035 - Change in managing Word docs?

I have been using Scrivener to manage a technical writing project that containts a number of MS Word documents as reference documents. Some of these documents have lots of tables, etc. al. that don’t look that great in RTF editors. So, I have been opening those particular documents in the External Editor (MS Word 2010).

I upgraded to Scrivener 035 today, and all of the MS Word docs that I had been able to open with the External Editor don’t show it as an option anymore! Additionally, when I drag’n’drop MS Word docs onto the Binder, the import is different (i.e. better), but the resulting document cannot be opened with an External Editor (the option in the submenu is greyed out).

Should I be able to open files that I have added as MS Word documents with the ‘open in External Editor’ command?

Ctrl+F5 doesn’t work on the files that were MS Word documents. Ctrl+F5 works great with MS Excel and MS PowerPoint files.

There have been changes with the importer–Scrivener is now able to import .doc and .docx even if you don’t have Word installed, meaning that they’re imported as text files editable within Scrivener, which is what you usually want. (If you had Word installed already, you should already have been able to do this, but Scrivener now has its own importer for this and does not require the external installation as it used to.) Text documents cannot be opened in an external editor because doing so throws them out of sync with the rest of the project and can corrupt the files–you’d lose links, annotations, footnotes, etc. and if you didn’t save before making changes in one place or the other you could lose a lot more. Only files that can’t be really edited in Scrivener–images, PDFs, music, etc.–can be opened in an external editor. If you used to import .doc or .docx files and not see the text in the editor then they were being imported as unsupported types, which would mean you could open them externally. There were also bugs through various betas that let you open a file externally when you shouldn’t have been able to, so you might’ve hit that at some point as well.

If you want to edit a file externally rather than inside Scrivener, use the References pane (either document references or project references) in the editor to create a link to that file. Opening the link from within Scrivener will automatically open the document in the default external program, so you’ll be able to view and edit it the way you used to. You can use the File>Export command on the documents you’ve already imported to save copies outside of the project folder and then link to those from the reference pane.