Dear all,

I am working on an extremely tedious translation of an interview. Because the “characters” switch, I was tempted to try the Scriptwriting template, but then didn’t quite get it… Now, I do something like this:
Mr X:

Ms Y:

Mr X:

Which seems a bit stupid and not quite using Scrivener’s features. Also, I would like to make the structure a bit more visible, so I italize and “bold” Mr X and Ms Y but this is also getting a bit tedious…

I was wondering if somebody has a cunning strategy for dealing with this… Should I try the scriptwriting template? Or can I somehow ascribe formats to “MrX” so that every time I type “MrX” it will be bold and in italics and blue or whatever?
I am grateful for any suggestions

Ive been doing a few interview transcriptions of late, and yeah is it ever tedious!!

When I put them online the interviewer’s questions are in italics (and no mention of their name, except in the introduction) and the answers are in regular font (again with no name except at start).

So the only formatting necessary is to italicise the questions, which I havent found worth “automating”.

But what I thought you might find useful to know (and perhaps you know of some even better solution) is Listen&Type.

For what it does it’s very overpriced, but it allows you to set up keyboard shortcuts for a few tricks when playing back the audio,like:

  • Skip backwards (or forwards) 5 secs
  • Create marks

I find this streamlines the process a lot since it obviates much of the fiddling around with the audio control buttons of, say, Quicktime.

I use it Listen&Type in conjunction with Scrivener, but thats mainly to keep associated reference files all in one place and within easy reach. I dont think there is any special magic in Scriv for interviews per se, they are a pretty basic thing.



I suggest this: questions should each have their own Scrivener document. Then create an answer document and stack it under the question so your binder hierarchy looks like:


When you got to transcribe the interview, you’ll have the filled-in questions and empty answer documents. Select all of them and go into Scrivenings mode, so you see all your questions in a row, with blank spots for your answers, and separators between ever document so it’s easy to tell which one you’re clicking into.

Then when you’re ready to compile the interview into a single document, you set up your Compile settings to change the fonts for the level of document that includes all of your answers, and a separate font setting for your “questions” level (like italics).

Once you have everything the way you like it, save it as a template after whittling it down to the essentials. You can even make a “document” template that has the stacked question/answer structure so with CMD-N you can have another Q/A pair ready to be filled in that will conform to your compile settings.

Sorry, didn’t quite address your original, multi-person interview question, but it could be that you take advantage of how Scrivener treats folders and files differently in the compile settings. Let’s say you have this structure (F = Folder, D = Document):

-> (F) Interviewer Question
—> (F) Mr X Answers
—> (D) Ms Y Answers ( note this is on the same level with Mr X folder, it’s not “in” that folder ).

In the compile settings, you’ll have one set of things you can do to text in Folders (folders can have text just like a regular document can… it’s just a visual metaphor). Then there will be another setting for Folders on the second level in the binder, and yet another setting for Documents on the second level. Once again, you save yourself a lot of styling tedium while you write (and don’t have to use Script Writing Mode), which can wait until the end.

Also, each document or folder can be pre-configured as a Document Template, with different fonts or font colors for each participant.

I hope that leads you in a productive direction.

Thanks a lot to you all :slight_smile:

I guess the idea with different files is what I’ll go for.
Also thanks for hint about the transcription tool. In fact, I am translating, not transcribing, an interview from one language to another (more tedious???), so I don’t really need this, but thanks nevertheless.
Hmpf… it really takes ages…

Gettin’ crackin’ :imp:

I’ve started using TextExpander in my transcription of interviews.

I’ve created snippets that auto-expand with a few keystrokes, and I believe you can have it appear in bold/italicized format as well.

I can short cut for frequent phrases e.g.:

ppmo = PM: Ok.

mm = Mmhmm

99= (( )) <-- This one even centre’s the cursor between brackets…
,[= [] <–This also puts cursor in the brackets after expansion

It makes typing each character and repeated much easier & faster in Scrivener.

I’m not sure if it got included in the 2.2 release, but check in the Format/Scriptwriting/ sub-menu. There might be an “Interview” script already provided. It is very simple, just three elements for the Query, Answer, and then Comment for any asides or personal annotations. Query is italic and Answer is bold. That can easily be changed or colourised in the Script Settings panel, first tab.