Importing Files into Scrivener – Mac and Win

If you have some manuscripts that are still in Word or a TXT file then there is a very easy way to transfer them into Scrivener and organize them into individual chapters. If you have them in another format that you can copy, the second part of this article is dedicated to transferring these documents into Scrivener.

The Import and Split

This process is only supported by TXT, RTF, DOC, DOCX, files.

Take your manuscript and put a symbol, for instance ‘#’, in front of each chapter heading.

For instance, if your first chapter heading is: ‘Chapter 1: The End is Near’

Then you would type : ‘#Chapter 1: The End is Near’

An easy way to do this is by using the replace function and replace ‘Chapter’ with ‘#Chapter’. After you insert the symbol, run a find function on the document for the symbol (in this case ‘#’) to make sure the symbol isn’t used elsewhere in your document. Obviously, if this symbol is in other parts of the document, use another symbol.

import and split

Next, open a blank scrivener project. Make sure to highlight the location you want the document copied, usually the Manuscript folder in the binder. Then go to file>import>import and split – this will bring a pop up window that looks like this:

Make sure you have the symbol that you used before each chapter heading entered in the “Sections are separated by:” box (As I said, I used the ‘#’ symbol).  Browse for the file you will import and then click OK.

Tarzan import example

I downloaded a text version of the book Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs from the Gutenberg website, copied it into word, inserted ‘#’ before each chapter heading, and then imported the document into scrivener. It looked like the below screen shot, with all the chapters separated into text sections in the binder on the left and labeled by chapter name.

Unsupported File Types (PDF and others)

If you have another type file that you want to move into Scrivener, use the following method.

Copy the text or manuscript you want to move. Select the folder in the binder you want to move the manuscript (usually the Manuscript folder). Use the the ‘Paste and Match Style Function’Edit>Paste and Match Style – to copy the text into Scrivener. Then scroll down to where you want the chapter split and select Document>Split>At Selection. If you highlight the chapter name and select Document>Split>At Selection as Title then Scrivener will split the selection as a new text file and put the section selected as the title. You can continue to do this through out the novel to separate all the chapters.

More Scrivener

For More Information on Scrivener and the Story Grid, check out my Scrivener Post Page to see all of my posts on the subject.

I started out learning Scrivener on my own, and I loved the tools I found. I eventually paid for an online course called Learn Scrivener Fast. It was very thorough and professionally done, and I learned even more tips and techniques. I really loved the course, and I became an affiliate, this is my affiliate link to Learn Scrivener Fast. I do receive a percentage of anything spent through that link.

Story Grid Book

If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.

These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.

For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.

Editing Services

If you are interested in hiring me to edit your manuscript or if you need help writing a novel, check out my editing services. Also, see my Testimonials page for comments from previous clients.


More Story Analysis

If you want to see more applications of the Story Grid methodology, below are links to my analysis of various novels and television shows in blog posts and podcasts:

Story Grid Showrunners Podcast – Parul, Melanie, and I analyze hit TV series using the Story Grid methodology.

My blog posts analyzing other Television series – my person take using the Story grid 5 Commandments to look at my favorite TV series – Jack Ryan, Batgirl, For All Mankind, Hanna, and more.

Novel analysis – I analyze some of my favorite books using the Story Grid 5 Commandments and 6 core questions – First Blood, Old Man’s War, Waylander, and more to come!

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