Italics, other rich text for multiple output formats

I am preparing a book for distribution in multiple formats (iBooks Author [.docx], PDF via LaTeX [since I need to include some additional things that Scrivener doesn’t support], and epub). The problem I’m having is getting italics and boldface output to all the various formats. For .docx, it’s no problem; for LaTeX (or Multimarkdown, actually), there is no italics information in the output. I’ve seen fixes for this suggested online of just including the markdown syntax directly for italics, but then, that shows up verbatim in the .docx.

Any suggestions?

Also, while I’m on the subject (sort of), I can’t seem to get Scrivener to output the blank line needed to separate paragraphs in LaTeX…again, any suggestions, apart from inserting blank lines in the document itself (which would look odd in the .docx files)?

Thanks very much for any help!


Actually we do have an option that may work for you: in the Transformations compile option pane, within the Rich Text Conversions section, you will find a checkbox labelled: “Convert Markdown to bold and italics”, available to the rich text outputs like ePub and DOCX. This way you can use simple Markdown for the LaTeX support, without sacrificing access to the rich text formats.

We’ve got an option for that, too. :slight_smile: There are actually two ways of going about it:

  1. Use the Replacements panel to search for one carriage return, replacing it with two (use Opt-Return to insert this character into text fields). Alternatively you can work the MMD way with a literal empty line between paragraphs, and strip out double-returns to single-returns for rich text formats. Which you use is up to preference, and in some cases, formatting constraints.
  2. If you get formatting glitches with those methods, back in the Transformations compile pane, check off “Convert to plain text” and set it to convert paragraph spacing alone. This method will give you more precise control, but requires you to use paragraph spacing for your main text of an amount at least half or greater than the natural line height (so if your text is 12pt, the paragraph spacing must exceed 6pts).

Summary: Scrivener wasn’t originally designed to work this way, and it shows. Historically it was all-in if you wanted to use an MMD format like LaTeX (converting rich text to something strict like Markdown is difficult, to say the least), but over time a few features like this have been added to make a sort of “hybrid” approach possible, so long as there isn’t a lot of complex formatting. You will probably not find it feasible to work in a hybrid fashion if you have a lot of complex elements like lists, tables, block-quotes and so on. Those will all require genuine MultiMarkdown syntax, which of course will be visible in the output for any rich-text output.

Thanks very much. It would be nice if there were an option in the Markdown→LaTeX compile options to convert italics and boldface to markdown syntax – since that way, I could use WYSIWYG editing, then just have the compilation do the conversion. I know there is a format option that will do that, but that modifies the source. I may have missed the option (I hope so) – but if not, then what I’m probably going to do is write in WYSIWYG mode, which works fine for output to .docx, but then copy the project and convert to MMD syntax in the copy and output to LaTeX. I know, I know – kludge!

Thanks again. Scrivener is a real joy to use, and wishing for it to do exactly what I need is greedy! :slight_smile:

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