Compiling to Word with "Styles"

I have a question I haven’t been able to find a good answer for in the manual or by some quick experimentation.

I have a 90,000 word novel in Scrivener (Windows and iOS, if it makes any difference). The work is in parts, with chapters under each part and scenes in individual files under each chapter. It’s been through multiple formats over the years and currently most closely resembles a Markdown document…that is, the Parts are set up as Heading 1, the chapters as Heading 2 and the scenes as Heading 3. I don’t have extensive notes or metadata, though I will be adding them. (Edited to add that each scene in the binder has a title, as well as the Heading 3 title in the file; I know this is redundant, but haven’t edited that far yet).

I need to start working in Word to employ an elaborate set of editing macros as I begin work on my next draft. When compiling to Word, I’d like these three heading levels to load into Word 2016 using Word’s corresponding heading styles. Using Word heading styles will let me use Word’s navigation pane much as I use the Scrivener Binder.

I plan to keep using Scrivener as my primary writing tool, copying and pasting scenes from Word back into Scrivener after editing.

Is this possible through the Compile function? Or would it be better to try to do it by compiling to MultiMarkdown and using Pandoc to create my Word file? I’m a moderately technical user in Word and have used Pandoc quite a bit as well; I’m not averse to using Scrivener/Pandoc/Word this way, but if I can complicate the workflow a little less, I’d be happy.

You must do this manually in your Compile format. You set up your Heading 1-3 styles in the Compile Style Editor pane, and then you use these styles in the Compile Section Layout Editor pane.

This is the result in Word’s document map:

See a test project that demonstrates this here

Heading (87.2 KB)

Pandoc does this automatically, and many other things besides. I actually consider the Pandoc workflow simpler, in that it handles most document structure styles without fussing (and uses a Word template: you edit a Word file in Word, set it up how you want, then Pandoc uses this as a base for any new files it generates). But Scrivener 3 can still do most of this natively which keeps everything in one place…

Ah, thanks very much! I should have some time to experiment…I’ve used a Word example file for Pandoc in the past, so I’ll see what works best. I appreciate your thorough answer.

I know this may be redundant, but is there a way to get the folders in the non-fiction template to provides styles for the “parts” and “chapters” I am using?

Scrivener seems to provide styles in Microsoft Word when I add them to the text (Heading 1, Heading 2), but when headings are provided in the export to Word by the Section-Type (Structure) I get a different text, but not a different “style” in word. Specifically how can I fix this? I know my publisher won’t like it.

I know it is solved in the example, but I’m still confused. I don’t know pandoc and I’m not using it.


Hi Telemetry, the solution in the example project will also work for your non-fiction template based project, you will simply need to make the same changes as I made by editing your Compile format. Specifically you must create the Heading 1-3 styles in the compile-format styles editor, then you assign them to the titles in the Section Layout editor, and apply those Section Layouts to your chapters and parts.

I’m using the non-fiction template. I already have styles assigned to “heading 1” and “heading 2”. Why can’t I see them in the “Formats” that come up when I bring up compile? I see heading, but not heading 1 or heading 2.

Why can’t I edit the formats that do show up? Shoudn’t I be able to add a format for something like Parts and have it stick? there doesn’t seem to be a way to just add one.

And why isn’t this done automatically for word, since it would be what everyone would want? - styles that match styles. I know people want other formats, but this is what a publisher would want from a word document! I (sorry for shouting).

OK. So I guess the basic question is - how do I get a top level folder in scrivener to produce “heading one” in word? Please explain. I have an example file already, and it hasn’t helped me figure that out.


(1) Go to your Project Settings and name your section types appropriately (the name doesn’t matter, just remember this is what you will use to assign the correct layout to). You can also set the default types, for example here I say all Folders are Parts:

(2) Go to compile, select a compile format (here I select Modern, and right-click “Duplicate and edit…”

(3) Go to the styles section and make sure you have a Heading 1 style (and Heading 2 and 3 if you need them). To add a new style click the + and select “Paragraph+Character” Style at the top of that menu. Make sure styles will be included in the exported file.

(4) Go to the Section Layout pane. Here I have a layout called “Part Number title”, then select the “Part One” text in the editor and assign the “Heading 1” style to it. Save this format.

(5) Back in the main compiler window you can see Part 1 is assigned the Part type automatically, now we have to attach our Section layout to our Section type. Click assign section layouts…

(6) Here I assign my “Part Number Page” layout to my “Part” type.

(7) Hit compile!

The issue of whether Heading styles should be applied automatically for Word was raised previously, but it was decided that styles should be optional, as not everyone uses them and there are lots of legacy Scrivener 2 users who may be surprised by the change. Personally I wish Scrivener was more opinionated, and certainly the standard compile formats could be updated to use proper semantic Heading levels (or at least one added). Irrespectively, once you have the compiler set up you do not need to fuss again…

This is uber complicated. Personally for me - I can’t understand how it works. I read all the tutorials available, plus most of the posts on the topic, here in the forum, yet I can’t figure out how it works.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Scrivener, but its compile section is the hardest piece of software I’ve ever seen. It was hard to use in 1.9… in 3… it’s impossible. At least for me. Bare in mind I worked as software/data architect for 25 years.

That being said: I continue to use it and when the time comes I’ll ask a friend to compile my project for me.

Could you all please clarify which version of Scrivener you are using?

Remember that the current release version of Win Scrivener doesn’t have styles, and the current Win Scrivener beta doesn’t have a fully functional Compile command. The advice in this thread is excellent for Mac Scrivener users, but potentially very confusing for Win Scrivener users, and the thread is in the Windows forum.


Do you know if this feature will be added to the windows version? I am planning on writing a PhD thesis in Scrivener, and this would be really helpful.

Hi I’m just starting to get my head around beta 10 so forgive me if my question is obvious …
For lengthy academic documents with citations in footnotes compiled to ODT using the RTF/ODT scan I have often found the footnotes come out with inconsistent formatting. It would be really helpful if I can set up a footnote style in Scrivener so that they are mapped to the Footnote style in Libre Office (or Word) once compiled.
Is this possible?

Any assistance from somebody to confirm what I appear to be missing, would be most appreciated.
[Using Scrivener 3]

I am currently pulling my hair out - in that I have several projects where the sections etc. ARE transferred to the Navigation Pane of Word, as headings etc., but I cannot replicate this with my current project.

I have a project where it is working open, and then the project where it’s not – and am jumping between the two Compile settings panes, trying to verify that they are identical.
Ditto the Project Settings.
From what I can see, they are – yet I am obviously missing something small, yet significant, since I cannot get it working on the current Project…

Any suggestions on where to start looking?

Can you make sample scriv project from the one that doesn’t work, zip it up and attach it so we can have a look?

I’ve been having trouble figuring out how to export with styles in Windows (so I can use docx to plug into inDesign). So I tried what nontroppo suggested.

I downloaded the project, Unziped it, Opened it. Without touching anything, compiled it as docx using the “ModernPart-Chapter-Scene” Format, and the result was no styles (just font, size, and I assume, color). No document map.

I noted the zip file had a “__MACOSX” folder, so my guess is that this is a Windows bug. Can anyone else confirm this?

Please confirm that you are using the Win Scrivener 3 beta. The current release version of Windows Scrivener does not support styles, so none of the advice in this thread will work.


I’m using the latest beta 3.

I’d suggest starting a new thread in the Beta forum, then.