Lack of conversion from Scrivener to MMD?

I just started evaluating Scrivener a couple of days ago so I might be asking an FAQ.

We can create bulleted lists and tables in Scrivener but they don’t get converted to the right elements when exporting to MMD. Is this a current limitation of the program or there is some setting that I didn’t discover? The same is for boldface and numbered lists.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Actually, Scrivener isn’t an MMD generator. It sports MMD integration, and it manages two of the most time-consuming aspects of handling large MMD documents: footnotes and headers. No need to come up with unique IDs for footnotes or manage header depth as the program will do that for you. It also, just to make things nice and tidy, will handle figures and captioning for you. But that’s about it. The rest is up to you and you should treat the Scrivener editor as being primarily a plain-text environment in terms of what you intend to output. You can of course use the rich text capabilities of the editor to whatever level you please. I use them to embellish the text and mark it up. But just image that, with the exception of annotations, footnotes, and images, everything see in the editor will be copy and pasted into TextEdit in plain-text mode.

Lists almost work, but not quite. MMD doesn’t recognise • as a valid bullet, you need to use an asterisk—which you can with a custom list—but that’s a pain because OS X lists don’t have custom types that can be saved and re-used easily. You have to set it up by hand each time. But the main problem is that OS X inserts a bullet line like so: “\t{CHAR}\t” where {CHAR} is the list style character. Tabs mess up MMD because they either mean a code block or a nested list item depending on the context.

Well, it seems to me that if Scrivener provides bulleted lists then it would be logical to have those exported to MMD. I’m puzzled by your note about Scrivener not being an MMD generator. It does generate MMD, so I don’t know what you mean.

I know how to mark the text to suport MMD syntax but it seems to me that a conversion from Scrivener’s tables to MMD tables woud be obvious. Same for bold text, etc.

Anyway, it’s a great editor.


Logical, sure, no disagreement with you there. :slight_smile: The problem is the nature of these beasts. They are black boxes provided by Apple, and Apple never coded a Table->MMD or List->Markdown method into them. It’s something we’d very much like to do, but short of inventing both of these from scratch it’s not feasible.

Sorry, my statement was a bit ambiguous. It is indeed an MMD document (and derivate format) generator. What I meant to express is that it is not by and large a syntax generator. It won’t take bold text and wrap it in double-asterisks for you, that sort of thing. There are complexities with automating these. Rich text editors don’t care if your italic range extends a bit into the whitespace around the phrase, for instance, but that would produce an invalid range in MMD. There is a one-shot tool for doing this in the Format/Convert sub-menu, the idea being you’d want to proof the results of this for any strangeness after doing it. Automatically doing so for a 500 page document would potentially produce “invisible” errors, especially in documents were the asterisk is used frequently for other things (such as in code blocks for a technical book). Changing this policy and basically just letting people know that it is up to them to always be punctilious about their rich text formatting is something we may introduce however.

Thank you for the technical details, good to know what drives the product :slight_smile: