Project-specific presets & multiple compile option

ll
llstories
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Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:04 pm Post

LOVE Scrivener! There are only a couple of things I'd love to see. And sorry if I failed to find them already posted here.

1. Presets that are specific to a project: I don't want to lay out the chapter heads the same way in all of my books, but my "Heading 1" is a global preset. I'd love to be able to right-align it in one project, then center it in another.

2. The ability to select/queue multiple compiles: I have to compile a MOBI for Amazon, EPUB for Kobo & Google and a DOC for Smashwords. That means compiling every book 3 times, which gets really tedious after a few books. I'd love the ability to tell Scrivener that I want it to do all 3 formats, then go get a cup of coffee while it churns out all of the versions I've specified.

I know #2 is probably unlikely – I can see all sorts of issues with trying to get Scrivener to do that. But that's my wishlist!

And I thought of a #3 that is even more of a pie in the sky. A MOBI export that doesn't let KindleGen compress the ever-loving crap out of my covers! I still have to re-cover them in Calibre. :roll:

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AmberV
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Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:52 pm Post

Thanks for the feedback! The first thing will be coming to the software in the future, by virtue of it being upgraded to a stylesheet based system instead of the basic preset system currently in use. I would note that although you can’t use Scrivener precisely like you might have used Word or similar programs in the past—that’s actually not a negative for most uses. By and large the preset system and typed text to generate section headings is workable in Scrivener—you can certainly do it and it requires hardly any learning—but it’s not the most efficient way to use the program. Better would be to have the compiler generate the heading text for you (usually based off of the name of the item in the Binder, but that is negotiable) and formatting that text as part of the compile settings. Compile settings then become, in a sense, your stylesheet.

As for the second point: yeah there are no plans for that. :) The current compile system doesn’t even fully address the concept of multiple formats using different compile settings. For example meta-data panel settings must be manually changed per format, and any particular settings in the Contents pane, such as Front Matter, would need to be set per output. A future version might be slightly more conducive to external control via macro programs such as Keyboard Maestro, however.

And I thought of a #3 that is even more of a pie in the sky. A MOBI export that doesn’t let KindleGen compress the ever-loving crap out of my covers!


Amazon makes KindleGen, it is something you have to download specifically from them and install, we can’t even distribute it let alone change how it functions. That said I haven’t heard many people complain about heavy compression before, there may be some other factor involved—I would try compiling with the source option enabled in the KindleGen pane so that you can get a better idea of what Scrivener is producing in terms of sources files (the actual images, HTML, CSS and other necessary files) as opposed to KindleGen’s synthesis of those files.

If the image is highly compressed out of Scrivener, then check your compression settings in the Import/Export preference pane.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

ch
charlie.stross
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Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:01 pm Post

Actually, at risk of flogging a dead horse ...

I regularly kick out drafts-in-progress to a forum for my test readers to focus-group them. And I have to run multiple compiles each time; one for docx, one for html, one for epub, one for mobi. All using exactly the same compile settings -- just to multiple output file formats.

I'd like to be able to tell Scriv: "compile for the following formats [checkboxes]" rather than "compile for word" and then manually jump through the hoops again.

It might be possible to script this on the Mac; does anyone have any experience of this? (I'm an applescript refusnik, having run head-first into its terrible, ghastly, no-good syntax over a decade ago and hurt my head.)

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nontroppo
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Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:38 pm Post

Let me at that dead horse!!!

I'd love multiple compile, but in my case the same format, but different selections of documents (I compile my letter to the editor, response to reviewers and manscript) ideally as 3 seperate MMD files rather than exporting 3 times or compiling it all together then manually cutting it.

I know I tend to use my MMD hammer for every Scrivener nail I see, but if you guys compile as MMD, you can script easily to generate multiple formats from Pandoc or MMD or any other custom toolchain, no need to do it in Scrivener...

Don't worry about Applescript, Scrivener doesn't support it! :P

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AmberV
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Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:51 pm Post

There might be a way of automating the Compile sheet sufficiently to fire off three or four of them with different “Compile For” settings. The ingredients are all available with full keyboard access enabled in system preferences. You can use Tab and Shift-Tab to get around between widgets and Space + Return to do most activation and confirmation of them, even target specific entries in a drop-down, like “kin” to select “Kindle eBook (.mobi)”, and even manipulate the following file dialogue box to overwrite older compiled copies with no confirmation. Heck, I use these shortcuts myself when doing so is faster than the mouse.

In practice I find some of these things don’t work as well as they do when you as a human are doing them. It could be some small fraction of a second is required between certain actions, so the script is firing off “Space,kin,return” so quickly that not all of it registers. I just gave it all a quick test to prove the theory and it was looking like something that might take a few hours of tweaking pause timers at the right spot and finding the optimum sort of commands to use (Return vs. “Click button X” etc.).

Now what I’d like to see is shell level access to some of these core functions. Imagine:

Code: Select all

scrivener --compile -i my_project.scriv -o test.pdf -f PDF -s my_pdf_settings.plist`


Why bother with hours of tweaking spatial macros at that point. ;) Ah well.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles