Roundtripping via single MMD document

Hey all, I have one of those questions which is probably either stupidly obvious or implausible…

Outside of Scrivener, I like writing long form work as a single MMD document, with the sections designated by headers, i.e. exactly the format Scrivener likes as an MMD import. However, I am not seeing an easy way to get said document back out of Scrivener in a reasonable way. What I would love is a setting in the Sync settings to create a single MMD document out of my Draft folder, rather than the multiple text files it currently exports. Another possibility I could make work would be an option under Export to do the same; having to manually Import/Export after changes would be more a pain than Sync, but I could live with it.

Is this possible? Am I nothing but a crazy dreamer with a completely weird workflow?

Thanks in advance for all efforts.

Have you looked at compile rather than export? Export works on single files; compile creates a single document out of the whole draft folder on any files within that which you designate in the content pane …

N.B. The Scrivener manual is written in MMD with Ioa-esque enhancements.

Mr X

Thanks, xiamenese, I hadn’t even thought of compile as an option for going back and forth, I was stuck thinking of it as a finished product.

That said, when experimenting with compile options, I can’t seem to find a way to create an MMD document that also converts my italics into italics. When I I set the export to MMD nor plaintext, that option disappears from the settings and my italics disappear.

Is there something I am missing, or am I just using this in a way that wasn’t intended?

Either way, I should clarify, this is not a big deal for me. If I have to work with my scenes as multiple text files it’s ok, I just use a folding text editor which makes it easier to move sections around in a similar way that Scrivener’s outline view does, and it would be nice to have that option when working outside of Scrivener.

There are three things to consider here:

  1. Scrivener has MultiMarkdown integration. It is not a MultiMarkdown editor, nor generator. It doesn’t take a word processor document and turn it into a Markdown document. If you use this manner of writing, you must use the editor to compose MMD documents. Footnotes/Comments and pictures are the only exceptions.

If you’ve composed your text using italics with the word processing tools instead of MMD, then you can use the [b]Format/Convert/Bold and Italics to MultiMarkdown Syntax[/b] menu command. This should be proofed, as it is possible to be sloppy about formatting in a rich text environment in such a way that undesirable asterisk placement can result.

  1. As Mr X points out, Compile is the main tool used to get a manuscript out of Scrivener and into a format that most of the rest of the world can handle. Scrivener can generate titles for you, based on the outline depth in the binder. In turn, Scrivener can import a binder outline based on MMD headers!
  • The [b]File/Import/MultiMarkdown File...[/b] menu command will import and process an MMD file by its headers, turning it into an outline in the binder.
  • To get these title layers back out, in the Formatting compile option pane make sure each “Title” checkbox is ticked.

In short, MMD is one of the best workflows for round-trip work in Scrivener. It should give you maximum power in a text editor capable of folding, as well as in Scrivener as the two will have identical document structures based on the MMD headers.

You could also try working in a longer document - as long as you want it in your other app. This then can be synced and the round-tripping works fine.

That solution leaves you forebearing a lot of Scrivener’s organizational tools, so you might split up the document inside Scrivener when you want to re-organize it, then merging all the subdocs back together just before syncing.

  • asotir

Thanks very much to both of you, AmberV and asotir. Sorry for taking a month to reply, but I was busy working on the manuscript. Your responses, I think, gave me what I need to wrap my head better around what Scrivener does and does not do as regards MMD, and thus how to use it. I think I understand now enough to figure out what I need. Thanks again!