Monthly Archives: May 2015

I’m in Import/Export

I used to date this guy in college who thought I should go into the import/export biz, but I had other career interests. However for Scrivener for Windows importing and exporting are two important functions you should learn to use as soon as possible.

Importing a Word Document

To import a Word document go to File=>Import=>Files. A window will open and from there, select the file you want to import into Scrivener. Select open. A window will pop open alerting you that your document will be converted to RTF as well as what the Draft folder supports.

Import Warning

Let’s say you’ve written a novel in Word and you have all the chapters in one large file. What you want is to have all the scenes in that one Word file broken down into several separate text files. Instead of importing the entire document as one chunk what you can do is use Scrivener’s Import and Split function.

First go back to the Word document. For every scene/chapter break, you need to type in a separator symbol like a hash mark (#) in the document. Once you’re finished, save it, go to Scrivener and go to File=>Import=>Import and Split. A window will open, select your Word document and make sure the separator is in the box. If you separated each scene with three hash marks, the box needs to have three hash marks.

Import and Split

Hit okay and voila! Your large document now appears as several text files in the binder.

Importing an Image

You can’t import anything other than text files in the Draft section, but in the Research section you can import images, PDFs, web pages, and multimedia files* as well as text files. For my current WIP, I’m writing about certain streets in Budapest and I need a good image so I can describe the scene. Using trusty Google Maps, I type in the name of the street and find the image I want. I don’t want to import it as a web page, so I download the image to my photos folder in my directory.

When it’s time to include it in my project, I go to File=>Import=>Files and find my image. I hit Open and Import. Now I have it in my project’s research folder where it’s easy to find and refer to when I’m writing about that locale.

Capture Image

Importing a Web Page

Unlike the Mac version where you can import an active web page, the Window’s version gives you a few options of how web pages can be translated into Scrivener. Some pages can be exported as PDFs. For example, Wikipedia pages can be imported as PDF via Webkit, but others don’t work as well. Your best bet is to import the page as Web Page Complete (MHT). The link is imported and can be opened in the Editor or at the Editor’s footer. Click on it, and an external editor opens with the Web page, or click on the icon on the right-hand-side of the footer to open the external editor.

Web page

*Importing Multimedia Files

Although .wav and .mp4 files are unsupported file types for Scrivener for Windows, you can drag these file types into the research section even if it can’t internally display them. Like web pages, you’ll still be able to load and view/listen to multimedia files by using an external application like Windows Media Player. The advantage to this is that you won’t have to search for them in your files via Explorer.

Exporting a Text File

I export text files often. These are articles that are no more than a few pages long. I could use the compile feature, but exporting, saving as an RTF, and opening in Word is easier for my purposes. If I wanted to export this tutorial to Word, I select it in the Binder and go to File=>Export. A Window will open that will specify where to save it, the file name, and in what format. There’s also the option to export corresponding notes, meta-data, other files, and so forth.

Export files
If you want to print the text file, go to File=>Print Current Document. From there, select your printer and print. Want to see what it looks like before you waste ink and paper? Just go to File=>Print Preview.

And that’s the easy peasy way of importing and exporting in Scrivener.

Wrap Around Workaround

On the Facebook Scrivener User page,  a member recently asked if there was any way that the text could wrap around an image. The answer is, sadly, no. However, one enterprising gentleman wrote that there was a workaround using a table. So I figured I would give it a try.

This is what my text/image workaround wrap around looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 2.39.22 PM

To achieve this you can use the table feature. Go to Format->Table->Table. I created three different tables; each one had one row and two columns. The text used was a short character biography and the images used were ones I had imported from my files.

I sized the table’s cells to fit both the text in one column and the image in the other.  Once I was satisfied with the sizing, I removed the borders by going back to Format->Table->Borders->Remove All Borders.

To get it to appear like the text and images are wrapping around took several attempts to size the photograph and have it stay in its cell. If you managed to resize the photo by making it a smidge larger, it would throw everything off.

My humble opinion is to not bother. Word, Pages, Nisus Writer Pro, and InDesign are better equipped to handle a layout with images and wrap around text.

But if you’re stubborn like me, give it a shot. You might discover a better workaround.

Um, I’m Using the Windows Version

I get a lot of that when I post these tutorials. Sometimes the tone is a bit confrontational, and my nose gets out of joint, but I’m a believer of sharing the wealth…

Does that mean you’ll buy us a Mac?

No.  As I was saying…I’m a big believer of sharing the wealth of KNOWLEDGE. Now I have the means to share it because these tutorials are written using Scrivener for Microsoft Windows software on a Windows OS laptop.

Will you give us the software for free?

No. If you don’t have the software, Literature and Latte has a 30 day trial of the software that’s fully operational. In other words, not a pared-down version. And that’s 30 days of actual use. You use it once a week then it’s good for 30 weeks. You use it once a day then it’s good for the entire months of September, April, June and November (you know, 30 days hath….). You can download it from the Literature and Latte site and later purchase it there or on Amazon. The cost is $40.00.

If I subscribe to your site may I get a discount?

You don’t need to (although it would be nice), but when it’s time to purchase the software type in the Coupon Code box: SIMPLYSCRIVENER, and you’ll get a discount.

Do you get a commission?
Yes, I do.

Sharing the wealth, huh?

Yeah, right.

Moving on…Now that you’ve downloaded Scrivener and installed it, you should have a shortcut on your desktop or have it pinned in your task bar or if you’re running Windows 8.1 have a tile pinned in your Start window. I have it in all three.

A little obsessive-compulsive, aren’t we?

If you want to learn how to use Scrivener, pipe down! Click on any of the icons. Scrivener will open a New Project Window. On the left, you’ll see the categories and in the window to the right you’ll see the different templates for each corresponding category. The templates are designed for various forms of writing, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenplay, and even recipes!

When you select a template, a description will appear below. Click on each category, select and read through each template description until you decide which one you’d like to use.

What if I’m not sure which one to select?

I like to create templates, so I typically choose the blank one. That gives the freedom to arrange the binder with folder and text files in any way you like. Once you’ve selected the template, go to Save As, name it, and choose where you want to save your project.

New Project Page

Once the project is saved, it will open, and this is how it looks like:

Saved WinScrive Project
Let’s take a look at the various parts of the project. At the very top, we have the menu bar. Below that is the toolbar, which can be customized to include whichever icons you want for easy access. The toolbar in this image has been customized to my preference. Underneath the toolbar is the formatting toolbar.

Let’s skip over and take a look at the Binder. The Binder has three sections: Draft, Research, and Trash. The draft section is the area that will contain folders and text files. The research area can also contain folders and text files, but also PDFs, images, web pages. Trash is self-explanatory.

Binder 1

There are five ways to add folders and text files:

Method 1:
Go to the menu bar and select Project=>New Text or Ctrl+N

Method 2:
If it’s on the toolbar, click on the Green circle icon with the plus sign. A window will open with a sub-menu. Select New Text.

Method 2 To add Files
Method 3:
At the Binder’s footer, select the icon to the very left that looks like a sheet of paper with a plus sign.

Saved WinScrive Project
Method 4:
At the Binder’s footer, click on the gear (action menu) a window with a sub-menu will open. Click on Add and select New Text.


Select new file from action menu
Method 5:
Right-click anywhere in the Binder. A menu will open. Select Add from there select New Text.

If you want to add folders, just repeat the same steps and select New Folder or you can use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N. There’s one exception: at the Binder’s footer, you can select the folder with the plus sign.

What if meant to create a text file and by mistake I clicked on the Folder icon?

You can convert it. Select the folder in the Binder then go to Documents=>Convert=>Convert to File.

Well now…that’s a neat feature.

And there are many more. Here’s a project populated with both files and folders.


A couple of things to note: The text files have lines on them that means there’s copy.  When you create a new text file, it appears as a blank sheet of paper. Secondly, in this example, the folder looks like it has an attachment. That means I wrote something on it like a quote to kick-off Part One of the Work in Progress. Also, you’ll see the text files are indented that means they’re in the folder. Click on the expansion arrow to the left of the folder to hide the files or to unhide them.

How do I get my files into the folder?

You can click on the text file and drag the inside the folder, or you select the folder and add a new file, using the various methods outlined above.

Can I import my Work in Progress into Scrivener?

Yes, you can. I’ll discuss that in the next lesson as well as the glorious Research section. Now go create a project, files, and folders.

A Welcome Addition


I’ve been getting some flack from readers because I don’t post tutorials for those who use Scrivener for Microsoft Windows. So you know 100% of my work is Mac-based. Part of the problem was I didn’t have a dedicated PC where I could load the software. The short time I was using my husband’s desktop PC, where I had downloaded the software, was met with so much fear his system would explode that I finally decided to buy a Windows laptop.

I don’t have an optimal mission control center that is solely dedicated to easy access to both computers so there’s a lot of back and forth, especially now that my study has been taken over by the panicky luddite. Now I work in a corner of the living room with both laptops unless Mr. Luddite is napping on the sofa, and if that’s the case, I’m displaced to working in the bedroom.

What in the world does this have to do with Scrivener for Windows tutorials? I now have a set routine of sorts between these two laptops, so I thought it was time to post Scrivener for Windows tutorials. For organizational purposes, I’ll have a Table of Contents page with links to the posts that will specify either Mac or Windows, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time searching for them.

Will they be any different from the Mac posts? The only difference will be the functions and the illustrations. Otherwise, you’ll get the same detailed, but chatty explanation accompanied by images.

See how nice I am? All I ask from you is no more grumbling. I’m trying my best.

A Rainbow of Revisions

I’m in the process of designing a few new courses one that is related to research, another that’s specifically geared for citations, and another one solely on revising.

Today I’ll show you how I go about with my revisions in Scrivener. It’s a little repetitive so bear with me.

Below is the first chapter in Julius. I’ve revised this chapter so often I’ve lost count. However, it’s been a while since I worked on it, and now that I look at it again it does need some cutting and tightening up.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 2.20.25 PM

What you see in the image is the Binder with my scenes in Part One. Each one is color-coded by POV. I have selected in the Editor the page layout of WYSIWYG. In the Inspector, I have my synopsis, the POV, and the Status. No notes.

The first item on my revision agenda is to take a snapshot of this scene:

1. Select a document in the Binder, Corkboard, or Outliner.

2. Go to Documents->Snapshots->Take Snapshots of Selected Documents. You’ll see in your binder, the text file icon has a folded corner, indicating that it has one or more snapshots. The snapshots icon in the Inspector’s footer will have an asterisk that indicates content.

To view the snapshot, click on the Snapshot icon in the Inspector or view it via Documents->Snapshots->Show Snapshots.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 2.42.12 PM

I named the snapshot Alvah Watches Part 1. I typically remember what version I’m working on, but I promised myself to become obsessive-compulsive with keeping track of revisions. Now I’m going back to my general data and editing the Status so I know I started this revision on May 12, 2015. This step is optional, but if the revision process is long, you might want to do this to keep track.

An aside: Before I get any further, if you’re a track changes aficionado, you will be disappointed. If you like pretty colors, as I do, you’ll be as happy as a leprechaun riding on a unicorn.

Next, go to Format and select Revision Mode. The first revision will be in red.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 2.58.30 PM

Once I’m in revision mode, a window will pop open, alerting me that I’ve entered this mode and that my revisions will appear in the color selected.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 2.58.39 PM

As I edit my text, I decide I want to move a paragraph. I copy it and move it to its new spot, and use the strikethrough function (Format->Font->Strikethrough) from where I had it originally.

After I’m done with the red revision I take another snapshot and name it Alvah Watches Part 1 Red revision (Scrivener also provides a date and time of when the snapshot was taken).

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 3.25.54 PM

I’m not quite satisfied and want to make another revision. Back I go to Revision Mode, and I select the blue for my next round. I make my changes, edits, and take another snapshot.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 3.47.20 PM

I want to tweak it one more time. I select the green color for the third revision. When I’m done, I take another screen shot and name it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 4.05.21 PM

Next I want to remove all my revisions. I go to Format->Revision Mode-> Remove Revisions. What’s leftover is the crossed out text. I delete that and take one final snapshot. Now I have a record of each revision via snapshots.

I change the status of the text to Done and create a Collections file labeled as Revised Copy.

And here it is:

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 4.56.51 PM

It’s shorter, tighter and has Alvah’s distinct voice.

What’s your revision process in Scrivener?