I’m a PhD student and as I discovered Scrivener at the beginning of my thesis, I began using it over anything else.
It helped me a great deal with my master thesis, but when in doctorate, the complexity of the work rised and I found it much more confortable to resort to SublimeText and lately Atom, to profit from their colored markdown (way much readable for my sore eyes than plain colored formatting).
In this process I lost Scriveners capacity to compile, order, search, tag and all the wonderful features it has…
Would it be possible to get this kind of auto-coloring for markdown? I recently saw Ulysses has it and all the plain code editors have the feature. I know many people would like to deactivate RTF options, having this extra customizable coloring would make a huge improvement for many, I’m sure.
If you search the forums for keywords along these lines you should find plenty of old discussions about it, and how it’s not something that will be coming to Scrivener. As you note, it’s the RTF underpinnings that get in the way, and a “simple” toggle to plain-text would not be so simple. Vast chunks of the software would have to be disabled or toggled around, essentially to become another kind of program entirely, and one with the potential to nuke all kinds of important content from the editor if you flip the switch the wrong way.
There is another way of course, one I do myself from time to time: compose in Sublime or Vim when you feel the need for it, copy and paste into/out of Scrivener as needed. Scrivener becomes your repository and master archive for documents, but you sometimes edit using special purpose software for doing so. All in all it’s not too bad of a way of working to my mind.
There is always embracing RTF as a superset of plain-text as well, which is definitely something I do for some projects like the user manuals. I make heavy use of the tools provided in Scrivener, such as inline annotations, footnotes, images, even simple highlights, revision tracking and overstrike—and a lot of stuff we haven’t revealed yet that act as a force multiplier in what you can do with MMD itself. It does have its drawbacks if you like a little automated sprucing up of your syntax, but on the other hand you can’t just select a a few sentences across three paragraphs and highlight them in Sublime or Ulysses, so you can come back later and revise them. Ulysses has some basic marking syntax, but it breaks over paragraphs and well, I kind of like the fact that the RTF stuff I do in Scrivener is positively guaranteed to be nuked when I compile.
As Amber mentions, using formatting presets for visualisation of Markdown structure in Scrivener works well even though it will be stripped out during compile. Using keyboard shortcuts and it is very simple, and you can choose how YOU want the structure to look:
And Scrivener does do very cool MMD useful stuff like footnote management, image linking, snapshot comparison that other solutions cannot match.
I would be driven completely mad if I had to write a thesis in Sublime/Atom (especially Atom)!!!
Thanks, @Amber and @nontroppo.
My wish was not because of “not wanting” RTF capabilities and of course I’m more than satisfied with the outstanding compilation capabilities of Scrivener. I was just asking due to the easiness of readability that colour auto formatting adds.
I guess, as Amber says, I’ll have to keep writing on Atom (as a distraction free alternative mode) and have Scrivener for ordering, compilation and all the hardwork stuff.
(BTW, I did my search before bothering with questions )
Keep up the good work!