Rich text to multimarkdown or separate styles

Hi everyone,

I have a quick question that I couldn’t get any satisfactory answer to from either the manual or from the (many) other posts on this forum about compiling via markdown.

What is the difference between defining styles “strong” and “emphasis” (and rebinding cmd-I and cmd-B) and circumfixing them with ** or * on the one hand and simply ticking the box “Convert rich text to MultiMarkdown” on the other?

To me they both seem to be doing the same thing, however, maybe I’m missing some intricacy that should have me choose one over the other (currently in the process of setting up a workflow for docx and latex export via pandoc.

Thanks much!



I believe it is a question of user choice (some like to write in rich text, others in markdown) and/or project needs (RTF over MMD, for example, if coloured text is required).

I write in MMD for some clients’ online content. For such projects, rich text conventions aren’t needed or wanted as I never compile, preferring to copy from Scrivener and paste into their CMSs.

Apologies if my post wasn’t clear. I wasn’t talking about writing in markdown directly, but rather about using Character Styles “strong” or “emphasis” and then in the compile format having Scrivener add the appropriate prefixes and suffixes so that they get converted to markdown. As opposed to just clicking the box “Convert rich text to MultiMarkdown”. I’m just interested if there is something else that Scrivener does when that box is checked that may interfere with other markdown that may be somewhere in the document.

Hello Jan

I am sure your first post was clear, but my brain wasn’t. Sorry.

I don’t know the answer to your question, but hopefully someone else will be able to provide the answer I have failed to provide.


Yes, it will break any custom markdown you may have by forcibly escaping all markdown syntactic characters that may be used for maths, quotations and several other features. See this thread:


…for some more discussion, but the take home is that if you want the flexibility of mixing some markdown into rich text, you should use styles to define the rich text and not rely on that compile setting…

Indeed, “Convert rich text to MultiMarkdown” assumes that you aren’t writing in MultiMarkdown in the editor and sets about converting rich text to MultiMarkdown, including:

  • Escaping characters such as asterisks where necessary.
  • Inserting asterisks around italics and bold (unescaped, of course).
  • Converting tables to MMD tables.
  • Converting formatted lists to Markdown lists.
  • Converting styles such as block quotes and code blocks if the Compile Format is set up to do so.
  • Converting links, images and footnotes to Markdown or MultiMarkdown format.
  • More besides.

You should not use the option if you are using Markdown in the editor.

All the best,

Thank you guys, that fully answers my question (and makes complete sense)!

Actually, following nontroppo’s link to the other thread and reading through that, I must admit I really like the suggestion of being able to toggle whether or not I want Scrivener to escape markup when converting rich text. To keep everything in place, I’ve added a comment there.