Work with tables?

I know that tables are not a big feature in scrivener for Mac, but they work well enough for me to use them sometimes. Is there a way for me to create them in iOS? Seems I can’t select or adjust them on my iPad.

By the way, I LOVE the app, it is so helpful to have a mobile version. Great work!


Nope, can’t create or modify them, just edit cell contents.

Thanks for the kind words!

Just to elaborate on this, the problem is that Apple has not made the tables code in the TextKit available to third-party developers on iOS. Essentially, both Scrivener for iOS and Scrivener for macOS use Apple’s text system, although a lot more work is involved on iOS to get it working nicely because Apple’s frameworks are newer and buggier there. Apple’s text system will read tables from RTF files, display them, and save them to RTF, but Apple has not exposed the code necessary to manipulate tables on iOS to third-party developers yet. (Even though the code is there and the same as on the Mac.) This means that Scrivener would be rejected if I tried to add table editing.

The only way around it would be to re-implement tables from scratch, but that would involve not just implementing them in the UI but also rewriting all of Apple’s code for reading them from RTF and writing them to RTF, not just in iOS but also on the Mac. So that’s a little out of scope at the moment, I’m afraid. Several developers have asked Apple to expose their tables code as they have done on the Mac, so I’m hoping that somewhere down the line this will be possible. In the meantime, the iOS version does not officially support tables, although it will show them and maintain them (not lose them).

Thanks and all the best,

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If you really need to, you can create a table in another iOS app and export it to Scrivener. The export has to be in either RTF or HTML format – my experience is that neither .docx (word) format nor a simple copy-and-paste will work.

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I’ve played with this today, needing a table, in one of my iOS Scrivener extravaganzas, this one for an EU project rather than a story.

Here’s what I found, at least in contemporary iPadOS 14.x:

  • You can make a table in Pages, right on the iPad where it comes for free
  • You can then Export the table page as RTF
  • when you do, a choice below the row is Copy
  • you can go to Scivener with this copy, and Paste it (not Unstyled Paste, you were warned :slight_smile: )

Now, what are the caveats?

  • really, the fault-free way to do this is to fill out your table with its content in Pages, before you Export it and Paste

  • you can still format the text (e.g. font, size, etc.) freely in Scrivener, to taste

  • if you want to try putting content in it from Scrivener, be sure to put at least a letter of text in each field, before you Export. And then only replace that text with your own. If you make a mistake, in any way type in a blank field, it will collapse the table with prejudice, and there you are really finished, other than with undo, And undo won’t fix if a field had been imported blank.

  • Is there a round trip?? Actually I found one. You can’t copy-paste the table back into Pages, but close enough, because RTF again comes to the rescue. It’s a similar process: at bottom right of your Done-clicked Scrivener document, u