Indexing Scrivener files?

I’ve imported a bunch of Scrivener files but while Devonthink can display their contexts in an HTML preview, it doesn’t seem to be indexing them. Is there any way that it can be made to do so?

Which version of Scrivener do you use? Are you able to convert the project to plain text (see menu Data > Convert > …)? I’ve just successfully indexed Scrivener’s tutorial.

Oh you have to convert them first? If I convert – I’m not given the option of plain text, but I did do formatted notes – then it works. But is that required every time? Apparently indexing them directly doesn’t work either.

I was hoping for a solution where I don’t have to perform an action every time, where Devonthink stays up to date even if I edit a Scrivener file, add notes and so on. Is that possible?

Which version/edition of DEVONthink and which version of Scrivener do you use?

Scrivener and DTPO 2.9.8. I think they’re both the latest versions…

Could you send a zipped copy of a Scrivener document that isn’t indexed/convertable to cgrunenberg - at - Thanks!

So, is there a way I can index Scrivener projects with DTPO? This post seems to end without resolution. I’d really like to find a way to use Scrivener and DTPO together, but I do not see any way. Please advise…

Indexing Scrivener files works fine, as far as I can tell.

If you look at a Scrivener file in Finder with QuickLook (press ), then that’s the view you’ll see in DTPO – including for search results, which are highlighted in the normal way.

For example, here’s the start of the Tutorial (indexed in DTPO) in a DTPO document window:

If you search this and Scrivener’s forum, you’ll find threads on various other ways of interacting between the two.


Guess I was not clear about what I’m hoping to accomplish when I index Scrivener. Yes, DTPO does generate a ‘preview’ of the entire document, albeit limited (I am assuming here) to the Draft folder only. Not any files located outside of the main manuscript “Draft” folder.

I need the indexing process to generate individual files as they exost inside the Scrivener package. All the individual ‘flat files’ that make up the whole project. Only way I’ve been able to accompish this is to either A) export all as flat files, which means no dynamic updating of changes I make later, or B) sync Scrivener to external folder, which produces same problem.


P.S., Scrivener syncs well with SimpleNote. But I see no way to get DTPO to. Correct?

There might be some confusion about how DEVONthink previews documents versus “indexing” and “sync”. Preview, in DEVONthink and in Finder or other applications, depends on a service such as QuickLook that is provided on our computers by the developer of the previewed file – i.e., DEVONthink can only display Scrivener files in the manner defined by its developer, Literature and Latte. If we want changes to the preview, then we need to talk to that other developer.

The internals of Scrivener files (actually, in Scrivener 2, they are special folders called “packages”, not individual files) are not designed to be accessed outside of Scrivener – for the protection of your data. If DEVONthink let someone work with the content of the Scrivener package then it would be easy to rip it apart or otherwise damage the contents of the .scriv file. What might be convenient for one user would be disastrous for everyone else.

On the other hand, SimpleNote does not use packages, it keeps its “notes” exposed as individual files inside the folder where they reside – a folder than can be indexed by DEVONthink or Scrivener.

So, packages, indexing, sync – onions, apples, and turnips. Not related concepts at all.

Hey @BLUEFROG and other DT wizards, is there any integration of DT with Scrivener, as described here? Based on my tinkering, it seems as though the indexing is only able to display the text–but that the text is not editable in DT, nor are the separate documents that together comprise a Scrivener project treated as separate in DT. In other words, you can see this, but that’s all:

(The documents are neither separate nor editable.)

Is there a way to get the two to play nice together–so that I may see and edit (and tag!) the Scrivener documents that together constitute a project from the DT side?


(DT 3.6.1; Scrivener 3.0.1)

I think I figured this out–on the Scrivener side.

This was the key article: " “embedding” files written with Scrivener into DevonThink" ( "embedding" files written with Scrivener into DevonThink - Literature and Latte )


Glad you got it working and thanks for the link. I’m sure that will be helpful for other Scrivener users.

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I started to read the linked post and thought ‘This seems familiar’, then checked who wrote it and realised why… I’m glad you found it useful!


It was precisely what I needed to know! So thanks for writing it!

BTW, do you have any idea about this issue— Sync to external files -- not supporting highlighting and footnotes - Literature and Latte

[NOT regarding DT, sorry if this is uncouth on the DT forum ;( ]


I’ve answered your post directly on the Scrivener forum!

(Basically, the highlights / footnotes are readable in Word, so I think it’s probably a limitation with the text engine used in DT3—which I think is the same as TextEdit, which also doesn’t show the highlights and/or footnotes.)

One of the reasons I started using Markdown for this sort of thing a couple of years ago was that RTF isn’t as sharable as it likes to pretend because different apps treat it differently (E.g. dealing with RTF on iOS is much harder than it needs to be). At least with Markdown you can see what’s missing — though getting Markdown to play nicely with images and links across platforms brings its own irritations…

BTW, if you use markdown to sync with Scrivener, it will translate (( as comments )) and {{ as footnotes }} and then translate them back into Scrivener properly.

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