I do I use Scrivener on an iPad?

Hello Everyone!
I am new to Scrivener and have only used it on my windows OS laptop. I find that I do most of my writing when I first wake up while drinking coffee and typing on my iPad. Right now I type everything into Notability and later copy and paste into Scrivener but that is beginning to be a pain!

I read that some people use their iPad with Scrivener but how? I searched for an app but couldn’t find any. Any and all suggestions on how to do this better would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Hi Sherry, welcome to Scrivener and to the forum. A Scrivener app for iOS is well on the way - details to be found in this thread, and elsewhere on the Literature & Latte website: [url]https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/scrivener-for-ios-when/28765/1].

Currently you can write in a text editor or note-taker on the iPad and sync with Scrivener - a video using Simplenote is last but one at the foot of this page: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/videos.php.


Thank you, Hugh! This is very helpful!

You need to sync your project with an external folder. You can use Dropbox. Plenty of text editors on iOS have Dropbox access. If you want to preserve the rich text format you can use Textilus on the iPad. If you are OK with plain text you have many options. Best ones are Editorial and Write. Byword is good too.

I use Scrivener Mac for an academic thesis, using Zotero as my citation manager. This means that in any Scrivener document I have (1) non-citation footnotes (I prefer inline), (2) in-text citations in squiggly brackets from Zotero, (3) in-text annotations being notes to myself for edits etc.

I have Textilus on my iPad which is a very fine rtf editor, and have tried syncing this to my Scrivener external sync folder on Dropbox. The sync folder needs to be set to rtf to keep Textilus happy (otherwise it converts to rtf on the iPad). The only trouble is that footnotes and annotations are changed in the process - when I review the document next on Scrivener the annotations have become Inspector comments and the in-line footnotes are now Inspector footnotes. This might not be a big deal except that when I reconvert these to in-line I find there are some ‘junk’ characters added - for a thesis length document this is no-go.

I have had better luck setting my Scrivener sync folder to txt, and editing on the iPad with iA Writer Pro which syncs nicely to Dropbox in real-time. You do have to get used to the fact that footnotes are indicated as {{text}} and annotations as ((text)) - the upside being that they are very easily edited on the go and come back to Scrivener in exactly the same format as they started.

If anybody has any user hints about Textilus that would resolve the issue that would be preferable I guess, as the rtf files maintain things like colour coding that are useful. Otherwise, for anybody else using footnotes and annotations iA Writer Pro might be the better solution.

How footnotes and comments are imported from RTF files is determined in the “Import Options” tab of the Import/Export preference pane, toward the top. By default they will come in as Inspector notes, but you can select inline if that is what you prefer. There is no way to maintain mixed types since that is a special feature of Scrivener that the RTF format itself is incapable of storing. I don’t know if that will solve your “junk character” problem though, that is an unfamiliar problem to me.

Thanks Amber, the Import/Export options do the trick re inline vs. Inspector footnotes and comments - thank you. The ‘junk characters’ problem continues however - I would think this would be a deal-breaker for most users. I just did another test, opening the sync rtf file in Textilus, saving without any changes then syncing back to Scrivener.

  1. Inline footnote - after the sync the footnote contains new characters at the beginning: ?p0?10
    2.Blocks of preserved text are no longer marked as such, instead an extra carriage return is inserted before and after the paragraph.
    I expect this is something Textilus is doing rather than a Scrivener problem, but it’s a pity because this would be a useful way of working with the draft on the iPad.

Hello all,

If I may wade in here?

Will be traveling for a few weeks on a research tour. As things stand, my Macbook’s battery is reaching the end of it’s useful life - and is isn’t giving me much hours - whereas the iPad Air is obviously much more inclined to last the day.

I’m therefore (for the 1st time) looking seriously at options for Scrivener on the iPad.

I have Simplenote/nvAlt (c/o Drafts on iOS) set up already, and was toying with the idea of Editorial as well. Googling best text editor - iPad, pretty much throws up the same crowd, so pretty sure I’m good with that.

The thing that has me wondering, is the Plain text over Rich text. If I google ‘best Rich Text Editor iPad’ etc., pretty much the same candidates are suggested. Not many make a distinction between plain and rich text. I had a look at Textilus, and (looks being deceiving aside) - it doesn’t appear to be anything special (or, I’m sorry to say - particularly attractive) - why not then simply use MS Word on the iPad - and save as RTF?

That being said - since I’m also writing academic papers, the footnote options are crucial. And here be my question: to properly utilize inline footnotes, when I end up back in Scrivener on the Mac - is a RTF editor essential for those purposes, or can a work-around be kludged together (using unique delimiters that a grep search will be able to find and replace, for instance), with the plain text editors?

TL::DR >>

Can plain text editors come to the party i.r.o. footnotes, or is this something better done with RTF-specific editors?

Something I have seen done in the past is to put the footnote within the text thus:

…some body text^fn text^. More body text…

The carat ^ is simply a delimiter. I used Nisus Writer Classic at the time, transferred the document to Nisus and then ran a macro which took the text between the carets, substituted a footnote number and placed the numbered footnote text in the proper place. You could run through a whole document in this way creating numbered footnotes. I don’t doubt this is also possible using Word and an appropriate macro.

Textilus on the iPad uses .rtf as its native format (I think) which might make the transfer easier, but since Nisus Classic used plain text and the resource fork to store formatting instructions it might also work with SimpleNote.

it’s a kludge, but provided you could find someone to write the appropriate macro it should work. I’ve not tried it but I imagine that transferring the document to Scriv would leave the ‘footnotes’ within the body of the text. You would then need to compile it and subsequently run the macro to put the footnotes in the proper place.

If you’re doing a lot of work which goes back and forth this may be more trouble than it’s worth, but I think it should be doable.

HTH. Use at your own risk etc :slight_smile:

EDIT: Sorry, should have read the whole thread - didn’t realise you are on a Windows laptop. Nonetheless something similar should work with Win Word.

Appreciate the detailed reply.

I’ve toyed with crossing over to NWP - but cannot afford to stand off time to that learning curve, just yet. It’s something I will definitely consider down the road. It looks mind-blowingly powerful!

Did a bit of reading up on Textilus, and it certainly has plenty of support out there. Downloaded the free version to play around with - it’s a bit buggy, but can work. But I’m not convinced, to be honest. I’ll rather wait for the iOS version of Scrivener, before committing more money to something I might only use as a stop-gap.

In the interim, pretty sure Drafts/Simplenote will work well enough. Since I won’t be typing all that much on the iPad, if I need to manually tweak the footnotes after the fact on the Mac, it won’t be the end of the world.

Thanks again!

I’ve used Textilus quite a lot with Scrivener. It works just fine, but then I am not using any complicated stuff like footnotes, only for writing body text. But it takes a bit of planning, like naming the different sections in the Draft folder of Scrivener so that I easily know where I am. And you need to get used to the way the Binder content looks when you look at it as files in Dropbox.

Easy to write with, and it updates the Dropbox file in the background, so when I’m done everything is saved and safe.

About money, I think there is possibly a sale on Textilus right now… I can’t see the prize in App store

Edit: I’ve tried Simplenote as well, but never liked it. So for editing Scrivener projects I use Textilus, but when I get new ideas and write completely new text I often use Drafts (http://agiletortoise.com/drafts/) and then send it to Scrivener’s Scratch Pad using one of the built-in “actions” that come with Drafts (“Create, append, prepend to files on Dropbox”).

I’d use Editorial and markdown. When you are done traveling, you either convert the markdown (Editorial has plenty of python-based workflows for that) and then import in Scrivener, or you directly import the markdown in scrivener. You can also sync with Dropbox, of course. Plenty of options. Editorial is the best text editor on the iPad