_Girl_Disease completely wrong, especially here, saying:

That is more or less the gist of it

as an answer to:

So this means one can use another word processing program, e.g. Word, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Final Draft, etc. to work on the same Scrivener project or parts of it? And Scrivener automatically keeps all the extern data, docs (only rtf? Not odt, docx, etc.?), etc. synchronized?

If you’re using a ‘portable’ app, this kind of thing wouldn’t work anyway, as there’s no linkage in Windows which knows to open a non-installed app.

Well, one just somewhere could insert the path to the (portable) version in Scrivener.

That Wiki mumbling must be wrong. OpenOffice should still be developed. But I have LibreOffice (portable) here as well.

Thank you for the link, also.