WIndows user manuals as Scrivener project or EPUB

Hi there, could the user manual for Scrivener and Scapple for Windows please be made available for download compiled to EPUB format?

If not can the Windows manuals for both be made made available for download as Scrivener 3 projects so I can compile them to EPUB myself?

Cheers and thanks for the excellent writing tools. :smiley:

The manuals would be a nightmare in an eBook format. There is a project version, but it’s incomplete without adding an extras pack (images, etc.) and as I understand it, the compile would not be trivial.

Last time I looked at the Scrivener project for the manual, it was specifically designed for the MMD compilation output type and relied on a whole bunch of extra scripts and technologies (LaTeX, IIRC) – I do not believe it would compile to anything usable without all of that, certainly not to ePub.

The downloadable user manual project is currently way out of date and only documents the Mac version. I stopped updating it when I started the large-scale editing process for the Windows version, as I didn’t want to upload what amounted to a heavily scaffolded WIP project.

Now that we’re past the launch, I’ll be gradually working on getting a version of that project updated again. This is not a small endeavour unfortunately, as the editing process resulted in thousands of editing notes that would only get in the way of using it as a proper reference.

Anyway, I digress. For Windows it will initially be more of an alternative reference that you can use, rather than something you would use to compile alternative file types from.

That is, in my book anyway, still a considerable asset. When I want to look up something in the manual, 9 times out of 10 I do so in the original project. Scrivener is after all extremely adept at navigating, searching and organising a large body of text like that. No ebook reader program or PDF reader is ever going to even come close to what all you can do with a .scriv in Scrivener 3!

For anyone attempting to recreate the original PDF, I would only suggest going down that path if one intends to learn how to tap into these various technologies for their own work, as a learning process. Even so I would not go into it with the expectation that you’ll get a good result on Windows, not just yet. There are too many major bugs and missing implementations in the way of compiling it properly, even for something other than LaTeX, like Pandoc → ePub, or indeed ignoring the Markdown entirely and just compiling a stock PDF/ePub/RTF.

I’ve made a simple ePub compile format in the past, it’s actually not too difficult since a Markdown source is capable of being easily converted to almost any file type out there. The problem is more (a) how much work it would take to create the CSS for it and (b) on Windows, how the sort of features it uses breaks its Markdown output.

So to come back to this point, like I said I have dabbled with ePub in the past. It’s just not something I’ve had the time for (it would be a rather involved project to design the CSS and everything to a level I’d be proud of), and frankly I’m not convinced it is worth the time to do it.

In 2011, eBook manuals were just a few months away.

Who—in the modern world of accessibile, open-source, reflowable, resizable, proportional, user-chosen interfaces—wouldn’t want an archaic, difficult-to-navigate, impossible-to-scale, hard-to-read, hideous, proprietary-format, print-ready-yet-almost-never-printed PDF?

A delicious slice of the 1990s, straight from the satanic bowels of Adobe. How marvellous.

But if you’re insane enough to want infinitely more legible, easy-to navigate, reflowable, easy-to-annotate, and easy-to-share-between-devices ePubs (though a tad skanky due to the source PDFs):




All I said over there is that it wouldn’t be two or three months, which remains true to this day. ;) Besides that was 2011—I’m not sure it was even possible to easily do from a Markdown source at that point. I ran into all kinds of problems that would have meant spending days of post-production after each revision.

But it’s clear you didn’t bother to read my arguments against ePub, in the linked thread above, either. You may still disagree with them, but you don’t bring up any counter points to what I said, specifically. I’d love to know what ebook reader you use by the way, that is worthy of such praises. I’m not, like you seem to be, absolute certain of how right I am for instance. The right software could change my mind. So far every ebook reader I’ve found though is really poorly designed for referencing.

As for the PDF to ePub conversions—thanks, but you can see from these results why we’d rather spend the time it takes to make a high quality ebook, or have none at all. Even just dumping it out of compile with the Markdown syntax intact would probably be better than this!

IMHO, if a person is up to Compiling the manual to ePub (or even to PDF), that person has no need of the manual.

yes i quoted myself just to get some context back. ;) it was just a question, not demanding anything at all and obviously only speaking from the perspective of only one person! i’ll explain why i asked below.

it seems like it’s a tough ask. i certainly wouldn’t want anyone wasting any time on this! i did notice that the mac scriv manual is already on the download page as a scriv project.

thanks for all the replies, even the value judgements. ;) i just happen to be one of the types (maybe unusual) who likes to read manuals from cover to cover. i also find that re-reading manuals is an excellent learning tool (for me personally and the way my mind works) i absorb a lot that way.

that use granted, i’m way more likely to read the manual in ebook form than any other,

as for using the manual as a reference to just look up a topic if needed, i absolutely agree pdf manuals on the computer are fine for reference and lookup purposes, but for me it doesn’t work for the use that prompted my original post: actually kicking back and reading.

so, no dramas,
thanks for the detailed feedback AmberV,
cheers all. :smiley:

oh, and special thanks to Merx !

those ones you created are just fine for my purposes, you sir are a gentleman and a scholar. :wink: