Convert entire Scrivener Table to Excel & Back

Maybe there’s a simpler way to do this. But nothing on Tech Support worked for me, so I spent a few hours and came up with this…might be helpful to others. I wanted this because I really wanted to use various other Scrivener features while creating the “spreadsheet.” But I’ll need to put the entire table into Excel to share. And then maybe bring it back again.

The following looks more convoluted than it is. Although a few of the steps I got from an old Word forum that discussed Word to Excel and back…and, as indicated, some of those steps seem really weird to me…but maybe one of you folks know why they work. In any event…here it is. Hope it helps someone

Naturally, if anyone has found/posted a simple way to convert Scrivener files to Excel files back and forth, let me know!

Converting Table from Scrivener to Excel and Back

[Of course start by making copy of your Scrivener table before you start!]

  1. Create Table in Scrivener

  2. Export Scrivener to Word Doc (not DocX)

  3. Open Word Doc. There’ll probably be some formatting strangeness which you can fix now or later.

  4. Weird Step #1: For some reason your right hand column won’t have a right border (even if you look at it in Landscape or at a % of original). To get that border, you have to drag the right hand column width symbol in the ruler (that’s the dotted square not the pointed indent symbol).

  5. Weird Step #2 Select the Word table, then Edit>Replace

    • Make sure you have all the Find/Replace options open
    • In Find field, click the Special button & pick Paragraph Mark,
    • In the Replace With field, click Special again & pick Manual Line Break,
    • Click Replace All & click No to searching the remainder of the document. I don’t know why this works, because you’re only finding and replacing one thing.
  6. Copy your table & paste to Excel.

Again you’ll have to adjust fonts etc. but all the right text is in all the right cells.

Excel to Scrivener.

  1. Copy Excel data and paste directly into Word.

  2. Import that Word file into Scrivener. (Don’t create a new doc for it to go into. Just import it into your research binder, which of course creates a new doc.]

  3. You should get the text w/ no borders (Below that you may bet a bunch of empty cells with borders (that were in your imported file). Who knows why? But delete those empty ones.

  4. Select all your table rows and columns. Open Table and add a cell border (it’ll be 0 when you open)

  5. Fix any weird formatting.


Thanks, David!