.txt files in the scratchpad directory

Hi. I’m trying to cobble together functionality to get on-the-fly ideas and notes into my Scrivener workflow. Based on what I’d read, I thought the simplest approach would be to use some app to get files into the directory where Scrivener is configured to work for scratchpad notes. I saw an old forum post that I thought indicate that the scratchpad would read .txt. files.

I set up Drafts on ios for this, and it did indeed get the file where it belongs in Dropbox, but Scrivener seems only to be reading in .rtf files for scratchpad notes. Is that the only format that can be read in? Is there another way to get .txt files automatically into Scrivener for processing? If not, any ideas on a way to be able to capture thoughts, ideas on-the-fly? I had used Evernote for years, but it’s gotten too unwieldy for me to juggle between that and Scrivener manually.


This is the Windows forum, and you might have more luck in the iOS forum: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=52. What I observe in Windows is that the Scratchpad directory is C:\Users[i]{Username}[/i]\AppData\Local\Scrivener\Scrivener; and that any .RTF file, and only .RTF files, located there will open in the Scratchpad.

Thanks for responding. I’m working in Windows 10, though, so I thought this was the right forum. The ios piece is just the piece that drops the file in the directory. I guess the question boils down to whether .txt files will work. I had seen a post from a number of years ago that suggested they would. If not, I wonder if anyone else has figured out a way to send notes, ideas, etc. to Scrivener

Windows Scrivener scratch pad only supports .rtf. However, Mac Scriv supports both .rtf and .txt–maybe that’s what the post you saw was discussing.

I too am trying to better integrate Scriv Windows scratch pad with iOS.

I thought I had found a good solution in a free iOS app called RichTexture, which can handle .rtf editing chores and interfaces with DropBox. Keeping my Scratchpad folder on DropBox, RichTexture worked pretty nicely–I could make changes on my iDevice using RichTexture, and then see those changes on Windows after syncing DropBox, and vice versa.

That worked well for a few weeks, and I thought I had a good process worked out. Then, RichTexture began behaving erratically, in that most attempt to open an .rtf file failed. The docs won’t fully open. RichTexture hasn’t seen any recent updates, so maybe some update on the DropBox side broke it. Too bad, because while it was working, it was great.

I’m not actively looking for a replacement iOS .rtf editor at the moment, but if I find something I’ll post it here.


Personally I would use the folder sync feature instead of trying to find a decent RTF editor on mobile platforms. There are more choices for editors, and better ones from what I’ve seen.

If the issue with folder sync is that it is project-specific, then make a “Scratch Pad.scriv” project somewhere. Details in §13.1, Synchronised Folders, of the user manual PDF.

Thanks, Jim. It sounds like you are trying to figure out exactly what I’m trying to figure out. I’m guessing the deeper one goes toward a good .rtf editor, the more cumbersome entering things on the fly will get. That was the advantage of Drafts–so quick and easy to make a note, and even able to set it up on Apple Watch. But I am unlikely to move away from Windows b/c of various publisher requirements. Maybe when the the Scriv 3 version for Windows is released it will have the same capability the Apple version does. Thanks so much for the thoughts.

Amber, thanks for chiming in. The problem isn’t related to syncing the files so much as to the format the files are in. Most quick idea capturing software that can seamlessly send entries out to other software doesn’t seem to write the files in .rtf format which is what is currently required on Windows Scrivener.

Ioa - Thanks for the idea!

Hi Dahlia,

I just read up on Sync with External (see Section 13.1 of the Windows manual), and it will accept .txt files. :smiley:

I wasn’t aware of this. So you could use Drafts to make quick notes in .txt files, and sync them with a project or projects of your choice on the Windows side.

I think I will try Ioa’s suggestion of a Scratch Pad.scriv project as a starter.


Exactly my point. :slight_smile: Perhaps the name of the feature is the confusing part, it doesn’t actually contact the Internet and direct synchronisation operations between equipment over it—that’s for more complex stuff like OneDrive to do. It means “sync” in the broad sense, and is really rather simple, not too dissimilar from how the Scratch Pad works: it keeps your project data synchronised with a regular old “dumb” folder of files on your disk somewhere. When you set it up, it will create text files in this folder that store the main text content of each binder item set up to sync. If you edit those files in any way, the changes will be automatically made to the original content in the binder itself. If you add new files to this folder they will be imported and become formal parts of the project.

So it has the same elements the Scratch Pad does in terms of flexibility (put the folder somewhere synced to the ’net), but it also offers a plain-text option, and for some people it might even be a better choice simply because it operates directly on projects.

My preferred setup: each project that has need of an “inbox”, or remotely accessible data, I create a sync folder for. I have all of these sync folders into one main folder which I keep synchronised between devices using Resilio Sync. The specific “cloud” technology one uses is open-ended, as is the editors they choose on other devices.

Ah…thank you so much for taking the time to explain what “synch” means in this context. I will go look into it hopefully later today when I have a moment.

Okay. So I think I’m beginning to understand this. So, for each separate Scrivener project, I can set up a folder (e.g., on Dropbox) that starts out empty and will be the location where Scrivener checks and writes to when files in the areas of Scrivener configured to use this feature are changed (or on close, or however I specify). Then, I can use whatever third party app to deposit .txt files here when I need to, and Scrivener will read them in.

If I am using Scrivener from two computers (a laptop and a desktop), will this be okay so long as, as always, I never have the same project open simultaneously on both? (I’ve already learned the hard way to make sure I allow Dropbox syncing to finish up before opening anything…)

Thanks for your patience!

Dahlia42, in your original post you mentioned that going back and forth between Evernote and Scrivener had gotten unwieldy, hence your search for something more efficient. I get that; I sort of long for my two favorite tools to be better friends with each other. :slight_smile: The way that I’ve found to connect the two is to export a note from Evernote in HTML format, and then drag it into an appropriate location in the Research folder in the Scrivener Binder. You just have to be sure that, in the Import/Export tab in Scrivener’s Options, “Convert HTML files to text” is checked; and that you export the note from Evernote as a single HTML Web page.

This may be too little, too late for your purposes. It’s certainly a kludge. When Scrivener 3 is out and is robustly able to import Web pages again, it should be possible to import Evernote notes using their public links, so that if you update the note in Evernote you can update it in Scrivener. The process was outlined by a user in the Evernote forums, using Scrivener for Mac. I don’t have a Mac system, so I haven’t been able to test it myself.