C-Command Software Forum

EF as a writing tool? (eg Scrivener, CopyWrite)

Although I am very happy with EF overall, and endorse it whenever I can, I am still trying to figure out whether it could be used as a “writing assistant.” The goal is to have a system for managing notes and text fragments in a large writing projects, and to do the actual writing of raw text in an integrated way. Linking from text fragments back to documents, and selecting/reordering rearranging text fragments will also be important.

Several programs do this already, of course. I use Inspiration extensively for outlining ideas, and NoteBook for some activities. But I wonder if anyone has experience with using EF in this way. It has the ability to write and save new text in RTF form, but its abilities to reorganize seem limited. In principle, tags could be used for some of my needs, but the number of tag labels would quickly grow past 100.

Any suggestions? As of now, I’m going to work with NoteBook (which has a much more complex interface) for this purpose.

Are you suggesting that you want tools to reorganize text fragments within a single RTF file? Or that you want to manage documents that are represented using separate RTF files for each section?

Interesting coincidence – I spent an hour or two exploring the same subject a couple of days ago. I use Scrivener to write fiction, and was looking to see if I could replace it with EagleFiler.

I basically came to the conclusion that you can do some of the things Scrivener does. You can outline parts of your draft, and create another outline for research materials, in just about any file format supported by Scrivener.

However, you don’t get the pasteboard for moving sections around, and you don’t get Scrivener’s nifty “compile” function, which takes your draft in screen-readable format, and automatically compiles it and changes styles for printout in standard ms format.

I also like the Scrivener onscreen layout, with its vertical pane for viewing the binder on the left, and notes on the right.

That said, I’ll probably switch to EagleFiler for fiction at some point, for the simple reason that I prefer standard file formats, and minimizing the number of tools I use.

Do you mean the Corkboard?

Just to be clear, you don’t have to give up other tools when using EagleFiler. For example, you could put Scrivener documents in your EagleFiler library and double-click to open them in Scrivener. EagleFiler could manage the collection of documents and related files/e-mails, while you use the more specialized application for the actual writing.

Yes, the Corkboard.

That’s basically what I’ve done – stored the entire project as a single Scrivener file, then store the Scrivener file in Eaglefiler. Eaglefiler doesn’t seem to be able to see inside the file for preview and indexing purposes, but that’s ok.

It should be able to index it on Leopard, if Scrivener has a Spotlight plug-in.

Interesting. I’ll look for it.

As mentioned above, EagleFiler can use Spotlight plug-ins for indexing, and as of EagleFiler 1.3 it can use Quick Look for previewing.

I’ve tried it on a keynote file, and there is indeed the preview of the first slide. I cannot find however how to look at following slides. Is there a key binding for it?

Thanks a lot for this great release.

No. Quick Look only provides a single image for the preview.