MMD in 2.0

I know you are all plugging away dilligently to get 2.0 in our hands, but I’ve got a question about Multi Markdown in the new rev. Is there a way to flip MMD formatted text into rich text within Scrivener? I know you can switch bolds and italics to MMD, but I have never been able to switch them back. This would be very helpful for my mobile workflow. I rarely write in MMD formatting because the only part of it I need is the bold and italic formatting, but there has never been a “switch” I could flip. So how will this work, if you don’t mind my asking?

Forgoing 2 (and a half) 6-packs, I’ve got $25 ready and waiting. :slight_smile:

No, there won’t be anything like that. The conversion tool your mentioned is meant to be a convenience for MMD users since so much of the world is rich text. It’s nice to have a method that can extract bold and italics without having to hunt around for hard to find italic words and converting them by hand.

2.0 will have a few more methods for sidestepping syntax in your writings, but its not going to alleviate from you the necessity of using MMD in an MMD workflow. :slight_smile:

Will it be possible to have a converting tool from MMD (also for bold and italics only) to RTF formatting?
With this tool it will be simple to write in RTF, convert to MMD bold and italics and synchronize with Dropbox or similar in TXT format (and now it is already possible), write or modify with a iOS (or similar) text editor and come back to Scrivener, without loosing any formatting also for paragraphs you modify on line.
I know that it isn’t a real necessary feature, but it could be useful. :smiley:

I’m not sure about the future tense of this query in relation to 2.0, as that came out a a few months shy of a year ago, and no there isn’t a feature that does what you are asking about. Of course, MMD itself is capable of generating RTF via compilation, but I think you are asking more for an automated synchronisation system, somewhat like Scrivener’s current {{footnote}} and ((comment)) parsing?


I know what is possible with v2 (I preferred to use this thread and not open a new one).

I tried to use MMD, but Scrivener is more powerful using directly RTF.
But, MMD is more powerful when you have to use simple text.

It could be perfect if you can use RTF in Scrivener, export in a sync folder in TXT with conversion (not necesseraly in automatic way) in MMD (also only for bold and italics), and import converting again in RTF. It will be possible to mantain formatting also for paragraphs changed with iPad or other mobile tools.

Now it is possible to pass from RTF to MMD formatting, but not the viceversa.

I’m not really sure how that could be feasible. MMD is a simple semantic based language with only a handful of conventions. It isn’t really meant to be like a formatting engine (and in its philosophy, a formatting engine isn’t something the writer should be messing with while writing, hence it has no control at all over appearance), which requires low level tweaking to appearance and so forth. There would be no way at all to map RTF’s thousands of fiddly tweaks over to a system that has a few dozen simple semantic declarations. For example, you’re thinking it would make it so you could retain paragraph formatting round-trip: it won’t. It has zero notion of stuff like that. The closest thing to a paragraph alteration in MMD is the quotation environment, which most often is represented as a block line indent and a few other tweaks—but in MMD it’s just an angle bracket. Nothing more. There is no declaration of indent amount, spacing adjustments, font changes, etc. That’s the whole point of a semantic system, you don’t bother with that kind of stuff. You just say, “This is a quote”, leave it at that, and save it for the typesetters later. So even if Scrivener was programmed to be a full MMD parser and came across an angle bracket in the front of a paragraph, it would not be able to deduce on its own what that meant in terms of formatting. It would have to just do a standardised interpretation of a quotation which may have nothing to do with the original file that was synced out.

If you want true formatting in a plain-text format, then you want TeX (not even LaTeX). But honestly that’s about as ugly as reading an RTF file without parsing.

I wouldn’t say that one is more powerful than the other. There are some pretty big arguments for either side of the coin. MMD is fully programmable and can thus produce output for nearly anything you can imagine from teleprompter output scripts to e-mail. RTF is more “fiddly” by which I mean it has more controls for changing a paragraph’s dozen metric arrangements. What sort of power you need or are willing to use is up to taste and need.


I agree with you. I was thinking to a very simple tool for converting only bold and italics, which are used the most.

Thanks for explanation!

That would be more in the realm of possibility. We’ve stayed away from automating this because of differences in philosophy. In RTF you can just slap down bold and italic ranges in a “good enough” methodology, heedless of whitespace and such. A bold range can include the spaces around the word, or span from the middle of one paragraph and into the next, neither of which work in MMD. Thus the tool is a one-shot thing that usually requires a little proofing after it has been done to make sure there are no orphaned asterisks, unless one has been very careful to only apply inline formatting to precise ranges of words, 100% of the time. That’s the why. In short, it would work okay on the incoming from an MD style editor or plain-text editor where presumably one would type in the asterisks correctly, but it would be too fuzzy and unpredictable on the outgoing.