Markdown output

Wondering if there was a way to cause Scrivener to output markdown type paragraphs (two consecutive newlines) without embedding multiple returns between every paragraph within the scrivener document itself.

In other words - type normally in scrivener with only one return/newline at paragraph end and then have scrivener add the extra newline so that the what scrivener knows is a paragraph turns into a markdown paragraph?

This sounds like it should be simple but it isn’t jumping out at me. Maybe I am doing something wrong here but it seems that would be the logical way for scrivener to work. Specifically to write as you normally would within scrivener and then compile for multimarkdown but when I do this paragraphs are merged together in the output because I do not have a double return/newline separating every single paragraph.

Any guidance here?

The option for this is in the Transformations compile option pane. You need to enable whitespace to plain text conversion, and then set it to convert paragraph spacing to carriage returns. This feature is documented in §25.14.1 (pg. 373), with a tip box for MMD on the following page.

Thanks - just tried that and I still seem to get output when using compile to markdown that contains only one newline between paragraphs vs the needed two. What the heck am I doing wrong?


I’m not sure, do the paragraphs actually have the required +50% of whitespace declared between them in the formatting settings? This feature just converts whitespace, so if there is no whitespace between paragraphs, or it is too narrow to be considered “a line”, then nothing will happen.

Changing the option in Transformations worked for me. In case it doesn’t work in another document, I want to understand your response.

When you say formatting setting, do you mean “Formatting” in the “Compilation Options” on the “Compile” dialog box? I’m guessing you do.

I haven’t changed those Formatting options. Is “have the required +50% whitespace declared between them in the formatting settings” a default option?

What does +50% whitespace mean exactly? What has to have +50% whitespace?

Thanks for any help

Sorry that’s not what I meant, in my last response when I said “formatting settings”, I meant the settings in the text itself. The Formatting compile option pane in MultiMarkdown mode does not do rich text formatting—its output is plain text. It is still there, because it is possible to add extra material like meta-data, notes, and so forth. There are still other senses of the word “formatting” that do not fall within the typographic or typesetting realms, and many of them are applicable to plain-text structured documents.

Your paragraphs need to have more than 50% of the height of a line added between them as virtual spacing. So if the line-height is calculated to 14pts, by the font size, then the amount of after-paragraph or pre-paragraph spacing must be greater than 7.0 points.

Anyway, I really don’t recommend working this way intentionally. Unless you’re importing a legacy word processor document (and it is exceedingly difficult to bulk change single-carriage returns to doubles) or must use one of Scrivener’s other non-MMD output options (e-books come to mind) and cannot use a compile-time Replacement that strips out the multiple carriage returns (that would only be problematic in rare cases), I really recommend creating a genuine MMD document in the Scrivener editor. The whole point and advantage of using this format is that it is plain-text compatible and not prone to the fragility of rich text formatting, where a minor adjustment in font size or paragraph spacing would blow away the semantics of the output.

Got it. That’s why it worked for me as I have +50% whitespace set up. You’re right that doing pure MMD would be the best way to go. Most of my Scrivener work is not for html output so I’d have to remember to switch.