Can I change to a different template once I've assigned one?

Still new, but when I first started out, I was almost clueless. I had a document already written in Word (ugh) and brought it into Scrivener. It’s a memoir. Being very green I chose a novel format, but now I see that maybe a non-fiction template would be better. Can I change to it midstream? If not, how can I change the present template to better reflect a document that has four Parts, many Chapters, Sections within chapters, and “asides” or sidebars in addition to endnotes? TIA

A template is just a starting point for your new project – once you’ve created that project, it has no further association to the template you based it off of. You can move folder and documents around, change settings, and generally do whatever you need to.

My advice would be to create a new sample project off of the desired template and compare the Binder layout, Compile settings, and other points of interest to see what modifications you need/want to make on your current project to move it toward the desired configuration.

There is some further advice, mostly cross-references to sections of the manual that can help you learn how to move things around, in §5.4.2, Converting a Project to a Different Template, pg. 79. The third point, on copying files and folders between projects, is probably your best bet.

First, I so appreciate the responsiveness of this forum! Thanks so much. Scrivener is like an 18-wheeler when I was expecting a pickup. But with support from this forum, I’m gradually getting more adept at it.

I have several text chunks that are designated as Scenes, some as Chapters, and some as Part Headings. Is there a global way to change them, say, from Scene to Section? I have a huge number of these. TIA

You’re welcome!

Yes this is pretty easy to do. In Project ▸ Project Settings…, under the Section Types pane, the second tab there is for setting up default types by file type and depth. You can read more about that pane in Appendix C.2.

To use the Novel project template as a starting point, you can see how level 1 folders are treated as “Chapter Headings”. We’ve already created a Type called “Part Heading” for you (in the first tab), to make this kind of transition easier. So presumably what you would want to do is change this level 1 assignment to “Part Heading”, and then click the button in the lower left to add a new level beneath it. You should now see an entry for “Level 2 folders and deeper”, set that to “Chapter Heading”. You should be able to apply that theory to how files are designated, and switch things around from scene to section or whatever you need.

Optionally, you could create for yourself a temporary project using the “Novel (with Parts)” template, open up its Project Settings, and see how it has things set up. You can even export its settings and then import them into your main project, using the buttons in the lower right corner. Both projects can be open at once of course, so if you have the screen space you can set up their settings panes side by side.

After saving the defaults, you may need to go in and remove any manual assignments you’ve made to items already, setting their Section Type back to “Structure-based” so that they take from the defaults automatically. Refer to §7.6, Section Types, in the “All About Files and Folders” chapter of the user manual for more information on working with types. In particular, note §7.6.1, under the subheading, With the Contextual Menu, where it is explained how you can easily set types in bulk.