Scrivener - MMD 3 - Latex: A beginner's guide

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porterblepeople
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Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:23 pm Post

Can i note that this guide REALLY needs to be updated. MMD3 is two major revisions old (soon to be 3), and installing the MultiMarkdown-Support-Mac files breaks Scrivener output. See my thread here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39105&p=237090#p237090

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demonofsarila
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Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:01 pm Post

I'm confused - is this just for importing and exporting markdown to and from Scriv, or is this for actually turning Scriv into a proper MMD editor with syntax highlighting? Or something else entirely?

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nontroppo
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Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:07 am Post

This is a really old outdated guide. Scrivener is already a "proper" MMD editor whether you compile to LaTeX or not, so I don't really understand your point? MMD is a plain text format, which Scrivener compiles to perfectly. Scrivener 3 will make large changes to several workflow options for working with MMD, including using full visual styles for writing which can be converted to custom markup on compile — this should satisfy those who like visualising their MMD structure.

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demonofsarila
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Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:23 pm Post

nontroppo wrote:Scrivener is already a "proper" MMD editor whether you compile to LaTeX or not, so I don't really understand your point?

Then how do I enable the syntax highlighting? How do I make Scriv add **asterisks** when I hit cmd+b? That what I meant by proper: full support and assistance to make it an easy pleasant expirence. As far as I can tell, the creator of Scriv says there will never be real support for markdown (similar to Ulysses, MacDown, Atom, iA Writer, ByWord, etc.) because he only wants rich text.

My point is that I have been using Ulysses because I like writing in markdown with syntax highlighting, but I'm looking to move away from it. I can't justify the subscription model because I sometimes go long periods of time without writing at all, I write for fun not money, and almost all the new features SoulMen have released since I bought it are useless to me. I understand that developers need to pay their bills too, but I'm only looking for a markdown editor that highlights syntax, adds things like _underscores_ when I hit cmd+i, and allows me to manually sort my documents so I can break up a long story into multiple documents (I don't need something that grows and changes, I need something that works and will continue to do so on future OS versions). From what I understand Scrivener does not fit this bill, but I don't understand what this thread is about so I could be wrong (I'm also not totally certain rather Scrivener supports addons/extensions, though that seems to be a no as well). It's a rather long-winded point when you get into the details, sorry about that.

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nontroppo
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Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:22 pm Post

I've used Scrivener 2 with MMD / Pandoc productively for years without any problems, using formatting presets for visualisation and happily inserting my own markup, so I get annoyed when people state Scrivener is not a proper MMD editor — MMD is a plain text format, so a "proper" editor only needs to support plain text, which Scrivener does via compile. What you mean by "proper" is simply "preferred", you want shortcuts to inserting the MMD markup. Scrivener 2 doesn't do this, although it does lots of other useful MMD functions. Syntax highlighting is not required for MMD.

Nevertheless Scrivener 3 will offer what IMO is far superior to current markdown editors — a flexible style system in which block and inline styles can be dynamically converted to markup during compile. So for example you bind ⌘B to an inline character style that you create called strong, and this will be visualised bold in the editor (but there will be no ** ** markup visible). On compile, you can transform the strong style into plain text with ** prefix and suffix, or any other markup (asciidoc, LaTeX, you name it). Therefore the same styled text (visualised with all the tools and typography the RTF engine provide) can be transformed into multiple markups via different compile presets.

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demonofsarila
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Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:15 pm Post

What word I choose off hand is no need to fight over words and try to correct me over it. What I meant by proper is proper; if I had meant preferred, I would have said it.

Though for the record, I meant no offense. I didn't mean proper in the sense that anything less is lacking, wrong, or something you shouldn't do (and definitely not a synonym for correct). I meant proper like fancy, you know corsets, long skirts, white gloves, coat tails, ties, ie over the top elegant. Similar to just because you aren't a person with an eye monocle and all that doesn't mean you aren't a person. Call it my best attempt to describe software such as iA Writer and the way it acts, which is not how Scrivener acts. If you google something like markdown software, you don't get things like text edit or word or scrivener, you get things like ByWord.

I also want to make sure you know I was referring to the editor part, not the markdown part. Proper markdown is simply plain text, if anything a proper markdown editor is in a way a bastardization of one of the core ideas of proper markdown: being independent of software, ie removing any need of things like shortcut keys, changing the display of the text, etc.

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brookter
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:44 am Post

If I've understood what you want, it boils down to two main elements.

1. You would like to use Scrivener because of the tools it gives you to structure and write your project.

2. You want to have certain behaviours in the Editor found in dedicated MMD editors (you've mentioned cmd-b and cmd-i syntax highlighting but I'm sure there's more).

The second is quite easily dealt with (and it gets easier in Version 3). In the editor, use cmd-b and cmd-i and you'll get bold and italic as you'd expect to. You won't get asterisks, but do you actually need them when you're writing (as oppose to compiling)? After all some mmd editors hide the asterisks as well. When the time comes to compile the document, Scrivener has a command Format > Convert > Bold and Italics to Multimarkdown Syntax and you'll have your asterisks. (Version 3 does this in a different, more fully-featured way, including more formatting types BTW).

But it does a lot more than that: drag an image into the editor and it add the mmd syntax; use Scrivener's Footnotes tools and they will be converted automatically into MMD footnotes when you compile; paragraphs with 'preserve formatting' enabled will be compiled as mmd code blocks and so on.

In some ways it's more powerful than some of the leading MMD editors. Version 3 will make it even more so, and that's less than three months away (and you'll get it free if you buy Version 2 now). BTW, Marked 2 works with Version 2 and is being developed to work with Version 3.

Essentially, you get the 'convenience' features and structural / editing tools of using Scrivener and still have the MMD output you want. Or you can write in pure markdown and it will accept that as well. It's your choice and you can mix and match to a large extent. Only you know what your requirements are, so my suggestions would be:

1. Read the Multimarkdown section of the Manual to see what it can do now (S22) (while taking into account that the capabilities will be expanded very shortly in Version 3, including Pandoc integration, the ability to convert RTF tables and lists to mmd syntax, the styles mentioned before etc).

2. Download the Scrivener Project from which the 800+ page Manual is itself created (from here: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/support.php). This is written using a variety of the techniques discussed in the Manual so you can see them in action.

Once you've done that you may of course decide that it's still not for you, which is fair enough, but perhaps it will help explain why many people with complex multimarkdown documents think it's worth using Scrivener.

Hope that helps. Good luck making the decision.

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nontroppo
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:05 am Post

Surely, only humans with monocles can be considered real "persons"!!! :P

OK, lets agree to ignore the semantics of what defines proper. Scrivener 2 does lots of things to help a MMD workflow that are not done by other editors, but it doesn't syntax highlight. It does style text, and you can use formatting presets to visualise your markup, and as brookter says, you can do one-shot conversion of inline styles to MMD.

BUT considering Scrivener 3 is coming very soon, I would focus on what it offers as to what Scrivener brings to the table for those who prefer to work with markdown or other plain text markups. And as I've mentioned above, it does something that no other editor can, uses a "proper" :P styling mechanism to flexibly drive markup. You see bolded, italicised, blockquoted, figure-captioned, code-blocked, superscripted, meta-dataed text, with full control of all typography. Want your blockquotes in a hand-written script font single spaced but figure captions in a modernist sans-serif right aligned. You got it. Styles act as semantic containers, you are applying a visual style, but also "tagging" that text with a meaning (i.e. "strongly emphasised" for bold+italic). So you visualise your markup structurally in the editor (what you could consider syntax highlighting). At compile time, these tagged containers are converted into the markup you want. As well as that you can do things like using Scrivener tables that get converted to MMD, use internal links to figures managed in the binder to compile images into long documents, flexibly transfer comments and annotations to markup and many other things no other editor does.

Keith is very much a fan of rich text editing, and he will not create an simplified editor like other markdown editors. But Scrivener dogfoods its own software to write the Scrivener manual, and uses MMD to do so. Keith along with AmberV have considered MMD workflows with an incredible attention to detail, because they use it entirely for their own documentation! Therefore it offers an MMD workflow that, in my humble opinion, exceeds the power of any other MMD editor with ease.

Right proper, innit!!! 8)