Scrivener 3 to InDesign - best way to import text?


I’m new to Scrivener 3 on MacOS.

I’d like to write a non-fiction book in Scrivener and then use Adobe InDesign CC (latest version) to lay out the book for printing.

Please can someone suggest the best way to get the text from Scrivener into InDesign?

My text will mostly just contain headings, then body text with a few words in bold or italics. Nothing particularly fancy, but I need to preserve the bold and italic parts of the text when I move it into InDesign.

Thanks a lot,

There have been two other recent questions on this:


My suggestion was to use Pandoc flavoured multimarkdown (which Scrivener supports) to ICML, an XML format which preserves headings/footnotes/bold/italic/blockquotes/lists/figure+caption etc. — but I don’t own InDesign so can’t comment on the details of the Adobe side of this workflow…

For non-fiction books the Pandoc/MMD route offers a lot of powerful flexibility.

Thanks very much, I’ll take a look at this, and at the other threads. (I did look for other threads, but I couldn’t find anything that seemed recent.)

Most any way you go, you will not have and trouble having things like italics carried over. However, there is a good reason to use Scriv’s styles to style the several kinds of paragraphs you envision needing – headings and body paragraphs, prodadly inset paragraphs maybe as well.

You can compile your stuff to Word format, which preserves your style specifications, and InDesign understands Word format files and recognizes and respects the embedded paragraph styles. (Been a while since I did this, so might actually work just as well just using rtf.)

The virtue of getting the para styles in there at the get-go is (the usual advantage of styles:) that you can change the look of the different textual elements of your book all at once by tweaking the style’s attributes in InDesign.

And to follow gr’s point, you can easily write using styles in Scrivener 3 to define your content, and use those styles to drive the Pandoc conversion. This removes a barrier some had to using markup in their Scrivener documents previously. Now we use styles and the compiler can do the work of converting to Pandoc or DOCX or whatever from the same Scrivener source document! But even if you want to import via DOCX, Pandoc generates a “cleaner” and more flexible DOCX output from Scrivener than the built-in convertor IMO. And with Scrivener 3, you can run Pandoc automatically using the post-processing panel.