More file types in binder

Sorry if this has already been requested, couldn’t find it browsing through…

At the moment images, sound files and videos are all recognised in the research folders in the binder – using Quicktime, no? - but it would be helpful if it were possible to recognise and display more file types.

I don’t know how hard it is to incorporate additional files, whether you can piggy back off Preview or OpenOffice or somesuch, but I would find it really useful to read spreadsheet files in particular, I like to have control of layout for drawing up character sheets and so on, and to map out story beats in different columns for different threads or POVs. If Scrivener understood more file types - and was able to write as well as read - that seems one way to add functionality without, ahem, much work.



This request often comes up, from users who want Scrivener to be the Swiss Knife of all writing applications. It actually began as a tool mainly for writing fiction and films. The range of filetypes recognized in the Research folder will probably always be limited. For a more powerful research database application, see DevonThink Pro. Here’s a chart of the filetypes it handles: … rison.html

The trouble with this is that Scrivener would then need to be able to read and display infinite file types, and thus I would have to replicate the code of an infinite number of programs!

Actually, there is a better way - or should be. Leopard’s QuickLook allows you to view (read-only) the contents of any file that supports a QuickLook plugin (which most programs provide these days). However, QuickLook is not yet public - that is, developers outside of Apple do not have access to its code. Some have hacked it - DevonThink hacks it to show other file types for instance - but it is not technically supported by Apple. I tried hacking it to show different file types in Scrivener but the results were unsuccessful - it turns out that because QuickLook is designed to run in a specific QuickLook window, it didn’t like being loaded in a two-paned editor. Presumably DevonThink gets away with it because there is only one editor, not two, but for now this is not feasible for Scrivener. I’m hoping that Apple will make QuickLook public for Snow Leopard - if so, I’ll use it. Scrivener 2.0 can already import any file type, but for unsupported types you have to open them in an external editor to view the contents. Obviously having access to QuickLook for a preview in the editor pane would be better.

All the best,

Thanks for the feedback, Keith, I was hoping it might not be technically too difficult, but barring help from Apple, seems that it is. No problem.

And thanks for the link, druid, although I didn’t much appreciate the condescension. As one of Scrivener’s selling points is “No more switching between multiple applications to refer to research files” it seems reasonable to hope that it might be able to handle a wide variety of files, even if it turns out that technically it’s not that feasible.

Sorry, my feeble attempt to be witty. The topic has come up often, and I was trying to give a different answer for the nth time. If you stick around, you’ll find the forum has many folk more couth than moi.