Scrivener Viewer

I wish we had a viewer purely so that I could share things like policies and procedures just as I have structured them in Scrivener. Scrivener is such a great outliner with its powerful expand and collapse features that I create “docs” and use it as is. I never intend to publish many of the policies and procedures that I create in Scrivener. k * P.S. I suspect that if I could share things in this way, those who interacted with the viewer would be likely to purchase the software.

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There are many compile options to provide viewable output. I think that’s about as close as you will get to what you ask.

On the other hand, the software to create a “Scrivener viewer” that could natively load Scrivener projects would look very similar to Scrivener, only with all editing functions disabled. Why should they put the time and effort into a separate piece of (presumably free) software that is 90% or more the same as the existing software package, for what would be a niche use?

People who want to experience Scrivener can already get the free 30-day (and that’s 30 days of actual use) trial. If that’s not enough to sell them on it…,I doubt a free read-only version would be as well.

Thanks, Friends. Compile does not meet the objective. Only a viewer will do. What does it hurt to ask?

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I think you need to explain exactly what you mean. What is it you want to show others that can’t be shown with some form of compiled output?

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I think I agree with lunk. What does a viewer provide that compiling to, say, HTML doesn’t?

Compiling adds an extra step. HTML compile does not expand collapse.

At this point the question becomes “what is your use case?” “Policies and procedures” sound like something that you might want other people to reference repeatedly, and so some level of effort to put them into a readily accessible format – like HTML – is justified. I’ve seen web pages that can expand/collapse sections, and the Compile command supports automation, so what you want can definitely be accomplished.

If, on the other hand, what you have in mind is more of a one-time instruction sheet that people will use once and then discard, then something like PDF output would be less elegant, but simpler for both you and your audience.

kewms: yeah, they are policies and procedures. I modify them weekly–often several times a week. I could just buy another copy or two of Scrivener for the org (2 more persons). I already own a personal copy and one for the org (used only by me). I’d rather that my projects be viewable not editable. (I can’t get much cooperation on applying permissions from the IT Dept here.) I don’t have time to fiddle with HTML and such. TablEdit, which is a pretty complex looking program, has a viewer. Of course, not being a programmer/developer, I don’t have any clue what the overhead would be for you. A layman might think, “Oh, just turn off the ability to print and compile, and you’ll have a handy-dandy viewer!” Still, I thought that I’d ask. Thanks for your consideration. k

This has come up a few times in the past, though more often as a request to lock areas of the binder to prohibit accidental editing.

The main problem as it has been explained is that it would be an enormous overhaul, given how every single thing you see and click on was built with the premise of everything being editable. To change that would require overriding thousands upon thousands of things.

So yeah… I wouldn’t cross my fingers on something like this. It would probably take a completely different software project, written from scratch, that has the capability of passively loading projects. And then we get into the problem of just how much of Scrivener does one want in a viewer. Collections? Search? Inspector? That’s starting to pile up!

But yeah, some kind of dynamic HTML output is what came to my mind as well. In fact, I got a start on a MkDocs compile Format, with the intention of eventually getting the user manual into that format. So imagine being able to compile to what is essentially a small website geared toward documentation, with contents and search tools, etc.

I had to shelve the project though, maybe some day. It’s tricky because Scrivener makes one file—Mkdocs needs a whole architecture of files.

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If it were me, I’d be looking at how to use automation to send Scrivener output to a corporate CMS-type system, especially if your organization already has such as system. Those are purpose-built for exactly this sort of task.

I don’t know your audience, but in general people are resistant to learning a new interface that almost-but-not-quite duplicates something they already know how to do.

I picture something that can walk the .scrivx file and build a Binder, tied to a text viewer, and not much else. Definitely starting from scratch, not Scrivener’s code base, but it shouldn’t be too horrible. Assuming, of course, that Keith was bored and had time on his hands. LOL.

Thanks AmberV, et al., for the responses. We’re extremely small here, so we don’t have any sophisticated info delivery systems (no CMS). I’m happy with Scrivener in any case: it helped me to finish my dissertation and it helps me to construct and organize P&P at my organization. I don’t know what I’d do without it, in fact.

Would a simple system like the sample site linked below work for your needs? You can choose which pages to make available to your colleagues, and you can password protect the pages for security. Your colleagues would only need a web browser as a viewer. Can still write in Scrivener, using “sync with external folder” to share your writing.

Sample site

Also works for manuals.

Sample manual


Merx: Thanks, I’ll take a look at site you posted. k

A viewer provides several capabilities. First, you dont have to fire up the full package. Once you get into a file it will show in your history and if you have a few similar book names or versions this can get messy very fast. A viewer would allow one to scan older versions of the book without cluttering the full package interface. Viewers work faster and don’t need the full loading process full programs need. This should seem obvious to anyone who has used any software package that allows you to open and keep a history of your work. Most common would be excel and word. I have never come across a full package that offers the same flexibility a viewer does for reviewing files fast and on the fly. Supporting office packages has given me a very broad insight as to how valuable a viewer can be to a person.
All the answers here ignore the request for a viewer and its advantages and push people into compiling into a new document. That really is not a constructive answer when they are asking for something that would not need that extra work.

They don’t ignore it at all. They point out what a major task it would be, and one points out Keith may have more pressing projects so indicated unlikely to be near-term.

The suggestions were for was something closer to what was requested might be achieved outside of Scrivener. As pointed out, Scrivener is a complex package, not a simpler flat file as in Office.

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Compile to PDF or HTML every day. Done.

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Already answered: Scrivener Viewer - #7 by kraml