Tinderbox Forum

Importing V3 Scrivener project

Back in the days of TB7 there was a thread about importing a V3 Scrivener file into Tinderbox by File > Open: $Text wasn’t populated with the text of the Scrivener documents.

It wasn’t possible then because of the new Scrivener format and the workaround was to convert to V2. At the time it was suggested that a solution would be on in its way in due course (with no firm deadlines, rightly!).

I’ve just tried opening a V3 file (I’ve never had to do it before) and noticed that text still isn’t being imported, so I wondered if this had been shelved indefinitely, perhaps because of technical problems.

If that’s the case then perhaps the documentation (and atbref) could be updated to reflect that at some point?

Or, as it quite likely, I’m missing something obvious, please could someone point me in the right direction…


I’m unaware of anything specific. I think this might better be asked directly of support (info@eastgate.com)

Re aTbRef, I presume you mean bullet #1 here? I’ll leave the article as is, pending a confirmation of the status quo. Can someone else follow up on the latter and report back here as I’m a bit buried right now?

You can export to an OPML file from Scrivener 3.


I wanted to check I wasn’t doing it wrong first…

Yes, process outlined in the atbref (including the first bullet point) works for V2 Scrivener files, but not for V3. There’s no rush to change it, I was just reporting in case anyone else found the same thing.

I’ve never use the import before (or not for many years), but I wanted to try it out with the new Ziplink and Links panel options in 8.6.

Good news – it works very well with the new features (with the project converted to v2 first, obviously).

Here’s a couple of screenshots (this is the project exactly as imported – no changes to content or notes at all).

The first is the project in Map view after it’s been danced for 30 seconds or so.

The second is a hyperbolic view on one of the notes.

As you can see, links, labels (note colours) and keywords are all being picked up from the import, with no work yet done ‘natively’ in TBX.

This seems very impressive to me…


Thanks for the reminder!

I’ve just tested it and it does bring the text in – however, it doesn’t export document links and metadata from the project in the way that opening the project directly does, even if you play with the export options (as far as I can see).

Are these RTF-only smart links? At present, in Tinderbox, smart links exist only in the RTF instance of the text (the <rtfd> element in the XML) and not as Tinderbox links: <link> elements in the XML using offsets against the plain text <text> element of a note.

It has been requested already that smart links be adopted as Tinderbox links but the first experiments to do this failed badly (I forget the exact why) and that request is on the spike for now.

Yes: for the time being, use OPML or Scrivener 2. We’ll get Scrivener 3 done presently.

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My notes so updated.

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The OPML brings in no links at all – it’s just the plain (rtf) text as far as I can tell. Certainly the links panel isn’t picking anything up, either in-rtf or in-Inspector.

The opening-the-v2-project-as-a-new-file method seems to pick up both links within the Scrivener RTF and the Document Inspector links but I haven’t tested this exhaustively.

Thanks for the confirmation, Mark.

OPML is UTF-8 plain text (normally) so RTF features seem improbably via that route. Checking Scrivener-generated OPML in a code editor would give a clearer picture.

I’ll assume the Scrivener article is OK for now. I’m happy to change it but don’t have time to devote to close testing of it. IOW, if the information is incorrect please let me know more detail ideally in the form of page URL and find/replace text.

I don’t think it’s incorrect at all (apart from the bit about needing V2 if you want to see the text and that’s not urgent).

TBH, there’s nothing in the OPML export process in Scrivener which suggests it would be showing links or other metadata, so it’s not a big surprise.

Thanks again.

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