MMD import doesn't recognise *italics*

I’ve got a plain text file demarcated using that standard # headings # containing various passages italicised. Scrivener imports it (Import > MultiMarkDown File) and correctly recognises the headings but does not render italicised portions as italics. Is this expected behaviour? I would have expected them to actually be italicised in Scrivener.

I’ve got a 5000+ page document in MMD so scripting (with my limited scripting knowledge) or manually doing this is not really an option.


Yes, this is expected behaviour. Take a look at the MMD section of the Help file. Basically, Scrivener supports MultiMarkdown for export but if you go that route then the rich text attributes all get stripped - you have to write using the MMD syntax. (There are numerous reasons for this, one of many being the fact that rich text attributes such as bold and italics can cross over in ways that they cannot in MMD, making conversion more than tricky; also, Scrivener isn’t really intended as a full MMD solution, though its supports MMD for those who want it.) Thus, importing an MMD file just imports it as is.

I suppose the importer could be improved so that an MMD file containing this text:


If that is what you mean… But there are various other attributes that would still come in as plain text, so I’m not sure if just having these two attributes supported would be consistent…

All the best,

I sometimes use Scrivener’s MMD importer to create RTF files, so this would be a welcome feature, although I can see why some people might find this inconsistent. Maybe you can add this feature as a function to reverse the effect of “Text->Convert->Bold and Italics to MultiMarkdown Syntax”?

Can anyone explain to me why anyone would do this in the first place? This isn’t intended to be insulting or contentious – I’m actually ignorant when it comes to this topic, and I’m looking for enlightenment.

. A 5000 page plain text MMD document? Why? Is there seriously, in 2008, no easier way to do this?

@ Sean Coffee

I have a copy of the Complete Works of Freud, extracted as an rtf from a microsoft hlp file. I want to reformat for (extensive) linking and annotation, splitting at books; chapters; sub-sections; pages etc. to import to a database while keeping a copy in mmd for future export options. The easiest way I can think of is a combination of applescript & mmd to strip the defunct (and in a any case proprietary) hlp formatting and replace with an open standard. The difficulty is that processing the document at that level is going to require it to be plain text, so to retain formatting I need to convert italics and bold type to mmd. Believe me, if there’s an easier way to do it in 2008 I’d love to know.

@ KB

Personally, I think that having only these two attributes would be consistent. They are already offered (albeit as a conversion in the other direction), are ubiquitous to nearly every type of writing project, and (I’m guessing) the conversion process is relatively easy to implement (when compared to footnotes etc.)


Personally, I’d hate to see a 5000 page word document. That program introduces errors with documents two orders of magnitude smaller… :open_mouth:

I’ve actually always found a simple, readable markup like MMD much preferable to work in - especially for long complex documents. It never gets corrupted, you can import it into any program you like to work with, and then produce polished output by running a script on it.