Converting to a Different Project Template

Hello Scrivener Mind,

BACKGROUND: Is it possible to convert a project with no Project Template to one that does have a Project Template. In my case I’m deep into a large project and never assigned it a template. That may mean that it is a Blank Project Template, but I haven’t seen anything detailed about Project Templates.

I now believe the Project Template that best fits my project I’m working on is an academically oriented Non-fiction Template.

QUESTION:How can I convert my existing Draft, Research and Document Template pieces into a Project Template?

Thank you for your suggestions.

Charles Taylor

This previously posted question and answer should help you out:

1 Like

Hello AmberV,

Thank you for the reference to 5.3.2 in the User Manual. The problem I have is that I do not see any direction for how to assign a Project Template to my project. The manual seems mute on this basic step. It accepts that writers may start without a Project Template, but then doesn’t say how to assign one later. I’m sure that it must be possible, but “how to” does not seem to be addressed. Please guide me on that or to the section that provides that guidance in the User Manual.

Thank you,

Charles Taylor

The main thrust of that section that there is no such thing as assigning a template to a project, and that this concept isn’t really isn’t something Scrivener does, so that is why it wouldn’t have much to say about that specifically. Templates are more like starting points in Scrivener, and so it shows how you can bring over some of those starting points into your project if you want.

By the way, I start 99% of my projects from Blank, or templates that I’ve created for myself that set up a few things the way I like to work.

Happy Halloween! Thank you for your response.

So, I think I want to use the Non-Fiction Template for an academically oriented piece of writing. I now have in excess of 100 pages and footnotes. That template seems to be a good starting place for any modifications I may want to make. I’d like to see what compiling my work using the features of that template looks like. But it seems that I need to have the template assigned/connected (?) to my writing. The video tutorial seems to want the writer to select the Project Template at the beginning. I don’t see how to connect the Non-Fiction Project Template to my project so that it influences the compile process.

When you have a blank template project, what do you do to have your personal or a Scrivener project template be associated with your project?



This is a common practice in many word processors like Word. However, it does not apply to Scrivener. In Scrivener, a project template is literally just a pre-populated project – when you create a new project from a template, it essentially copies that template over to your brand-new project and then, that’s it. There’s no lingering connection between your project and the template you used (or didn’t use), so there’s nothing to re-assign later.

However, what you might be able to do – create a new blank project from the Non-Fiction template. Have this new project and your old project open at the same time. You can now drag and drop content between them – so you can move a couple of items over to your new project, then try a test compile to see how it works.

At that point, you can decide which method is less work – moving the content from the old project into the new project (making sure you keep your metadata, etc.), or recreating the compile format settings in the new project back into your old project.


You can create a throwaway project using the Non-Fiction template and export the formatting you want, and then import it into your existing project:


Thank you for that suggestion!

I’ve just realized you wouldn’t have the pre-created Section Types in your current project, so it might be less work to just copy everything into a new project.

I believe that is what Devin suggested. So I’ll stick with that. I’m wading through some priorities to get to this this afternoon. Thanks for your thoughts!

No problem, I also learned a new thing! I haven’t played much with section types and now I’m seeing lots of possibilities :o

1 Like

I hope I’m not spamming, but I got too curious so I had to check the manual and yes, it is possible to export section types as well! Check out page 692: C.2.4 Transferring Section Types Between Projects.

So there’s no need to copy paste from one project into another, but you’ll still need to create a throwaway project with the formatting and section types you need.

The main reason I suggested copying/pasting existing content into the new project was specifically to avoid making changes to the existing project until the OP has done their experimentation and figured out if there are any structural changes or other tweaks to compile formats, etc., that need to be made. I like to experiment in a completely separate project – not all changes are able to be easily rolled back with Undo.


I wrote my non fiction story elsewhere, made it a word doc, then imported into Scrivener; set up in binder.
My question is if I wanted to use the General Non-Fiction template, how would I do that? Install template in blank project, then import (or cut and paste) into the template?
Thanks much

You could either tweak your current project to match,
create a new project from the template you wish to use, have both projects side by side, and drag the documents from the old project to the new one’s binder.

Another option is to still create a new project from the desired template, and then use
File / Import / Scrivener Project

Make sure you give the new project a name that lets you easily tell them apart.

Once you are 100% sure you’re done, it would be wise to get rid of the old project to avoid mistakenly spend time working on the wrong one. (You can keep a safety zipped backup of the old project. Being zipped, it won’t open in Scrivener. So no risk of confusion.)