Importing an outline into Scrivener

Hi all

I’ve been using Scrivener for a couple of years and absolutely love it, but I also use SuperNotecard for my initial outlining because it runs on Linux (and because I find it slightly more powerful for outlining). I’m therefore trying to work out how I might get an SNC outline into Scrivener with the minimum of fuss. I can export from SNC as a single file in a variety of formats, including plain text and RTF, and splitting a plain text version into separate scenes could be done with a fairly simple Perl script - but the standard Scrivener import puts the content into the body of individual documents, not the synopsis. What I’d like to be able to do is import each scene directly into the “Synopsis” section of a new Scrivener document, in a similar way to Summarizer, rather than having to cut and paste several dozen scenes-worth of text from one field to another.

So, does anyone have any ideas on how this could be achieved? Is it possible to “fake” a summarizer file, so that Scrivener knows to create synopses from it? Or is there a more straightforward way to do it, e.g. using MMD or AppleScript? All I’m looking for is a direction to go in, so I don’t spend hours learning a piece of technology that turns out to be incapable of achieving the results I want :slight_smile:

Thanks in anticipation!


Poking around in the individual project folders, I’ve just spotted that the synopses are simply text files. I can even create one manually (in vi) and have it instantly appear in Scrivener! So, for now I can get around my problem by writing a little Perl script to chop the plain text outline into individual files called 1_synopsis.txt, 2_synopsis.txt and so on, then drop them into an empty project folder. It would be nice to have a more sophisticated import that would add the titles to the documents, but even this quick’n’dirty solution is a big improvement on the manual method!

There have been several requests for a way of getting an outline in from SNC and also from OmniOutliner, actually, and seeing as a few (such as yours have come up quite recently), today I looked around again for an OPML solution. Anyway, I finally came across some code that could help parse OPML files and have had some success with adapting it. Tomorrow I hope to perfect it, so hopefully the next update will be able to import outlines created in SNC or OmniOutliner directly into Scrivener via the OPML format. It will only support titles and synopses (though there will probably be an option to choose whether the text gets imported into synopses or the main text), nothing else (there’s no way of getting labels and suchlike), but it should be a decent enough solution for getting basic outlines that have been created in other apps into Scrivener. This should feature in the next update (which still has no fixed release date, although beta testing should begin in November or December, hopefully…).
Thanks and all the best,

UPDATE: I’ve just finished the OPML importer and it works pretty well for getting outlines into Scrivener from OmniOutliner and SuperNotecard. It only imports titles and synopses (though you can choose to have the synopses imported into the main text or notes instead of to the synopsis in Scrivener if you want), but that should be enough for most purposes for now.

24 hours for a new feature.

You do realize just how bad this makes other development “teams” look don’t you?

That’s brilliant, Keith! You’re a real star! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Titles and text only is fine - I can appreciate that labels, categories, etc would be near impossible to import correctly, since there’s no obvious mapping (e.g. I use coloured backgrounds for PoV in SNC, but the “label” field in Scrivener).

And well done finding an OPML solution. From what I’ve read online, the original developer of OPML has not been open to suggestions or collaborations and as a result the format has not been as popular as it ought to have been.

Now I really can’t wait for 1.5! :slight_smile:

Importing from OmniOutliner into Scrivener is a dream come true. Thanks a million for this!

ahem… I think you can already do that. There’s a plugin for OO Pro on Fletcher’s website, that can be used with Scrivener’s MultiMarkdown import. It’s quite useful, even if you don’t use MMD itself.

Yes, true, but somehow it doesn’t meet my (somewhat complex) requirements, which should be addressed via OPML (my understanding is OPML aims to be the standard for outline exchanges, so in this regard it is certainly welcome in Scrivener, too.)