Import MD / MMD and view as Rich Text in Scrivener?

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Tridens92
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Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:13 pm Post

When I'm not on my computer (tablet or phone) I am working in MD / MMD. While I have successfully imported these files into Scrivener, they are still in MD / MMD format. Is there a way to import them and then view (or convert) them to Scrivener's Rich Text format?

I didn't see any relevant forum post, nor did I see this addressed in the user manual, so my apologies if I missed it.

Thank you!

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Graybyrd
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Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:40 am Post

Short answer, no.

Scrivener has no md/mmd input converter. So if you want .rtf you'll need to convert md=>rtf externally. There are many ways to do this in Windows. Calibre has a very nice md converter option. Set it up in Calibre preferences under Conversion/Input Options/TXT Input. Under "Structure" see a menu box for Formatting style. Choose "Markdown".

(As an aside, I prefer to write in md/mmd format directly in Scrivener; then later use Scrivener's mmd compile feature for output. If I do md/mmd text writing in the field, there's no converting needed to import my nnn.md.txt entries into Scrivener.)
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Tridens92
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Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:58 pm Post

Thanks, Graybyrd, for confirming my suspicions. The PDF manual mentions that Scrivner supports MD for import (p. 213), and I assumed (logically, I think), that that meant it would convert (or at least display it) as rich text as it does for other text file types it imports (p. 90). It would be more accurate to say that Scrivener imports these files as plain text with an MD or MMD extension.

It's too bad that it doesn't allow them to be viewed as Rich Text like it explains on page 90. This seems like a logical / desired feature for those who like to use both Rich Text and MD in their workflow, and very easy to implement.

I too like to compose certain types of writing in MD, but there are other kinds of writing that are just more easily done in WYSIWYG.

Thanks so much for helping me out with the answer.

--Tridens

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AmberV
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Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:33 pm Post

You might be referring to the File/Import/MultiMarkdown File... command, which is described as parsing the document for logical heading structure within the file and splitting it automatically into subdocuments, to form an outline structure that matches the heading structure. For example level one headings (#) become level one files beneath the import point, level two headings (##) are nested beneath the level one sections they follow, and so forth. This capability allows one to round-trip an outline in and out of the software without any loss of hierarchical data.

I can’t find an earlier reference to Markdown of any sort in the section around File Import (page 90 region). I suppose the closest thing I could find is a brief mention that .txt of any sort will be internally converted to RTF as opposed to remaining literal .txt files on your drive. The software only works in RTF, so all things must be converted to RTF. That is a technicality, not a declaration that any structural form of writing we might employ within a .txt file will be converted to fancy graphics and fonts when you drop it into the binder.
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Tridens92
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Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:49 pm Post

Hi, Amber.

I can’t find an earlier reference to Markdown of any sort in the section around File Import (page 90 region).


Correct. This section talks about what happens when files get imported (namely, they are viewed as Rich Text). The area that talks about MD / MMD is in Chapter 21, and the chapter begins by stating "...Scrivener allows you to import and export using Fletcher T. Penny's MultiMarkdown syntax." Putting these two occurrences of "import" together would lead me to believe that Scrivener can display MMD text as Rich Text, as it describes for other types of text files on p. 90. It's interesting that while there is the mention of importing MMD in the first sentence of the MultiMarkdown chapter, the chapter focuses exclusively on export and compiling...there isn't one further mention of import as it relates to MMD. :shock:

You might be referring to the File/Import/MultiMarkdown File... command,

I can't find that command...is that a Mac-only command, by chance?

Thanks.
Last edited by Tridens92 on Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AmberV
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Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:23 am Post

I see how it could read that way. As for how it was intended, one imports MMD syntax, working using that method, and then exports it, or uses the compiler to automate further processing to produce some other type of format.

So it’s worth knowing that once you go rich text by converting the .mmd files with an engine for doing so, you can’t really go back. All of the features in this program presume you use the format in question.

I can’t find that command…is that a Mac-only command, by chance?

My mistake, I thought it had been added recently but that must have been something else. I suppose that would explain the mention of elusive import features that never really pan out in being explained, as well. Sometimes these stray comments get missed in the platform edits. :)
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Ioa Petra'ka
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