Open and plain-text file format

New file format

I have been dissatisfied for a while with the single-file format: it doesn’t allow versioning, collaborative editing nor out-of-manuskript editing. Push by one of my interlocutor, I opted for a different file format, where everything is either:

  • stored as several small text files in one folder (see here what it looks like)
  • or zipped in one file.

You can chose (in settings) whether you’d rather have one single file (easier to move around, copy, etc), or an open directory:

New file format

Of course, this can be changed back and forth any time you want.

What’s in there?

Everything that is useful is readable in plain text. That includes:

  • All your texts, saved in folders mirroring your project structure
  • Characters
  • General information
  • Summary
  • Status
  • Label

Other items are still stored in xml and/or OPML specifically:

  • Plots
  • World / context

Why is that useful?

Here are three majors benefits:

  1. You can edit your project outside of manuskript
    Say you have an amazing markdown editor on your tablet or your phone and you like to work on the beach, then sync your folder (say with dropbox), work on it, and when you come back to manuskript everything is there !
  2. You can work with your team on the same project
    If you have synced copies of your project, different people can edit different part of the document. Right now, this is not totally safe, because if two people edit the same file, one will override the change of the other. But in the future it will be safe.
  3. You can use a Version Control System (VCS)
    If you feel that life is not only unsafe but also dull without versioning, then you can breathe! Manuskript new file format allows for that. (If you have no idea what this is about, don’t worry, manuskript loves you anyway.)

There are other benefits, of course, like the fact that it is much more human readable. So when your grand-grand-grand-grand-children find a copy of your project in a few centuries, they can still read your work and praise the genius of their ancestor — even in the unlikely scenario that manuskript is dead and forgotten.

4 thoughts on “Open and plain-text file format

  • I love it that Manuskript will have the option to use multiple text files. I really rely on plain-text for editing with my Android tablet when away from home. Thanks!

  • Hello . I am facing problem in using Unicode as I write in ‘Marathi’ an Indian language. I want to ask is it possible to write that way?

    • There is an issue with the GNU/Linux PyInstaller packages that prevents the entry of accented characters. See the notes on the Wiki for the reports of this issue and details on how to work around the problem.

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