Would love an Export / Compile option for " Dialogue Only " aka " Dialogue List "

I have searched the menu and this forum, but somehow can’t find a way to export or compile just the dialogue (including character names). It would be great if it would be possible to export this to a XML (xcell) sheet.
Dialogue lists are a standard delivery item for producers and are superhelpfull for the translation process further in the process.
Cheers! I Love Scrivener!

The script formatting is just formatting. That is, the dialogue isn’t labeled as “dialogue” internally, so Scrivener has no way of recognizing it as such.

One workaround would be to compile to a format like Fountain, and then use a Fountain-aware scriptwriting tool to extract what you need.
More information about Fountain generally is here:

And more information about using Fountain in Scrivener can be found in Section 19.6 of the Scrivener manual.

If you want to stay entirely in Scrivener, you could do it by assigning Styles to your script elements, and then selectively excluding text that’s not in the dialogue style. See Section 24.5.4 in the manual for more information about the use of Styles in the Compile command.


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Dear Catherine,

thank you! Most helpful!


I think if the export function could add a feature for dialog that would be great. If the export could identify the beginning quote markers and export the full sentence prior to the quote markers and the sentence after the end quote markers and the quote itself, it would be an amazing dialog extractor.

We all know that we use quote symbol to identify quotes, so perhaps even if the words are not tagged as quotes, using the symbol identifier would be an easy way to identify it. The program could say when you see " the first time, extract the sentence before it, the quote symbol plus the text, end quote symbol and the sentence after it. I’m not saying this is easy, but it might not need a dialog tag but using known symbol character to identify it.

Just as a thought for you:

  • Are you using straight quotes or smart quotes?
  • Are you using UK-style (single for dialogue, double within) or US-style (double for dialogue, single within) and what about “scare quotes”?
  • Are you writing in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish… all of which have different dialogue conventions?
  • Then there are the Cyrillic languages, Hebrew, Arabic, Urdu, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai… to name a few, all of which are used by Scrivener users worldwide.

Scrivener would need to cope with all of them.



On another thought, a suggestion: you could put any stretches of dialogue in their own binder documents, give them a keyword, then select all with that keyword and compile the selection.

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No. Some of us know that some writers never use any quotation marks for dialogue. And some of us might be amongst those who don’t use quotation marks.

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It could be done using a character attributes style…
But it would require handling that’s planned ahead.

If you create a character attributes style that does nothing but perhaps show as a background color, you can then select all dialog, paste it to a blank document, and export that.

This said, with the work implied, I wouldn’t use that as a solution myself.

(And seeing how Dialog Focus seems to already be a challenge to program (it doesn’t quite work yet — under Windows the least, Mac, I don’t know), I wouldn’t expect such an implementation anytime soon…)

It works on the Mac (or so I understand; it’s not something that’s been of any interest to me) because it is part of the the Apple TextKit, whereas the Windows guys have to program that sort of thing themselves. Even then, I wonder if it works across all languages with their different conventions.


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Good if it works for Mac.
I don’t use it myself (as it currently is), but under Windows I’ve played enough with it to confirm that it works in French. I suppose it uses what you’ve got for quote marks set in the options. (?)

The issue under Windows is that the dialog currently needs to be confined to a single paragraph. Dialogue focus doesn’t currently look for the closing quote mark past a carriage return.
It doesn’t recognize em dashes either.

Dialogue focus in Windows


My point being that until this is improved, the feature request can’t be. (At least in the Windows version.)

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