Could we have a Better Import Split

Last April I made this suggestion and while 63 people read it, no one commented. So maybe I didn’t make my point or didn’t explain it correctly, so allow me to rephrase.

It is very time consuming to convert large monolithic Word file to Scrivener’s Folder and subdocuments system. YES, there is the Import and Split command and it works wonderfully, save it only does a third of the job. Yes it splits the chapters into Scrivener Text, but what I really need is to have those be folders with the Chapter Title, (Like the Text have now), and have the Text be a subdocument under that folder.

The process I am trying to speed up is this:
– Do the import and Split into chapters
For each chapter do the following:
– Click on the Text
– Click on the start of the first Paragraph
– Type Cmd-K to split the body test from the Title
– Move the Body Text, to be a subdocument of the Title Text
– Convert the Title Text to a Folder
– Delete the text within the folder so it is only a folder
Repeat until finished.
This is Extremely Time consuming if you have a very large Document you are splitting up.

Last April I made two suggestions that would make the process a little less painful:
The First Suggestion:
Would it be possible for you to expand the “Import and Split” command to lets you set [Folder] as a folder, [SubDoc] as a Subdocument to that folder, and [Split] as a Normal Split until it sees a [Folder] again at which point it makes a new folder.

My Second Suggestion:
Expand the Split Command (Cmd-K)
Last April: I suggested the addition of a Shift-Cmd-K Command. The command would do a Split to sub-Text. Therefore with one key stroke you can make a Sub-Text.
It would work like when you create a New Text while having a folder selected, the Text is automatically placed within the Folder not on the same level as the folder.

My New Suggestion:
Maybe the Six or Seven months of stewing on this was a good thing, for I may have come up with a better solution. Would it be possible to have the current “Import and Split” command make a Folder with the Title (First line of the Text) and then place the rest of the chapter as a Text within that Folder.
This would accomplish the task very nicely and might actually be the better idea.

Thanks Bob

How would Scrivener know what part of your text you wanted to be a folder and what part you wanted to be a file? There isn’t really any way that Scrivener could do this intelligently that would work for all cases and the way everyone wanted it to work.

All the best,

How does Scrivener figure out what is Title and when it name the Text.
I’m Suggesting that instead of making a Text, you make a Folder with a Text within it, this alone would save a lot of time, especially on a long manuscript.

I can’t believe I am the only one who has gone through this process, or maybe they are not bringing years of writing into Scrivener and are only creating new works.


I’m not sure I follow you entirely, here, I’m afraid. You are suggesting that when you import and split, the split files get placed inside a folder? That’s making a bit of an assumption about what the user wants, I think. The user can always add a folder before, which is quicker and less hassle than removing a folder you don’t want.

As for figuring out the title, Scrivener just uses the file name of the imported file - it has no way of knowing what sections within the text might be called.

All the best,

If I understand you correctly, you are basically going from a long Word file to an outline structure in the Binder that uses the typical chapter-folder/scene-file layout, and you basically want to be able to cut out the extra manual work of having to turn a chapter into a folder with a file in it?

If so, you might take a look at the Documents/Group feature, this works perfectly for what you are doing here. A typical breakdown for a chapter would involve you taking the file that Scrivener generated from Import & Split. You go through searching for scene breaks and using Cmd-K to break up the chapter file into however many pieces. As you do this, you don’t worry about the binder at all. You might be saying that it requires a lot of clicking around because splitting moves you over to the Binder. Yup, so for that reason when I’m splitting up a document, I work in Scrivenings mode. This overrides the default behaviour and just gives the split off item a sequential name, leaving your cursor blinking in the editor. If scene breaks are easy to search for, you can alternate between Cmd-G and Cmd-K and make quick work of a chapter.

Okay, with that done, select all of the breaks in the Binder and hit Cmd-Opt-G and type in the name of the chapter.

Done, move on to the next, or spend a little time naming your scene cards if you wish by switching over to Corkboard mode from Scrivenings.


I too normally work in Scrivenings mode, to avoid the binder while doing the splitting, because I am not that worried at that point to Name a scene, more to get the split done.

I will try your method on my next import, though the nice thing about my method is the Folders are already named, you are not naming them after the fact.

As I said above; It would be great if ‘Import and Split’ would make a chapter folder and then place the text into the folder.

How about a Checkbox in the Import and Split, which allows the user to choose to put the Scene/Text into Chapter/folders or Unchecked it works as it does now.

As for the naming, Scrivener appears to use the first line of the Split as the Scene/Text Name.
The following is an unaltered binder snapshot of an import.
Chapter naming.png