Structured writing in Scrivener

Has anybody else experimented with this?

It is possible to write in Scrivener using paragraph stylesheets and structured writing almost as if in MS-Word or LibreOffice. This is done using Script Mode and creating your own style of script.

Though Script Mode was created to help screenwriters use Scrivener, customization is possible and, as the manual states (page 290) “If you need to create a structural document, and cascading between structural types would be of benefit, then consider using the Scriptwriting engine to create you own format from scratch.”

The instructions in the manual are clear and easy to follow. I had no difficulty creating my own trial script format, with formatting and paragraph names that match my usual LibreOffice stylesheets.

To compile the documents to Word or LO, I follow this process on Mac:

  1. compile to HTML ‘as is.’
  2. create a new LibreOffice document from a template that contains my custom styles.
    3 import the Scrivener-compiled HTML file into the LO document as a section.
  3. save, then remove the section (making it editable).
  4. replace the styles that Scrivener output to HTML with the named styles of my template.

The reason for this last step is that the underlying Mac processes that Scrivener uses to output straight to HTML, while preserving the script styles, renames all styles as ‘p1,’ ‘p2,’ ‘p3,’ … ‘p45’ and so on, in order of appearance. Using Search and Replace – More – Search for Styles, I can get LibreOffice to replace ‘p1’ with my own ‘BookTitle’ and ‘p2’ with ‘PartTitle’ and so on.

I presume a similar process of search and replace works on MS-Word. It’s some years since I used Word though, and that was an ancient version.

The reason to compile to HTML is that compiling to doc or rtf will kill all distinction of paragraph styles by name. All text will just appear as the ‘default’ or ‘normal’ paragraph style, and then its appearance will be changed within the paragraph.

(This is how to do it on the Mac. I don’t know how compiling to HTML or other formats works in Windows.)