Possibility of Emailing from Sciv Document

Thank you for developing such an amazing program.

I’m still learning the intricacies of Scrivener, but one issue that leaps out at me is the inability to email the document to myself from within the program. I am used to Word, where with two keystrokes I can email my open document to myself. In Scrivener, I have to save the back up copy as a zip file in My Documents instead of My Dropbox. Then I have to go to my email program, attach the zipped files and send them. It’s four steps, plus I can’t send from the Dropbox, which is my default for everything. It’s the one flaw I see for new users who are used to Word’s simplicity.

It also means I have to go online during my work time, and I use Freedom to shut off my Internet while I’m working, and with Word, it simply stores the email until I’m back online, then sends it. It would be amazing if that was an added feature.

I’m also having issues with the Full Screen mode. When I start typing, it moves the sentence I’m working on to the center of the page, immediately shifting my focus. I’ve checked through the forum and the solution suggested was to turn off Typewriter Scrolling, but I don’t have that option on.

Thanks so much for looking at this!

Typewriter scrolling is automatically on for full screen mode - if the text is jumping to the middle of the screen then that is definitely what is happening. When you are in full screen mode go to the Text menu to turn it off.

Thanks for the kind words and the suggestion. Although Word has an e-mail feature (I didn’t know it did until now), it’s not very common - I don’t know of any other program that does this, and I’m not entirely sure how it would be implemented, although it’s certainly not a bad idea and I’ll definitely consider it. I’m not quite sure why it’s taking so many steps for you, though. Did you know that you could just ctrl-click on the .scriv file in the Finder and select “Compress”, then drag the resulting zip file into your e-mail?

Thanks and all the best,

But since you mentioned dropbax, you could just save the backup file in your dropbox folder…

Also, if you select your file in a finder window, then go to Finder -> Services -> Mail -> Send File you can short cut most of your steps.

It’s becoming a more standard feature.
Safari has File: Mail Contents of this Page or Mail Link to this Page
Pages has Share: Send Via Email in 3 formats (Pages, Word, PDF),
Bean has File: Send to Mail
Nisus Writer Pro has File: Attach to New Message, Attach PDF to New Message
Preview has File: Mail
Finder has Services: Messaging: New E-Mail with Attachment (in 10.6)

It’s probably akin to scripting: the app calls Mail (or its default) and attaches a copy of the exported document to the e-mail file. In a few cases, the app offers a choice of file formats as well. If not difficult to do, it would be a good feature for 2.0.


A big difference is the way a “file” is represented in those progies. These guys have true documents (monolithic structures containing all info) where as scriv is package based. For KB to do this he would need to either send only the files that is immediately open (and how would that work in edit scrivenings) or zip up the project and mail it. That would be painful.


Good points. I guess the best workaround, as you say, is to export a Scriv item to the Finder and then use Services to attach that file to an e-mail.


Bean - and presumably the other apps too - does this by calling AppleScript on Mail. It would be possible as I could just use Scrivener’s backup code to generate the zip file necessary to attach it to Mail, but the main trouble is that this file would then need saving on disk. And it couldn’t be deleted until after the user sends the e-mail, so with no way of knowing when this happens, Scrivener would have to create a file that it could not delete. I could just create the zip file in the user’s temporary directory, as the temporary directory (as I understand it) gets flushed when the computer is shut down and restarted, but it’s still not great practise to create files and leave the OS to clean them up. Hmm.

EDIT: Hang on, once a file is attached to an e-mail in Mail, doesn’t Mail make a copy of it? If so I could delete the file straight away anyway. I’ll investigate. If it works okay, I can see two useful functions here - Send Project to Mail (as a zip) and Send Document to Mail.

Yes, mail saves the binary in the message. I still think this is a bad idea though. Here is why:

  1. How do you handle large projects with lots of research?
  2. Mail will retain the zip file in the sent folder. This will lead to disk space issues for the type of activity the poster is talking about (sync across systems).
  3. Larger files over email is not “good idea”. Sure it works, but…

I would think a better “send to” option would be for dropbox, google disk, iDisk, or other online file service.

I agree with Jaysen. I think the best option would be to allow support for individual document sends, which should limit the sizes of emails within the realm of reason for most scenarios (there will be edge cases where users have tucked all manner of media into a document). For full project sends, traditional and neo models for sharing files are best. I think this is one case where limitation of design is a good route for avoiding abuse and support down the line.

Did you all see that?! I can’t believe it! I need to go play the lotto.

That or hell just froze over.


This is really under my skin (I was going to say in my head but…). I think you should avoid this option entirely. If folks want to email/sync the package you already provide backup which can be used for email and/or dropbox-esque services. If folks want a specific document you provide complile (for complex edit scrivening like views) and export functions that both create email/dropbox compatible output. Do we really need scrivener to be any more flexible than it is? Do you really want to start helping folks troubleshoot email issues?

I wholeheartedly agree with AV & J on this one. Youre the developer of Scrivener, not all things to all men. [i]God of all things?[/i]= master of none!! Be told, n` get back to work!

You may be right.

The issue of large projects being attached to an e-mail could certainly be an issue.

I was thinking of adding just a “Send Document to Mail” option - that would certainly be helpful to my better half, who uses Scrivener to write articles that she then exports and e-mails to her editor. But although this would be useful, I can then see two requests immediately springing from this one addition:

  1. Why does it always open Mail? My e-mail program is Eudora/Thunderbird whatever…
  2. Exporting a single document is useful, but what about adding multiple documents or the whole contents of E.S. to an e-mail?

What may be more useful is for me to work on AppleScript support. Given that “Send to Mail” uses AppleScript anyway, as long as I provide AppleScript support that allows you to create zipped backups to arbitrary locations, and to export documents, then it would be trivial to create an AppleScript that would do “Send to Mail” (or any other program supporting AppleScript) anyway. So I think I will just ensure that these features get added to the AppleScript support eventually.

Thanks and all the best,

Wow - didn’t mean to cause you so much work! I’m like your wife - though my work is in manuscript and short story form. Being able to easily send to myself, my editor, my critique partners, etc, would be a huge help.

Thanks for thinking about it!

All best,

No problem. As I say, I think it’s a good idea, but the reservations the others bring up are very valid. But if I implement AppleScript well enough, so that you can create zipped backups and export files via AppleScript, it will be a non-issue. An AppleScript could then be written (by myself or any user with a working knowledge of AppleScript) to backup the file to a specific location (probably the temp directory) as a zip, attach it to an e-mail, and then delete temporary zip file. You’d just call it from the AppleScript menu instead of the File menu, but it would do the same thing, and there would be less support issues as the AppleScript would be available as an extra, or maybe even user-provided. So I’ve made a note to myself to make sure these things get included in the AppleScript suite, which is a big job in itself.

Thanks and all the best,

And it has to be in file format, right? RTF or plain text?