Version 2.4.1 and docx


In the last blog post about the issues surrounding 2.4.1 and the Mac App Store, the last paragraph mentioned poorer support for .docx. However, there hasn’t been any follow up details regarding what this actually means.

Can someone elaborate, as this is crucial for me, and I haven’t dared upgrade as yet.


Sorry, we’ve had a few enquiries about this, but I haven’t had time to update the blog because we’re busy getting Scapple ready for release next week.

The issue was that Apple didn’t like the way our improved .docx exporters require the user to have Java installed, because the App Store rules require apps to be “standalone” and not to require additional installs. I argued that the Java installation wasn’t a requirement, but just something that the user is offered as an optional way of improving the export of certain file formats, but the reviewer interpreted the rule very strictly. This was why I said what I did on the blog. However, at the last minute, Apple told me that I could keep things the exporters the way they were after all - for now. I was told that at some point I will have to change this, but not just yet. So, 2.4.1 has no changes in this regard after all.

The problem is that I will be expected to change it in a future release, I just don’t know when, and we don’t have the resources to write our own .docx exporters, which is problematic. However, even then, as I understand it, the problem is only that Scrivener asks the user to install Java. I believe - I could be wrong, but I hope not - that as long as we don’t ask the user to install Java, even when we do have to change things, Scrivener should still be able to use the better exporters as long as the user has Java installed. We’ll probably just have to put a note about it in the manual or something.

This is similar to how we had to remove MultiMarkdown from the latest version on the Mac App Store. If the user installs MultiMarkdown separately, Scrivener can still use it; we just can’t include it as part of the app.

Essentially, with the Mac App Store, we are heading towards a situation whereby more complex apps can’t be entirely self-contained, and users will have to do extra installs outside of the App Store to get access to all features. We are doing our best to avoid this situation, but a lot of it is out of our hands. Our App Store users always have the choice of installing the version from our site, though, which recognises App Store users as registered users as long as they have run the App Store version on our site at least once.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

It’s also worth pointing out that having full-quality .doc/x files is rarely necessary. RTF is Scrivener’s native format, and using that is going to be much faster and more accurate in every single scenario, save for the few cases where the target is a program that cannot read RTF (or read it well, in the case of Apple’s Pages). RTF works just as well as .docx for our purposes, in Word, and it works better in many other word processors.

I was previously using .rtf generated files from Scrivener.

However, I am also using Mekentosj Papers and I think somewhere along the line, I remember changing because I read somewhere that the “unformat bibliography” ability only works if the file was exported to .doc or .docx.

Saying that, I’ve found the Papers “unformat bibliography” to be unreliable and have stopped using it. But I’ve kept the conversions to .docx. Trained my brain, can’t untrain it I guess.

I’m seriously thinking about taking the plunge and learning Latex and Bibtex…

Maybe it’s off topic, but I wish that I can use Mekentosj’s “Papers” with Scrivener - and when format, a new document or whatever is created for “reference”…

I’m starting the process of switching to Papers for creating bibliographies (I’ve used it for years as a reference manager, but always used EndNote for citations. By the time Papers 2 came out, I was too far along my thesis to switch). My understanding based on my experiments so far, so correct me if I’m wrong, is that Papers will insert citations using drag’n’drop or copy’n’paste and that a final reference list can then be constructed after compiling to Word (or Pages or whatever word-processor one chooses to finish in).

I have a feeling I might be missing something in your request though. :confused:

Definitely off topic. However, what I do is insert references as “Papers citation” (its an option in Papers preferences) and the file is compiled into a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file and opened in Word.

You then use Magic Manuscript to “format bibliography” and it automagically appears.

However, a few caveats.

  1. The file compiled from Scrivener does not insert the Papers citations as fields, so you cannot reverse format your Word formatted bibliography. It either doesn’t let you, or it completely screws it up and you get the wrong ref in the wrong place.

  2. The last few versions of Papers has removed “Insert Bibliography” as an option because it confused people supposedly. This annoys me and must annoy alot of people, as I’m sure that most people need their references NOT at the very end of the document.

Overall, the experience with Papers and Scrivener is much much better than Endnote and Word. If Scrivener could compile and somehow change the Papers links to be fields, it would be perfect.