Output Options

Would you like more output options such as printing with a table of contents, different margins, headers, etc?

  • Yes, I would like these options
  • No, I would not like these options

0 voters

First, just wanted to say that this is a great program I stumbled upon and the first of these I plan on purchasing (WriteRoom 2, Ulysseys, Mori, etc.) as soon as it’s available.

I’ve been using it to write some articles recently and it’s very useful (a little overkill in some areas but that’s better than having less features than I want/need).

The only issue is something someone has brought up in the past and that I hope you would reconsider.

The output options are fairly limited, in terms of formating, including headers/footers, a title page, etc. I know you want this to be a sort of “working space” and not a place to polish, but I really think the effort required to add adequate output options (say, to PDF) aren’t much and would make this program MUCH more attractive to most writers.

For example, I just wrote an article in there and I was ready to send it to the editor. I export it to RTF and the title shows up–so far, so good. But it’s only italic, not bold, which is a little odd (maybe because it was just a text file title and not a group title), but still fine. But what about my name? Should I manually enter it? That seems a bit strange in a program where I’m focusing on the words not on who I am.

And what about page numbers with my name next to them? Should I go through in Word and add all that?

Why not simple options when you go to print (and, remember, you can ‘print’ to PDF on the mac so that would also in essence be an export options) such as margins, title page, headers, spacing, font sizes, table of contents? You already have a whole outline set up, why not encorporate that into a table of contents if we want upon printing?

I know this isn’t a small thing by any means, but from the program you’ve created I believe you could do this without too much trouble at all, and I would be willing to pay personally 50%-100% more for a program that had this versus what I would want to pay for one that didn’t.

Thanks for your consideration! And thanks for making my writing go by so much easier.

I voted “no”; not because I don’t like these options, but because they are not necessary for me. I plan to do formatting after exporting into another application.

Hi,

Well, I’ve said all along that Scrivener is “first pass” software, and that I would expect that you would need to do some formatting in a word processor upon exporting. I wouldn’t dream of cutting Mellel out of my workflow. :slight_smile:

And in actual fact, adding headers and footers is non-trivial. Scrivener can already add a basic header to your documents when printing along with a page number (see “Page Setup” and select “Scrivener” from the popup menu), but this is very basic and really only intended for printing off your work for editing purposes. Setting up proper header and footers that could be fully customised would be a lot of work, and for very little - because they would only work for printing (and therefore PDF only). If I went this route, people would then want to be able to export headers and footers to RTF/Microsoft Word format, and this is something that I am not going to support any time soon. Why not? Well, because it took weeks of work just to hack the RTF system so that Scrivener can export footnotes, comments and images to RTF/Word. This is because the default Apple RTF exporters are somewhat basic, but I really wanted these capabilities so I spent a lot of time adding them myself. Suffice to say that I do not want to do the same for headers and footers, which would be even more complicated. Rather, I would hope that Apple upgrade their RTF export support so that it can export headers and footers and all that stuff. If this is something you really want, log onto bugreport.apple.com and file an enhancment request, asking them to add better RTF export support to their text system.

Of course, you could always just create your own title page. You could have a top-level group in your draft which is your title page. Make sure “Include in Export” is selected and that “Page Break Before” is checked for the first document in the group. Then go Page Setup… and select Scrivener. From the options tab, make sure “Print page numbers” and “Print header” are checked. Type your header in the box. This will create header like this:

Your header text / 1

(Where “1” is the page number.)

This header will appear in the top-right of every printed page.

Now go to Export Draft and choose Print instead of Export (note that there is a minor progress bar bug I have just noticed in beta 2 at this point, but it won’t affect your actual export). Choose to save as a PDF file. Now you will have a cover page (which you created in the group document) and a header on each page with the page number. That is about as far as Scrivener will go down this path, simply because anything else is outside of the scope of the program - but I hope that helps a little, anyway.

All the best,
Keith

I voted ‘No,’ because Scrivener is definitely for me, a writing environment and not a typesetting or word processing environment. I would much rather see Keith spend his time refining and developing tools for writing. There are thousands of options for output, in the end, and precious few for managing a creative workspace.

I voted no for similar reasons stated already. I envision Scr. as the place I research, develop, and write up to the point where I need the power of a word processor like Mellel. I wouldn’t expect Scr. to give me that kind of formatting power, nor do I think I would want it to. I love Scr.'s clean interface and intuitive design, and I think that needs to be the focus. It’s easy to export it out and dump it into Mellel or Word for final production, if that’s needed.

Just my humble opinion!

I’m going to say ‘no’ on this one.

The number of options could easily become painful to manage, and detract from the application’s focus - writing stuff.

I use Word for final formatting; I put together a basic template which includes the title page and a macro for generating chapter numbers … which reminds me …
:slight_smile:

I voted no. It’s not a layout program…

awpstrike, I liked your arguments. Very cogent and almost convinced me. I then went into Scrivener and tested each of the points you made. Yes. you made some excellent points. The bit that sold me was your line of argument about sending stuff straight out of Scrivener to a publisher.

Then I thought, hang on. I would want to give the publisher what the publisher wants. Mostly that amounts to a Word file. I use Word, Mellel, Nisus, Mariner Write in RTF Word format for query letters, correspondence and actual submissions of novels and factual books and documentaries (and I have a documentary currently iterating between Scrivener and Montage).

I use ScreenWriter for film scripts.

For me Scrivener is a big mental template that interfaces my writing brain with my writing instrument - my computer. Almost everything creative and risky, edgy and testing, I do in Scrivener. I need a standard word processor in which to do my final editing and layout. I actually do my day to day work that way.

I respect your arguments. Excellent arguments! But using my ordinary working habits leads me to have to honestly submit a ‘No’.

Thanks for this poll. It was really interesting and a bit of a challenge. Really got me thinking about my work habits and how useful they are. Scrivener fits right in, naturally. I can’t do without it now. I like it pretty much the way it is.

And, like I say, this poll is really rather academic, as the answer is “no” anyway. :slight_smile: