Go ahead, blog with iOS Scrivener


When iOS Scrivener came out one the features I believed missing was the ability to export as markdown.Ninety percent of the time this is not an issue, copying and pasting the text of a markdown formatted post works just fine. That other ten percent however occurs when I insert footnotes into my posts 1. I cancreate these using the formatting for footnotes found in multimarkdown2, but Scrivener’s footnoting tools are so exceptional I’ve really wanted to use them. With the release of iOS Scrivener I decided to make the jump and delve even deeper into Scrivener’s tool set, despite the added steps I’d need to take in order to publish my footnoted posts.

On the Mac I end up exporting my post to a multimarkdown formatted file, and then open up the compiled file in my text editor to copy and paste into WordPress. I find the added functionality during the writing process makes this added step worth it. The absence of this export ability in iOS, however, led me to believe I could not do the same on my iPhone or iPad. It turns out this is not the case.

I discovered this after posting a request for a multimarkdown export option in iOS Scrivener, only to be informed, by the illustrious Keith Blount3 no less, it’s not needed. It turns out when a document converted to plain text through compiling, sending as a copy, or for opening in another app the footnotes are converted to multimarkdown syntax.

There are two ways to access the button which makes this magic happen. First, if you are using the on screen keyboard, tap the “hide keyboard” button. This will reveal a status bar at the bottom of the editor, complete with a familiar iOS sharing button. If you are using a Bluetooth keyboard, the easiest way to reveal this button is to tap on the document’s title in the binder. This opens up this same status bar. Whatever option you select 4 to handle document conversion. Simply choose “plain text” as your option and the rest is magic.

Share sheet in iOS Scrivener
As an added bonus, if you would like compile your draft, the dialog which governs the process contains the option “Convert to Basic Markdown.” This will actually convert basic rich text into markdown syntax, allowing writers to use a wysiwyg approach while writing5.

My current workflow is to open up my current blog post in Editorial, and apply any final corrections I need make in that app6. From there, I copy the text and paste it into the WordPress app for publication. It’s amazing.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and blog with iOS Scrivener. It’s got you covered!

  1. I often use these to add snarky comments, in honor of Terry Pratchett. 
  2. Multimarkdown is a variant of Markdown syntax, independently developed and with a few more features. 
  3. The developer of Scrivener and hero of writers everywhere. 
  4. I recommend “open in app,”as it will share only the document currently open in the editor. Compile draft will handle any document which is set to “Include in Compile.” 
  5. I prefer using markdown syntax while writing, as it allows me to keep my mind in the flow of my writing. For those who do not, however, this is a killer option. 
  6. On minor issue I’ve found is in posts with multiple footnotes. A blink line needs to be inserted in between each footnote reference in order for them to render properly. 

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