Mail integration


I’d like Scrivener to hold all references relating to a project. That includes the briefings, comments and reference material I get via email - my biggest source of project-specific information.

At the moment, Scrivener’s binder doesn’t appear to leverage the drag’n’drop functionality that Leopard Mail provides (although it does work in the bookmarks pane of the Inspector).

How about adding the ability to drop Mail messages into the binder, and have them open in Mail on a double click?

All the best for 2008. My selfish hope is that you procrastinate over The Novel as solidly and as profitably as you did in 2007.


That would indeed be a very good feature, expecially since most people (including mysself) don’t like to write letters, so everything comes as an emal :slight_smile:


Mail is a private Apple app and there is no public API available for integrating with it, so I am afraid that this would be very difficult. What you can do is just select all of the text you want in Mail, and drag that across to the binder - that will create a new document containing the selected text. (I have researched accepting drags from Mail’s list of e-mails before, and there is no real way of doing it because the drags contain a private format that has not been released by Apple).

All the best,

I use the Services menu for this – set up a keyboard shortcut to clip selected items in a Mail message (or browser window or whatever) to Scrivener. It creates a new document in the Binder window, which you then have to retitle. Does that process bring in all the info you need?

I haven’t researched this too much, so forgive me if I am incorrect. But I thought the new mail offered a new url scheme that allows links to work automatically. You just have to accept the pboard type, and you’re set.

More info at:

brett: the Services menu does the job, but drag and drop, with the ability to call up the original message and its attachments from within Scrivener, would be better and slicker. Not essential perhaps, but good.

fletcher: that’s what I thought too, which is why I made the suggestion.

KB: Thanks for the response (and I hope Leopard really IS different). Virtually all correspondence relating to writing assignments travels via email now, so it seems logical to keep that correspondence in the same location as the assignment drafts themselves - now that you’ve created the expectation that it’s possible.

Some form of direct Mail interaction would be great, someday, if Apple ever lets its APIs off the leash.


You can drag Mail messages into Scrivener’s text which will create a link that you can click on to open it in Mail. I may look into adding the ability to create a similar link in the References panel at some point. However, you won’t be able to drag it into the binder and then click in the binder to open it in Mail, as this is not the way Scrivener works ever - there are no reference files in the binder. That may change in 2.0, but not in 1.0.

I, too, lament every occasion that forces me to leave Scrivener’s warm, loving embrace, but unless and until we get the instant feature you request, I’ll just continue the only slightly less convenient workaround of clipping editors’ assignment emails and dragging attachments that don’t automatically follow (photos and soundclips do, documents don’t) to the Research folder. Always handy to keep that original assignment safe in Scrivener as well as elsewhere. In fact, I often use the assignment clipping as the parent document that contains as its children all my research on an assignment. I love that little Scrivener feature that lets the container be a document or a folder.

Yes, I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth. Scrivener does pretty much what I want it to do, just not the way I want to do it. I think I can hang in there for version 2.0. Although what a v2 can do that v1 can’t baffles the imagination.

If we are not careful KB will have the writing auto-generate for us. Might as well skip letting the monkeys have fun on the keyboard…

Jaysen wrote…



Do you realize that we are all guinea pigs for the real KB program?

Check out his – I dare call it blatant – admission at


Don’t you see? We are Keith’s monkeys!


If we step back and think about it for a minute, we will see that KB’s real reason for “enjoying” SF is so he can find the “hole” in our defenses. once he has determined which methods are immediately detectible he will be left with the best methods for replacing writers with his software. Think about it, he named the software after a HUMAN role, thereby increasing the possibility of acceptance by the masses. Picture this if you will. Walking into your local mass market book seller and seeing the latest, best selling, new work of fiction titled: Fooling the Masses by The Scrivener.

He may have even started the grid to distribute processing of the linguistics module. Consider that the base requirement for Scriv is an OS version that includes grid processing capabilities. Could just be a coincidence. Or it could be the beginning of his campaign to take over the world.

Seems plausible to me.


V2 will have a Beer and Cheese Puff dispenser add on and exploding sheep if left idle for more than 20 minutes.


Don’t let PETA catch wind of that version! :wink:

Actually the sheep are robotic clones (The Rabid Rooster Tail Alien Rabbits created them.) So since they are robotic clones PETA has given the go ahead on their usage. Since they are aliens INS has a wary eye on them but if they explode it is less paperwork for them so they tend to turn a blind eye towards their demise.


A-ha! We’re back to electric sheep…

Or exploding Goats!


I just had a mental image of a screen popping up with the animated Goat from the AFLAC commercial eating the paper.

A dialog box saying You have been idle for to long…

If you’re into screen savers you should check out the Electric Sheep screen saver. It’s free and does some beautiful things.

These sheep do, indeed, fly instead of plummet.

Right, I’ve been looking into e-mail integration with Mail, with not much luck.

Firstly, to address the OP’s suggestion of being able to drop e-mails from Mail into Scrivener’s binder and then be able to double-click on them in the binder to open them in Mail:

This is contrary to the way the binder works. The binder is a place where information is imported into Scrivener. Were you to click on something in the binder to open it in a different app, that would be more like a reference which is what the References pane in the Inspector is for.

Plus, as the OP notes, in Leopard you can already drag mails from Mail into the Inspector in Scrivener. You can then double click on the link created in the Inspector to open it in Mail. The only drawback is that the Inspector calls the link “URL”, so you have to name it yourself. I’ve read the Daring Fireball article, but unfortunately it seems that how you get the message title from the passed-in URL is completely undocumented, so I have no way of knowing (the built-in OS X text view does this automatically - if you drag a message from Mail into the text area of Scrivener, a link is created with the e-mail subject as the text of the link, so there is a way to do it; but unfortunately the code that does this is completely private).

Thus, Scrivener already integrates with Mail insofar as is possible - you can create links to messages in the text or in the References pane (project or documents). Clicking on them opens them in Mail. (Leopard only.)

All the best,