Easy way to import into Scrivener?

I’ve been using Bike to outline a sprawling fantasy novel and I’ve fallen in love with its fluid interface. In fact, it’s so good that I’d like to use it to write the full novel in it. I don’t do much formatting, but there are the occasional italics in there.

Now, while copy-pasting stuff in to Scrivener does work (rich text included), it just screws up the styles I’ve set as defaults in my Scrivener documents. For some reason, the font reverts to Helvetica, paragraph indents are obliterated and everything is justified left. If I ‘Paste and match style’, the carefully formatted italics in the Bike outline are gone in Scrivener. I assume this has more to do with Scrivener than Bike.

Other than doing a workaround through MindNode to create a markdown document that I can then import into Scrivener, is there any other way to get just the basic formatting directly into Scrivener?


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That’s nice to hear! I’ve hoped people would use Bike for longer writing projects.

If you have a moment I’m curious how you are organizing things and translating outline structure into final document. Are you filling in sections of the outline and then pasting those into final Scrivener document?

I think when Bike exports rich text (such as when you copy) I don’t specify the font and then I guess that Helvetica is being used as the default.

I’m not sure how Scrivener styles work, but it seems like in the end you can set specify any font anywhere you want. I guess when you paste scrivener is just using the pasted rich text attributes directly, including font, paragraph styles, etc… and not trying to convert anything to current style.

I guess when you go the markdown file route Scrivener substitutes in the style defaults since those types of attributes aren’t specified in markdown.

It also doesn’t seem that Scrivener support scripting? Given that I don’t know of a better way then what you are currently doing.

Maybe can you show a screenshot of a small part of your outline and a screenshot of that same text in Scrivener in the final form that you want it.

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Hi Jesse, thanks for the quick response. I’ll keep looking for a faster workaround, but I guess markdown exports would be the go-to method for having two rich-text editors talk to each other only in terms of italics.

Very broadly speaking, yes. My stuff tends to spread across multiple apps, depending on what I need to get the brainstorming juices flowing. Once I some meat to work with, I use Bike to create a wiki and copy-paste that to Obsidian (via MindNode). When I’m done with that, I use Bike to create story legos — snippets of story that I’d like to use in the final novel.That usually serves as the base for the main outline. After that comes the master outline that contains everything from worldbuilding bits, key character info, the story secret and plot chapter by chapter. I throw that from Bike into Scrivener and build on things from there.

What I love about Bike is the editor and the composing experience. It’s freaking beautiful. It also makes shuffling bits of dialogue or narrative up and down very easy. Personally I think that’s how writing apps should feel like: fluid outliners that you can use for bigger projects. Ulysses comes close, but kind of falls short right before the finish line.

Sure, here’s before and after:

Direct Copy-paste into Scrivener:

Proper Scrivener format:

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In Scrivener, are you using Edit > Past and Match Style ?

(That seems, in experiments here, to result in text with the existing Scrivener-specified style of the receiving note)


But I see the problem – you then shed the inline formatting made in Bike.

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Thanks. I don’t see any immediate way to make the workflow easier. Eventually Bike will need to support Copy as Markdown, and that should probably help, but that will take time to implement and isn’t what I’m working on now.

Bike does implement Copy as HTML … and that gets Bikes rich text content into HTML representation (which doesn’t specify fonts or paragraph settings) … but I don’t know if Scrivener can import that HTML rep.

FWIW Scrivener’s File > Import Webpage prompts for a URL.

If we give it a file:// url for a .bike file, (rather than an http//: url), it does import a rendered view of the bike HTML, from which you can copy-paste formatted text into Scrivener note items, but it’s in a default Times font.

Found an easy fix for this. Turns out Scrivener can apply default formatting to the entire document, preserving the bolds, italics etc.

For anyone else looking for this fix:

  1. Set up app-wide default formatting in Scrivener settings.
  2. Copy-paste text from Bike into Scrivener.
  3. In Scrivener, select document, then go Documents → Convert → Text to Default formatting. Keep all checkboxes except “Remove all styles” unchecked.

Boom, done.

Now I can write in Bike and do revisions later in Scrivener. Looking forward to this!


Here’s a workflow I’ve settled into for the past month. I use two Bike windows, one to hold the chapter outline, the other to fill that outline with actual text. What is great about this is that I can set text focus controls individually for each window to highlight just the part of the outline I’m working on. This also translates well to other markdown-based apps I use when I need iCloud sync and I have a similar workflow in Ulysses.

A great thing to see in the future would be this kind of sidebar outline navigation support within the same window, especially during an editing phase where I will jump from heading to heading more rapidly. I suppose this is doable now by linking to each heading row, but it’s a tedious exercise.

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so you dont paste the Bike outline to the Scrivener binder, only individual snippets of text…

By chance I discovered that if you simply drag&drop a bike file over Scrivener it maintains the formatting, all the arrows are clickable but unfortunately you cannot edit it…!

or I don’t know how…

Usually it’s the entire Bike document I’m pasting.

where do you paste your bike document? in the Binder?

Straight into a text document.

Could you show an example?

My examples are already in this thread, see above. I’m not sure what exactly you are trying to do. I don’t use Bike to create outlines for Scrivener if that’s what you are looking for.

I meant an example from imported file in Scrivener…


Never tried that, sorry. My guess is your result is the expected behaviour.

need a bit more precision…