Powerpoint "research" files?

I’m new to Scrivener - just bought it today after a couple of weeks’ trial - and obviously I’m a fan. That’s the thing about try-before-you-buy, right? I write fiction, but pay the rent as a business/marketing copywriter.

On my first ‘work’ project in the trial period, I loved the way I could drag my research and SME files into the research area - it’s great to have all those resources at hand - until it came to a Powerpoint file, which wouldn’t load. I worked around it - PPT can save as Word and can print to PDF - but it would make the job easier if I could just drag PPTs into the project as research. I get a LOT of Powerpoint files as source files (let me state clearly, I loathe Powerpoint, but there are people out there who use it for outlining, for rough sketches, etc.)

If there’s a way to do this that I haven’t found, apologies for clogging the wish list. I searched the topics but nothing about Powerpoint came up.

I’ve never thought of PPT files as research. For me, they are greatly boiled down presentations of my research, sort of cartoons for public audiences. The files are often huge, so if Scriv could read them, you’d have a very fat project file.

A possible work-around: create a Smart Folder in the Finder for All Presentations (or sorted by topics) and then use Quick Look to find the ones you’re after. You will still have to launch them to see their contents. If any are really crucial to your Scriv project, I’d export them to Word and save those files. You’ll only get the text (and not the Notes), but that’s probably the most important bits, anyway.

BTW, KeyNote does a great job of opening PPT files, if you don’t want to work with the originals.

The next free update allows you turn on a preference which makes it possible to import any type of file into the binder - including PowerPoint files. Obviously you won’t be able to open them within Scrivener, though, which has no way of reading such files. Instead, when you click on such a file you will just see its icon and file name in the editor, which, when double-clicked on, will open the file in its default application (i.e. in the case of .ppt files PowerPoint will get launched to display it).

The next update won’t be available for a while, though - end of summer (n. hemisphere) at the earliest.

All the best,

Thanks for the reply, just thought I’d ask (since you post the wish list!) I’ll continue to save them as PDF slides and load them in that way.

Sounds good; will the files themselves be stored in the .scriv file?
Can a file then be worked on and re-saved back into the .scriv file?
Will an alias to a program also work, so double clicking on the icon will launch a program?

I have just started to use Scrivener as as “study base” for my Open University studies. It works very well with having the course text in one split window and notes or assignments in the other.
The research folder is an ideal repository for course PDF’s (and soon PPT and Excel files) as well as other useful documents.
I even have some supporting AVI video clips in research - its great that I can watch a video sequence in one split window and type notes in another, whilst its playing!

The icing on the cake will be to be able to load a research document in its native application (e.g. Excel) directly from the binder, work on it and then re-save as either the original document, or a new document, and the new/changed document appearing in the binder as necessary.

This will allow a single .scriv file to represent a study module (or equivalent) that can be transported between computers as needed, and final assignments to be exported to Word when ready…

Thanks for a great app!



Because I am a gambling man…I am betting resaving will work ok but Saving-As a new document will not because i) in your save dialog box you probably can’t target the inside of a package, and anyway ii) Scriv would have no way to know you had just used Excel or whatever to directly stick a new file inside your project package.


Was this feature ever implemented? I can’t see any option to turn it on.

Currently my workaround is to create an alias of, say, Sample.ppt and rename it Sample_ppt.jpg, then import it, and open the alias in an external editor as needed.

A Scrivener option when importing an unsupported file along the lines of:

“Do you want to place an alias to the original file in the Binder?”

would do me fine.

Unless of course Im just not seeing the already existing solution :slight_smile:

EDIT: Ok I saw on one of the other threads that this feature is now planned for 2.0. Will continue to use the workaround. Good luck with the coding KB!

Glad you found the answer - yes, this got moved to 2.0 as the big next version coding turned into a behemoth. :slight_smile: The cool thing is that not only will you be able to import any file in 2.0, you will also be able to use QuickLook (on Snow Leopard at least) to view the contents of unsupported file types.

Thanks for the support, I need it!
All the best,


I’m new, but tried out a lot since yesterday.
As the quoted message is dated from June, and as I’m probably working on the version announced there, I dare to submit you the following.

I have a lot of stuff to add to the “research” folder, coming mainly from Word, with a bit of Excel too.
Now, I just tried this out and importing works really fine. No crashes, nos delays. Looks like an excellent job.
In the “research” folder, there is no icon next to the imported files.
Double clicking only opens the name of the file, allowing me to change it.
In the editor pane, there is nothing but the title line, which leads to nothing.
And when using “external editor” from the contextual menue (believing that it would open the office application), I just get nothing.
I was expecting a way to open these files in their own application from within Scrivener, just as described in your post, but that wouldn’t happen, neither with Excel, nor with Word files.
So, for the moment, I will not even try it with the other files coming from less known applications.

What I would expect is a jump to the document, and even a jump back to Scrivener on closing the document (would be really great !).

No trouble at all with pdf files…
And maybe there are just a handful of posts I haven’t read yet, related to what is available by now.

The only thing I can think of that might cause this is if the files you imported do not have extensions. The functions should work as you describe; you should see the icon in the editor for unsupported file types and when you click on the icon it should open in the preferred application.