Importing iPad composed fiels WITH formatting

I really can’t determine what the best way is to get formatted files from my iPad into Scrivener on my Macs. In the beginning I thought I could edit them with them with Notesy or Elements or some other editor that syncs to Dropbox. But of course these limit you to .txt files. I want to be able do real writing, with italics and bold, and transfer that to the Macs. I thought Markdown or Multimarkdown was the solution but when I tried what I thought were the proper markups (e.g italics in my files), when I imported them into Scrivener, they still looked like unformatted text files.

I admit I don’t understand what I’m doing but my goal is to be able to write and edit files on the iPad so that when they get transferred to Scrivener on the Mac they’re formatted properly–either by marking them up some way on the iPad or some other solution. I’ve also tried using Pages and DropDav but that now’s become a $5 a month service. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Point me to postings here that I’ve missed. I’ve searched but can’t seem to find anything that explains the options.

rob

Hi Rob,

The main problem here is the iPad, I’m afraid. Apple haven’t really designed it to be a rich text editing solution, which is why so few programs can edit rich text on the iPad. Apple used some private methods for doing this with Pages, but they didn’t make any of the rich text editing tools available to developers. This means that any iPad developer who wants to provide rich text editing in their program currently has to write their own text system, which is a massive undertaking and beyond most indie developers unless they have a year to spend on it. My guess is that eventually Apple will introduce rich text editing - in iOS 5.0 perhaps, as wild speculation - but until they do, your rich text editing options on the iPad are severely limited.

To my knowledge, for instance, not a single iPad application is currently able to support the RTF format, event though it’s a standard rich text format that has been around for 20+ years.

Sorry it’s not great news. Maybe other users have found some rich text editors beyond Pages and Docs2Go that though.

All the best,
Keith

Keith
Thanks so much for the reply. I did realize the iPad doesn’t really do rich text so I thought a Markup or Markdown (?) language was the next best thing–i.e. use one of the iPad text editors but mark italicized text, etc. As I understand those languages you simply add things like this to mark some text in a text file as italicized, for example. And I thought Scrivener could import and convert such files. Perhaps that is not the case. I’m using the Import MultiMarkdown file from the File>Import> menu but the result is not what I expect. I simply get a folder with two files, neither of which has the marked text italicize. One has the first line of the file and the other has the text of the file as is.

Am I missing something or is there a way to do this? Some documentation on the Scrivener forum or site perhaps? My understanding is again not the best on this topic. Thanks

Given that those programs use Markdown, my guess is that they still save the files as plain text files including the markdown syntax - that would be normal for such an approach. When the text comes into Scrivener, do you see the “italic” syntax and suchlike? If so, that’s the problem. There isn’t a good workflow of getting Markdown files into Scrivener as rich text, because most users of Markdown use it because they want complete control over the syntax and don’t want it converting into rich text except for when generating final documents in it. So in Scrivener, users can write Markdown syntax and then export to LaTeX and suchlike, but it doesn’t really work the other way.

Incidentally, a better way of working with the iPad is to use Scrivener’s sync features - take a look at the last three videos on the video tutorials page for an introduction.

All the best,
Keith

Keith
Thanks for all the help. I understand now. Scrivener can generate the Markdown files from RTF but can’t reverse the process I guess. Yes,Notesy exports a simple text file because what comes into Scrivener is exactly what I saw in the original text file. I think perhaps Textmate can export Mardown files as RTF but that doesn’t help create a nice workflow but adds yet another step.

This seems to me like something lots of people would want to do. As you said, Apple will hopefully make it easier for developers to deal with rich text file formats in the future

I’ll look at the videos you recommended. Thanks again.
rob

Actually you can reverse the process, as that’s rather a big point of the system—being able to generate print quality versions of a text that can be written and edited virtually anywhere. Easiest thing to do would be to take the files you’ve written using Markdown syntax and compile them in Scrivener using MultiMarkdown->RTF. Now you’ve got rich text. :slight_smile: