No Manual in eReader Format?

I like to sit in front of the fire and read the manual.

So I was surprised that there is no manual in mobi or epub format so that I can read it on my Nexus 7. I assume you wrote the PDF manual using Scrivener, so it should be easy to compile an ePub version.

The manual was written using MultiMarkdown in Scrivener (Ioa’s preferred way of writing), and Scrivener does not support converting MultiMarkdown to e-book formats, which is why it is not available in that format. This will hopefully change in a future version.

Thanks. I read (somewhere) that the manual is available in Scrivener format. Perhaps I could download that and compile some kind of version (small page pdf?) that I could read on my device. Where is that set of files?


I found it on this page:

I’ll play with it.

Well, with only about 20 minutes of effort, I was able to create a version that is readable on my Nexus 7. Thanks very much for making the .scriv file available to us. Here is what one page looks like:

What I did, and note that I’ve only had a few hours of experience with Scrivener, is this:

(In the compile dialog)

Set a custom page size of something like 3.5 x 5 inches
Set the font sized to 11 pt (and checked the override checkbox)
Chose just a single chapter so that I could quickly test
Compiled to PDF.

I’m sure I can make it much better, and I’ll bet that someone from L&L could do a bang-up job in a few hours. Also, I’ll bet I could compile to a DOC file, and then convert that to mobi or epub format.

OK, this time I compiled to RTF, then created a new project and imported that and compiled to MOBI format. This is what it looks like on my Nexus Kindle reader:

As you can see, all of the MultiMarkdown codes are visible, which isn’t really a result we want to put out as official documentation. There is actually a script for generating ePub files available for MMD, but the user manual project requires a very old version of MMD that isn’t compatible with this script. When I’ll be putting together the next major revision of the manual, it will be built in part with with an automated ePub/Mobi output planned.

OK, thanks.

Here’s what I ended up doing. I used a free online service to convert the PDF to RTF, then downloaded that into S and compiled it into a mobi. It’s far from ideal, but I have been able to read through the manual in comfort.

I love your product, but your manual and help documentation is simply a PDF version of what one would expect in the year 1982. I will start a new thread related to this.

I’m sure sure that TromboneAl doesn’t mean his comment to sound quite how it does. When the Scrivener Manual was first put together three, four, five years ago - I can’t remember - it was truly amazing in its depth, detail and completeness, and the speed with which it was written. It set new standards, and, frequently revised, it still stands out from anything that Scrivener’s shareware rivals have produced, in my experience. Together with the rest of Scrivener’s Help materials, including of course this forum, it can certainly compete with the products of teams many times L&L’s size, and remains a major reason to buy the application. In my opinion.

Actually, PDF was invented in the early '90s, not the '80s, and it remains the premier format for storing digital documents in a static format. Modern PDF readers and organisers make browsing, searching and annotating them a breeze, and support for them are nearly as ubiquitous as RTF readers. Such is often not the case (yet) for ePub and Mobi files, particularly the latter. Only a few programs can read them, and most of them are new and lack the polish and feature breadth of PDF readers. Of course, I understand their placement in the world now, which is why future versions of the manual will support them, but discounting PDF as “archaic” is a bit radical. :slight_smile: It’s what gets used that matters.

Sorry to sound harsh.

My point was that I cannot sit and comfortably read through the entire manual because the text in a PDF file doesn’t “flow.” I cannot fit an entire page on my laptop’s screen unless the font is unreadably small. I have a great reader (Nexus 7) and I’m disappointed that I can’t sit down in front of the fire and read the whole thing.

I’m sure that most of your customers have an ebook reader or tablet, and 100% of them have a reader capable of reading mobi files (there’s a Kindle reader on every platform – you only need one application to read a mobi file).

Other customers will be disappointed, and worse they will be less likely to read the entire manual.

Actually I said that the manual was a PDF version of an archaic format (the fixed page format book). It gets used because there’s no alternative.

As, I think, pigfender implies in another thread, the Manual is a reference work, not a teach-yourself book. If you haven’t done so, do as pigfender suggests and give an hour or so to completing the Interactive Tutorial (under the Help menu), and watch the videos on this site. And if after that you still want a curl-up-by-the-fire-and-read guide, there are always the now-numerous books about using Scrivener, all, as far as I know, available in ePub and mobi formats.

I suppose the fundamental point about all this is that Scrivener is quite a complex application, available on three platforms - shortly to be four - produced at a low, low price, compared with many competitors’ products, by a tiny team - one person for example developing the Mac version. As a user of the software, of course there are things I’d like but can’t yet have, or indeed may never have - so, for example, long, detailed manuals will never be ‘faultless’ just as the world will never be perfect - but as someone who’s been involved in a number of business start-ups, I think that what is available to users for the price is still pretty wonderful.

I find pdf using adobe on my iPad is brilliant and does the job, not saying epub would be great but it works . I am just grateful there is a manual to use. :smiley:

There is a consistent flaw in the logic of all your posts. this segment highlights it perfectly. Your assumption that I work, think, purchase, use things the same way you do is not only unreasonable, it is ridiculous. I not only do not have ereader software installed on any of my devices, I actually go out of the way to remove it. I only utilize PDF as it ensures accuracy in display on all my devices. My guess is that you can’t fathom the reasons that this may be critical to someone, but the reality is that .mobi and other ereader formats are so troublesome that they are not worth my time to even consider them for any use.

I think you need to question why you are the only person raising these “issues” after years of scrivener being used by a wide audience. Might it be possible that you’re unique in your needs and expectations? Might it be possible that the issue is not with any function, feature, or documentation style used, but your misconception about what “right” is for the scrivener audience?

Thanks, Amber. You got me looking around, and I found that the Foxit PDF reader does a good job of rendering the manual in a readable format as long as I use the tablet in landscape mode:

This has made it comfortable to read the manual, and I’ve learned some stuff I’d missed before.

Glad to hear it. I like using tablets to read PDFs, it’s a very nice tool for that job. I’ve even used them on a stand beside my computer, kind of like a second display, for technical manuals and such. I still prefer manuals to be in PDF form because the typesetting and overall attention to aesthetics are usually superior to what you can get out of an e-reader.