Maybe your writing experience shadows mine. You’ll recognize my story. I’d been writing for several years using Microsoft Word. Through trial and error, I finally had an average mastery of Bill Gates’s word processing program.
One weekend I attend a writer’s workshop. It seemed like every speaker and attendee were gushing over some software named Scrivener. Scrivener was like the handsome new boy who had transferred to your high school.
All the guys you knew for years no longer were as attractive. All your girlfriends were gushing over this Johnny-come-lately boy. One glance and you saw why they were going crazy. You also thought he’s out of my league.
Maybe like looking at the new boy you saw how attractive Scrivener looked. You also thought Scrivener was probably out of your league. It looked too hard. The learning curve looked too steep. You realized you already had your files in MS Word format. You did not want to retype the manuscript.
You are smart. You are smarter than Scrivener. You do not have to retype a manuscript to get it into Scrivener. It is actually fairly straightforward to import an existing file from Word into Scrivener.
Importing is one of the first functions a new Scrivener should master. Here is how to do it.
Importing a Word Document
To import a Word document go to:
A new window will open.
Select the file you want to import into Scrivener. This will be a .doc or .docx MS Word file.
Your file will import into Scrivener.
You are writing or have written a novel in Word. You have all the chapters in one large file. You may or may not have your scenes separated by “breaks.”
What you want is to have all the scenes in the Word file broken down into several separate text files, a file for each scene. Instead of importing the entire document as one large file what you can do is use Scrivener’s Import and Split function.
How to Use Scrivener’s Import and Split Function
Go to the Word document.
For every scene/chapter break, you need to type in a separator symbol such as a hash mark (#) in the document.
Once you’re finished adding your separator symbol, save it, go to Scrivener and go to File=>Import=>Import and Split.
A window will open,
select your Word document
Make sure the separator is in the box, in this example a #.
If you separated each scene with three hash marks, the box needs to have three hash marks (###). If you used three * then you need three * in the box (***).
Like magic, your large Microsoft Word document now appears as several text files in the binder.
You then can move scenes and chapter around easily.
Remember, you can learn to import your existing Microsoft Word files into Scrivener. You are smart. You are smarter than Scrivener. There is no need to retype a manuscript to get it into Scrivener. Following the above checklist makes it straightforward to import an existing file from Word into Scrivener.
You are now ready to import and master one of the basic first functions a new Scrivener should learn.