Slightly OT: Syncing with Indesign

Hi there,

My apologies if this has come up before - I tried searching the forum to no avail.

I’m writing in Scrivener, but would like to use Indesign to set up the layout. I followed this guide, which looked promising: … -indesign/

However that doesn’t seem to work any more - Indesign won’t open the RTFs any longer it seems, and even if I try to force it to it comes up with a “Please convert [file name] to an InDesign document before adding it to a book file” error message.

I’ve also found a plugin/script called Scrindesign, but haven’t tested it yet as the linked file approach seemed better.

So… What’s best practice here?

Thanks in advance.

This sounds like an InDesign question, rather than a Scrivener question. Once you use Scrivener’s Sync with External Folder feature to get the files out of Scrivener, what happens next is out of Scrivener’s control. If InDesign won’t import RTF files, what will it import?


Yes, I realise that. The reason I asked, is because I figured this particular problem - using an external tool to finish the book, and linking documents to avoid having to update the text two places - had to be fairly common in the Scrivener community.

Anyway - what I ended up doing was creating some illustrations, text boxes etc in InDesign and inserting them into Scrivener, and then I used Scrivener’s compiled output. With a bit of tweaking the layout became good enough to publish. Had to ditch footnotes, though.

Someone mentioned an upcoming Scrivener 3 version, which supposedly should allow more control over the design and layout. I haven’t found any more info about this. Does anyone know if this is just a rumour?

Well it kind of will - it’s just that you have to “place” the RTF into individual InDesign documents instead of adding the RTFs directly to ID’s book system.

Actually, now that you mentioned it… I guess one way of doing this in InDesign is placing all the individual documents into individual ID files - as links - then add those ID files to the book layout. I guess I own you a thank you - that didn’t even occur to me! :slight_smile:

More control, yes. InDesign replacement, no. Scrivener is not and is not intended to be a replacement for dedicated page layout tools.

Glad to hear you found a solution!