Link to Scrivener

I want to sync with Scrivener but am hitting a problem linking to files. Basically, Scrivener will export, and I can use the txt editor plugin to edit the content. But … the filenames come in from Scrivener in the format:

04 Part 3 [3]
05 Part 4 [8]

Where the filename’s prefixed with each file’s current position; and, has the internal folder reference as its suffix.

05 … means it’s currently fifth in the running order
Part 4 is the name I use for this in the binder
and [8] is the internal folder reference Scrivener user.

I’d like to create a link in Obsidian to “Part 4” - in effect, ignoring the additional information provided by Scrivener.

As another example, I might get a file:

31 My file thing [71]

And I’d like to link to “My file thing” inside Obsidian, if it’s possible.

… unless anyone’s got a better method or a plugin to work on Scrivener files (in which case any comments gratefully received).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Try searching the forum for Scrivener for general tips and tools. I know there’s been some discussion.

For this specific issue: does wrapping the filenames in double square brackets create the link? Or are you looking to do that automatically?

I have looked in the forum - but couldn’t find anything related to the filename.

There are two issues:

The double-square brackets breaks the link. [[Filename [10]]], would be a Scrivener link, but Obsidian closes the link at the first double-square bracket, not the outer two square brackets. In effect, the link Obsidian makes becomes “Filename [10” instead of “Filename [10]”.

And, if I prefix the filename with the current binder order number, the filename would become “12 Filename [10]”, where the 12 represents the current binder number and the [10] is the reference Scrivener uses to get to the file (the “12” can change depending on the order I chose for that item in the binder, the “[10]” persists.)

I’d like, therefore, for the first link to work on the outer “]]”, not the inner pair, link “[[Filename [10]]]” actually links to “Filename [10]” not “Filename [10”.

And, in an ideal world, to be able to regexp the link to something like “[0-9+] *. [[0-9+]]” - but I think the latter might prove a little challenging, but I can hope :slight_smile:

Oh, I didn’t notice the square brackets. That’s tough.

There’s no other way to link to Scrivener things? Maybe the URL scheme (see page 223 of the manual) or maybe the square bracket character can be reconfigured?

Did some research…

It looks like you can change the Scrivener default square brackets. Look for the Footnotes and Comments section inside Scrivener.

“square brackets [] as that’s another Scrivener default. If you’d like something different for these ‘enclosing marks’, select ‘Footnotes & Comments’ pane for your project style and enter your preferred characters.”

The Square Bracket problem comes up for a lot of different apps. Its probably something that Obsidian should consider offering as a Setting, so the default bracket could be changed to some other special character if needed.

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An advantage of using the square brackets is how well placed they are on the keyboard.

Scrivener for iOS was last updated on 14 December 2019 (WTAF), and the Mac version was last updated on 15 December 2020.

Millions in the bank, but not a single bug fixed in nearly a year, and no attempt to increase feature parity across the iOS and Mac platforms at all.


Obsidian with Longform and other plugins make a mockery of Scrivener.


I really don’t think so. I don’t actively use Scrivener, but there’s a ton of features that Obsidian doesn’t match.

And this is just trolling. Major Windows release earlier this year.


It’s not the square brackets as such - it’s the nesting that breaks.

[[Links [broken]]] - [broken] isn’t treated correctly - it will end up being [[links [broken]] with a trailing ]

Thanks for looking. Unfortunately, that’s in the comments (within the text), and I’m talking about the file names exported from Scrivener in order to do external links. If the nesting of square brackets in Obsidian worked, this would resolve things.

Hi Angel - L&L’s been running since 2005 and Keith does an amazing job at keeping everything running with a very small team. It’s definitely not abandonware. I use Scrivener for writing books and the compiler lets me include/exclude sections, change formats for editors, and output for publishers.

I also still love Scrivener. Don’t use it as much as I used to, but my book project is still written in it and not in Obs. (when I keep all my notes for it). It’s just a different writing environment that’s difficult to reproduce for me.


I suggest exporting from Scrivener as an OPML. I would then import that file into Typora, and save; there are many other ways of converting the file to .md.

If you use formatting, it would have been optimal if you had typed the markdown originally - it will be lost otherwise.

The file will then open in Obsidian as a single document with multiple header levels.

See also:

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