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.

  2 comments for “I’m in Import/Export

  1. Karin Larsson Hult
    December 1, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Thanks for a good post! I have recently started using Scrivener for my PhD thesis, but have already been doing quite a lot of writing in Word so I have been importing files to Scrivener. That has been working fine but I find some problems with citations. Are you familiar with using EndNote with Scrivener? I find that when I add citations in Scrivener to a previous Word document that already had citations before it was imported, they end up in different lists when I compile to Word again. So the citations that were already in the text end up in alphabetical order in a list first, as they should, but the new citations that were added in Scrivener end up in a list after the first one, a new alphabetical list, they dont integrate. Wonder if you have experienced or heard of this?

    I have imported the Word file as you have described here and then compiled it as rtf file before opening in Word and resaving as a Word document, which some other people have suggested helps, but it doesn’t for me. When I use EndNote i copy-paste from the list of references in EndNote to the place in the text in Scrivener where I want the citation, it ends up in curly brackets which are then transformed to regular brackets after compiling to Word, and formatted after the reference style of chose (as I have read in other blogs). That works, but not the reference list.

    Thanks in advance!


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