Can I just drag and drop chapters written in Pages into Scrivener?

Hi writers and tech experts,
I have written a very lengthy non fiction work of history, unfortunately using Pages as the simplest word processing platform available at the time. Now however I am at the stage where I want to be able to have it published in hardcopy as well as an e book, and Pages is not going to let me do this.
My question is, can I simply drag and drop the chapters from Pages into Scrivener?
Please say yes!

A better idea would be to export from Pages to Word format, and then import those files into Scrivener.

Apple has not published the Pages format, so Word is the best available exchange format between Pages and other programs.


Oh dear! Thanks for your reply, Kathryn, but that sadly involves doubles handling of documents and I’m sure details will be lost in the process. Looks like I should have written in Word in the first place.

While I of course can’t guarantee it, I think you might be too pessimistic about the conversion (unless you are doing very complex formatting that only Pages knows about, andmy hunch is that is unlikely). Export to DOCX (or RTF or even TXT if you discover your needs not met).

Apple’s Pages -> Word conversion is quite good, which is why we specifically recommend that format over, say, RTF.

The best decision would probably have been to write inScrivener in the first place, of course, :wink:


Sorry to be so dumb, but it seems the answer to my original question is NO?

and that I should copy everything into Word and then will be able to drag and drop into Scrivener?

If I do this will the photos I’ve included be automatically transferred in the correct position as well, or will I have to transfer each one individually?
And yes, I should have used Scrivener from the beginning, but I don’t think it had been invented when I started this project.

Thanks, everyone.

You should export (not copy) from Pages to Word format. Then you can drag and drop into Scrivener.

Photos will be included, but Scrivener’s page layout capabilities are less sophisticated than either Pages or Word. So, for example, Scrivener is not able to flow text around images.

What exactly are you attempting to do? If you have a nearly complete manuscript in Pages, what do you hope Scrivener will do for you?


Katherine, what I’m hoping it will do is: provide a template for a page layout with consistent headings, and page settings that will enable the document to be printed out in book form , with page numbers from chapter 1 to the end.
I don’t want an ebook.

I don’t know whether it will organise footnotes or endnotes. I don’t want the words to flow around the text.
I don’t know whether the software exists that will automatically generate an index, I think that it too much to hope for.

I can see that Scrivener would have been brilliant to use from the beginning, but it’s too late for that in this instance, but will certainly use it in future.

Scrivener will do all of those things except the index. But so will Word. Scrivener’s primary focus is on manuscript development: gathering and organizing research materials, outlining, writing, editing. It’s page layout capabilities are fairly limited compared to something like Word, and certainly next to dedicated page layout programs.

Often, people who bring nearly finished manuscripts into Scrivener find themselves very frustrated by the need to adopt a somewhat unique approach to the entire manuscript when all they really wanted was page headers and chapter numbers.


Pages can do that.
Why go a complicated way via Scrivener, which is not made for layout but writing? Pages is really good at fixing the layout nowadays, and so is Nisus Writer Pro, and Word, although not as good as e.g. Affinity Publisher.

Why this sudden urge to use Scrivener for something it’s not designed to do?

Must be a long project! I’ve been using Scrivener since 2006-2007. In fact, I’m trying to remember when Pages came on the scene. It may even be younger than Scrivener – though I seem to recall it is descended from Claris Works, which was around in the days of OS9, if not before.

Pages was released in its first version in 2005.

You have a much better memory than mine! These days I am lucky if I can remember what decade something happened.

I rely on technical memory. :smiley:

Thank you for these wise words. I will go back to Pages to see if it will actually number the pages correctly.
Have you used it to do this? When I tried, it would run the numbers from the title page.
When I used Word to print a book previously I had to create a single document, ie, put all the chapters together and it
would number the pages and head up the chapters as I wanted. When I last tried to get Pages to do this, it was without success, which is why I’ve been looking at other solutions.


Chris Rosser has written an Apple Pages tutorial (includes page numbering) here: … ple-pages/

It will at the least give you a good grounding.

Page numbers: click in the footer (or header) where you want them, and Insert -> Page number.

If you insert section breaks, you can decide if the numbering should continue or start from 1 or some other number.

There are lots of things you can do if you choose Document instead of Format in the format icon at the top right. Pages has become very good at layout.

And Pages can export as epub.

Having done this sort of thing many times with teams of people writing “big” documents (we were using Word), use Word. This final print out for you is probably “final” and a one-time thing. Just use Word. you know how to do it. Get it done and get on to the next book!

Thanks for helpful comments to Lunk, RMS and SCShrugged

I will go back to Pages and finish it that way, instead of trying to learn something new at this stage.

There is a sense of urgency, as I have been working on this project for over a decade and I really want to finish it in case I get this dreadful virus and be unable to.

I do appreciate your help.

Stay healthy and live long.