I use Scrivener for my PhD thesis together with Sente as reference manager and InDesign to produce the final output.
The basic problem that kept me from moving to Scrivener since it first came out was the lack of proper paragraph styles conditioned by Apple’s RTF text engine. Of course, there are Word and Mellel with their find/replace functions that can be used to turn formatted text into paragraph styles. But neither of them is an option for me: Word because it drives me crazy within minutes, Mellel because of other things (no South Asian text, a collaboration nightmare, not good for archiving). In addition, neither Mellel nor Word offer the layout and typography features I need and neither produces tagged, linked, proper PDF.
Therefore, I was looking for a solution to migrate a Scrivener produced RTF to a structured InDesign document, complete with footnotes, paragraph and character styles. To this end, I wrote a simple AppleScript that post-processes an imported RTF in InDesign CS4 (see attachment). Admittedly, this is a tailor-made workflow that will not suit everybody. But I thought I’d share it here for future reference in case others have similar requirements.
My text formatting needs for academic use are quite simple. I need italics, a hierarchy of maximum three titles, a paragraph and a block quote style, footnotes, integration with a reference manager, and cross-references (for the latter I have not yet found a solution).
The conventions I defined to turn formatted rich text into paragraph and character styles in InDesign are the following (Scrivener/RTF to the left, InDesign to the right)
font size 12pt > paragraph style “Paragraph”
font size 11pt > paragraph style “Blockquote”
font size 18pt > paragraph style “Heading 1”
font size 16pt > paragraph style “Heading 2”
font size 14pt > paragraph style “Heading 3”
italics > character style “Italics”
Scrivener footnotes > paragraph style “Footnote”
This is the workflow:
- Export as RTF from Scrivener without overriding text formatting. Either work with Scrivener created folder/text-container titles and set them up to match the criteria above, or simply include the titles in the documents themselves ( I chose the latter option and use Scrivener in scriptwriting mode to quickly apply formatting to titles and entire paragraphs)
- Run it through Sente (or any reference manager that scans RTF) to create the references and bibliography.
- Create a new InDesign Document and define the paragraph and character styles as listed above.
- Import the RTF
- Run the AppleScript (copy it to the Scripts folder if you wish in order to make it easily available in InDesign)
Tested with a 100’000 words document. Works seamlessly in my setup; not tested anywhere else, though.
RTF_PostProcessing.scpt.zip (10.8 KB)