Using Scrivener, Mellel, and Bookends as an academic suite

I sometimes write academic papers, and have been looking for a way to manage this task in OS X. I had used Notabene under Windows XP, but was hoping to find a substitute. I think I have. Here is how I think one can write an academic paper using Scrivener, Mellel, and Bookends.

  1. Write with Scrivener, however you write. I will write thoughts here and there on the corkboard, and organize them later. It is in the creative process that Scrivener shines.

  2. When you need to add a reference, open up Bookends. Type your bibliographical information in, and then pull up the database list view (under the “Windowsâ€

Thanks so much for posting this, I like this idea / workflow a lot and will try it out. (I use Mellel and Bookends but would much prefer to do the actual writing in Scrivener.)

One question: would I have to use MMD if I didn’t use any footnotes?



I use MMD for italics and boldface, since I find it easier to type italic than to move my hands, select the text, and then select a menu item. I like to keep my hands on the keyboard. If you don’t mind, then you don’t need to use MMD.

Not only do I find it easier to type in asterisks, like you do, I also find that it is far, far easier to locate previously emphasised text, when skimming it at a later date. With most fonts, the difference between italic and normal text is too subtle to really stick out at you on the screen.

The problem with this – and with Scrivener to Mellel, from my experience – has been formatting of footnotes and the footnote and reference numbers when references are meant to be footnoted (and not inline). When I use the method above (MMD–>RTF), the footnotes are below the main text, but not in the footnote area of Mellel; they are part of the main text block. When I use the normal Scrivener RTF export, the footnotes do get placed correctly; but there is no way (that I can see) to replace the styles globally for the footnote & reference numbers, as there is for the main text and even the footnote text. Mellel just doesn’t include the footnote text preferences in the “repalce styles” pane.

Has anybody found a good solution to this, or am I missiing something? This problem with footnoting really hinders the ability to use Scrivener with Mellel for me at the moment (and I do realize it is not really a “Scrivener problem”…just looking for workflow help). Thanks.

talazem, I just tried this and it worked: Although Mellel did not display the paragraph style as a “footnote”-style, by assigning a particular paragraph style in the “replace styles” dialogue (the one with the smaller font) with my default footnote style, the text got changed, although not the footnote number.

The number could be changed by editing the footnote-number flow from the formatting palette, and setting it back to my default number flow format. I am not good in explaining it, because my Mellel version is german, but it works so keep on trying…
I hope that helps

addition: you can find the paragraph style for the footnotes (after the import, in Mellel) by inspecting the paragraph descriptions in the replace formats menu. The default footnote format, that scrivener exports, has a one-line-spacing, the rest has two lines line-spacing.
When you replace characters in Mellel, look for superscript: this is the footnote number in the text.
As for the footnote number under the text, you just have to adjust the footnote settings to your custom settings.

Might sound more difficult than it is -you can convert a whole document from scrivener to Mellel (including footnotes) in less than a minute.


M, thank you very much…trying what you mentioned worked well. You’re right, once you get the hang of it, the transition time is minimal. Thanks for taking the time to help!

My usage is in academic writing, and one in which lots of tranliterated words are used. I also suscribe, out of being burnt many times in the past with the “MS Word”-induced mentality of “format as you go”, to the idea of keeping content and style separate. In Mellel, I use styles. It is what draws me to LaTeX, though I agree with others that looking back at a “marked-up” doc is not pretty. I use RTF; I just wish there was a way in Scrivener (or anything) to associate semantic meaning to the visual tags such as italics, etc. Anyways, those are reasons why I still don’t find the flow from Scriv to Mellel still instantaneous: I’m still having to go through the text, and apply my semantic-based “Styles” to the book titles, transliterated words, etc. And while this is not a big deal with a two or three page document, it would be a major headache for a longer, structured work like a thesis or monograph.

Again, this isn’t a fault of Scrivener, or of Mellel, but just of the state of the art.

For academic writing (and maybe other types), I do think it would be nice to have the ability to apply definable Styles in Scriv, just as we can in Mellel and (eek) Word. Then, all it would take would be for someone to write some xslt’s or what have you to transfer the document and its styles immediately and effortlessly from Scriv to Mellel (or to LaTeX, or to…), without losing the semantic meanings of the styles.

But that’s another issue, for a different thread. :wink:

for book-titles in scrivener, have you tried the bookends-method described in the first post of this thread ?
As for the “Styles”-problem, I think you can do this with the search function in Mellel. Theoretically (check the Mellel tutorial) the app should be able to change the style of a passage based on certain “tags”.

for example, you could mark your text in scrivener with italic, underlined etc… and ‘program’ a search/replace-set in Mellel which changes the style of your text according to your tags, e.g. apply format variation “italic” to the italic text, or even change something to ^bold^. Maybe you’d have to change the style first and then remove the delimeters?
Update: Just discovered multimarkown. Well, another RTFM issue…