Convert Scrivenings to Single Document

I’m new to Scrivener, sorry if this is a dumb question, and I’ve RTFM and have tried to search forums for help but I’m having trouble:

I’ve used “edit scrivenings” to combine documents, but need to know how to convert that scrivenings file to a single document that I can edit across items with ease.

Any help would be most appreciated.


Well, Edit Scrivenings provides a temporary merge, where the documents remain separate but you can view them as one. If you want to merge several documents permanently, select them in the binder and then go to Documents > Merge.

Hope that helps!

Yes, thanks much.

OK, I just did this without intending to. (Never work on your NaNo novel on an empty stomach, the brain cells are too hungry!) I meant to edit Scrivenings, hit Merge instead, panicked and tried to back out of it, closed Scrivener by accident. When I reopened it, all that was left of my novel was the synopses. What happened to my accidentally merged document? I know I didn’t save it, but it wasn’t in the trash either. Thank God I back up Scrivener to an external hard drive AND a USB drive every night! I think I’ll find a third location to back up to, suggestions are welcome. So, the question is - if the document wasn’t saved, why isn’t it in the trash? Is it somewhere else? Does “Merge and (unintentionally) exit Scrivener” equal Delete?

OK, here is my SECOND stupid question of the night. I opened the saved version of my novel on the external hard drive, and have been adding to it. When I save it, I can save it to the external hard drive, the USB drive, or to Documents. How do I save it to the location of the original, lost document? I don’t like my current version being only on the back-up drives, I want it to be in Scrivener, on the hard drive. Am I making any sense?

You can save the project anywhere you want to using »file« -> »backup project to«. This is actually a »save as« with two additional features: Scrivener automatically adds the save date and time and you have the option to zip the project automatically on saving.

As another save location I suggest e-mailing the project to yourself – it’ll sit on the server even if your house burns down. To do that, you will have to zip the project first, as it is not a single file but a package of several files.

Hope this helps!


Because of the bundle-based nature of the file format, there is no Save As, so you just have to copy and paste it via the Finder.

As for the merge issue - I can’t reproduce this. I just tried clicking on Merge, then quit Scrivener immediately, but when I went back into Scrivener, the document was there.

You say that only the synopsis was there, so I wonder if this is a clue? After quitting and going back in, the corkboard was visible with only the card showing the synopsis of the merged document on it. This is because, when you select two documents to merge, they are both shown as synopses on the corkboard. When you merge them, there will only be the one card on the corkboard. If this is what you were seeing, this is fine - all you needed to do was click on the document in the binder (or double-click on the icon in the index card on the corkboard) to view the merged text beneath.


Thank you both, Jolanth and Keith. I will start the e-mal backup. And the merged document was in the binder, just like Keith said. I don’t know why I couldn’t find it before. I hadn’t intended to create a merged document yet, but now that I have one, I will add my daily NaNo portion to it and try to use it for the word count upload on the NaNo website. Has anyone else done this? I have just been manually updating my word count.

If you accidentally merge documents, there’s no need to panic. You can split them back up by placing your cursor where you want the document to be split and choosing Documents–>Split–>at Selection.

Is there anything in writing anywhere that describes what happens to associated meta-data when you merge or split documents? I can’t find it in the help text or on this forum (although I could be missing something really obvious). As far as I can tell, based on my own erratic usage of the software:
~ synopses are appended on a merge, and the top document gets the lot on a split, with no synopsis for the secondary document
~ document notes are appended on a merge, and each document gets a copy on a split
~ label and status are adopted from those of the top document in the binder on a merge, and inherited from the original document on a split
~ keywords - don’t know. I’m just about to start using keywords in earnest, but I suspect I need to do all my document merging and splitting first, or else they may get lost in the process somewhere.

Advice welcomed!