Link with text file edited externally to Scrivener


I use scrivener to write technical documentation. Some of the content is generated by an external program. I can obviously copy and paste the content manually in a document within my binder, but every time I regerate the external document, I would need to manually perform the steps again.

Is there a way to “link” an external piece of text, just like you do for a picture? Any other way to minimize the manual process?


Are you using LaTeX for the project? If so you could use the normal \input{path/to/file.tex} method, or wrapped in an HTML comment if you use MMD to generate the LaTeX. Otherwise Scrivener itself doesn’t have a way of including text files or bringing text documents into the project in such a way that they are not hosted by the project internally.

I wonder if Sync to External Folder might not help here. Hard to say without more information on what you are doing.

  • asotir

I don’t know anything about LaTeX, I just compile to a Word document to share with colleagues and clients. That may be an interesting solution, but I am afraid of the learning curve on top of Scrivener!

Maybe I can provide more details to explain what I do. I write a technical software manual and parts of the manual are diagrams and text that I design in a UML modelling tool (Visual Paradigm) which can then output its content in either RTF or PDF. My original idea was to output the RTF file somewhere and then insert/link it into Scrivener where I add the bulk of the content and compile to produce the desired output, which is going to take the form of a Word document, as well as an ePub. I am also toying with the idea of outputting it to HTML as an online manual as well.

No worries, your colleagues would probably all get together and lynch if you if you tried to make them learn LaTeX. :slight_smile: A lot of technical work is done with it though, so I figured I should ask.

Hmm, with PDF you could maybe use the [b]Edit/Insert/Image Linked to File...[/b] command to bring the PDF in as a graphic. A linked graphic will work just like InDesign or anything else that can include links to resources rather than fully embedding them.

I think that might be your best option. The external folder sync idea could theoretically work as well, but if you’ve got the capability to use PDF images you might as well use the linked resource system that already exists.

The PDF insert works if my output is only an image. Actually, it does include the first page of the pdf file. My document output is a few pages long, so this option does not work.

However, the Sync looks very promising. I can tell my application (VisualParadigm) to generate the word document in the directory where I do the Sync. The problem I have is that I can’t tell it to produce an RTF file, only a DOC (or DOCX file). So I have to manually convert the file from DOCX to RTF and overwrite the existing file. Then Sync works beautifully.

If I can just remove the manual conversion from DOC to RTF, it would just be perfect. I will try using Automator and some script that I could get Hazel to run. I have never done any Automator script, so it may prove a challenge, but this is the best solution so far. If I get it to work, I’ll post the result.

thanks guys for your suggestions!