Can I insert folders into a completed draft?

I am using Scrivener 3.2.3 on a Mac running 12.7.1

I have a draft that is without folders and has 29 chapters. It is my autobiography.

I want to break that document into a short number of folders, each folder containing an important period of my life.

So can I do that to the existing project or is it better to start a new project and copy and paste from the old one?

Make a copy of the project for safety, then cursor down to where you want to make the first break and use Documents → Split. You will have two options: (1) “at selection”, which will create a new Binder document of the text from that point on that you can name as you wish; (2) “with Selection as Title”, where if you select a short stretch of text first, that will be used as the title of the new Binder document.

Basically, go down through your manuscript splitting it up like that at all the points you want a new chapter/whatever.

Note: (1) in the Binder those will be documents, not folders. You can decide later whether to convert them into folders or insert folders moving them into the appropriate places; (2) if you use “with Selection as Title” the selected text remains in the document, it is not deleted so you’ll need to work out how you’re going to use it.

Basically, splitting up a long document is easy; most of the work goes into organising afterwards as necessary.

HTH :smiley:


Thank you, Mark. I have just read your response but will go through it again more carefully.

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From your post, it wasn’t clear to me whether you have a single long document that you want to split up, or a bunch of chapter documents that you want to group together.

The answer to the second question is also yes: use the Project → New Folder command to create as many folders as you want, then drag and drop existing documents into them.

And of course it never hurts to have an extra backup, especially before a large scale reorganization.

You’ll need to split it up before you can “insert folders”.

Incidentally, you don’t say what format your long text is in. If it is DOCX, RTF or ODT and it has headings (Heading 1?) at the points you want to split, you can use “Import and Split” to save a lot of work. I’ve never done that myself, but someone else may come along and advise, but check section “9.1.6 Import and Split” in the manual from the Help menu.


I have a bunch of chapter documents that I want to split different ‘periods’. Namely 1. The Start; 2. The World Beckons; 3. A Return to Europe; 4. A New Me

I also use a backup disc and have been doing for some time.

Oh that is useful. Thank you very much.

My long set of documents are in ODT format.

Incidentally another grouping tool, for those with a long list of items they want to chunk up into hierarchical sections:

  1. Select the range of items that should be grouped.
  2. Use Documents ▸ New Folder from Selection.

It is the same effect as doing it manually, but saves one a few steps.

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