DTP & Scrivener - Advanced Integration?

Dear friends,

I am loath to start a new thread when so much good advice has already been imparted on DT and Scrivener integration, both on this forum and on the Scrivener forum. The Jan 2010 threadhttp://www.devon-technologies.com/scripts/userforum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9944&start=0&hilit=scrivener gave great advice, as did many other postings here and on the Scrivener boards. I am still without an ideal workflow, however.

I use DTPO 2 to hold all my data, and Scrivener to write. Katherine and parezcoydigo have both pointed out patiently that DT offers the handy “copy item link” command, which can be pasted in nearly any other document, including a Scrivener document, and clicking on this link in Scrivener, for instance, opens the item in DT. This is good, but not what I actually need. The alternative is the default action for Scrivener users, viz. to import the set of working files from DT into Scrivener, and manipulate them there. This is my current workflow.

My problem is this. My working files for one project (a book chapter I will shortly submit) are replicated in DT in many other places (my dissertation chapters, for instance). Changes I make to the copy of a given file in Scrivener are not reflected in any instance of the file in DT. One of the great advantages of DT for me is its ability to replicate files, a much improved “alias” feature of the MacOS finder. Must I loose this functionality if I choose to write in Scrivener?

I would love to work in Scrivener with files, at least in the Research folder of a Scrivener project, which are the actual version of the file that is held by DT. This would allow the changes I make to that file in Scrivener to be reflected in all replicants of the file in DT.

It seems to me that there are two ways to approach the problem one from the DT side, and one from Scrivener, and a number of possibilities.

  1. I wonder if it would be possible to determine in DT that Scrivener be the application to open such a file (and then choose what Scrivener project it is ported to). Currently, Scrivener does not come up for me in the possible applications to open an RTF file in DT.

  2. I wonder if there is a way to link a file into the Scrivener Research folder, to view it and manipulate it in Scrivener, and for it to remain in its original location in the finder (i.e. inside the DT database), and not have it copied to the .scriv package. I can’t seem to find information about how this would be done either.

  3. Alternatively, if I keep the .scriv package in my DT database, could I replicate files within the .scriv package to other areas of the DT database? Can I somehow get into the “show package contents” within DT and replicate files inside? I have imported a .scriv package, but DT seems not to give me access to it’s packaged contents.

Many thanks for any suggestions… ~ Jeremy

The first ideas coming to my mind were AppleScript and Automator. Unfortunately Scrivener doesn’t support Automator and its AppleScript support is limited to the standard commands of any Cocoa application.

Another idea is to index the contents of a .scriv package but I don’t know how stable the contents of such a package are, especially whether filenames are unique and persistent.

Thanks, Christian, for these suggestions. It sounds like the integration I’m hoping for is not yet really possible within basic capacities of the two apps, and that the resistance is from the Scrivener side. For the time being, I’ll work around this and try to stay on top of the different versions of the documents I modify in DT and in Scrivener. Maybe I’ll bug the Scrivener folks for a solution in their next update.

According to the Scrivener developer (April 2010 forum), AppleScript is intended as one of the main feature updates of Scrivener 2.1. It appears Scrivener 2.0 is on schedule to debut in Sept/Oct 2010.