Ddrag and drop PDF files from a file manager to an item in the Binder does not work anymore?

Suddenly I cannot copy by drag and drop PDF files from a file manager to some items in the Binder of a special project to import it. How could make it work again?

Drop it into the Research folder

I have the same problem. I cannot drag some pdf files into my project and then compile to pdf including those added files. Dragging to Research doesn’t help me since I can’t add the research files to my compile.

Many thanks.

Sorry, what for?

I cannot copy / move any item to some items in the Binder. What function does that do?

It’s not possible to incorporate PDF files into a Compiled output document. Your best bet would be to edit the output document with some other tool.

The Draft area of the Binder can only include text-based files, so it’s not possible to drop PDF files there. But you can put PDF files in the Research folder.


Thank you, Katherine, and very sorry for my bad understanding.

Or items containing PDF files and other files obviously. That sounds totally…what might be the intent of it?

Yes, yes, but I would need (PDF) files near special items / organized, not separated from the items they belong to.

I have items in the Binder in the same hierarchy as the folder which originally may be was the draft folder, I guess. To all of them I can add / drag every item in the Binder, if I see it right, but to the (renamed) draft folder I cannot? Is that right?

The Draft folder can only contain text-based files because only text-based files can be incorporated into your Compiled output document.


Couldn’t it be good if the draft folder could contain other files than text-based files which then automatically / by default would not incorporated into the compiled output document?

The contents of other folders in the Binder can be compiled the same way like the content in the draft folder?

Maybe… except for the part where people don’t realize that non-text files can’t be included until a day before their deadline, when they’re preparing the final draft.

As the name suggests, the Draft folder is intended to contain files that will make up the draft of the manuscript. Other folders aren’t.


Hmmmm, yes, yes, of course. To generally realize / not to realize certain situations might be difficult often / sometimes. May be there are other people not realizing the reason why they cannot add special items to that draft folder. Of course, I do not have any idea, but could Scrivener show a message for both situations so that people could realize what is happening?

Yes, yes, so one just should know that at each time point.

Thank you very much

The closet you can get is to export the pages of your pdf file as images and put them after each other as images in texts. You can make a folder and have page1, page2, page3 as texts and inside you put the pages of the pdf file as images. You can then add this folder to any project where you want to include these pdf files. But you can not include them as pdf files, only as images - one image per page.

Well, it’s not like the Scrivener manual and tutorial and other guidance don’t all make a very large point of this.

Scrivener is a complex piece of software that does many things very differently than other pieces of software. Those differences are almost always the result of long, careful thinking about how people are accomplishing their tasks and how the software can best help with that for specific ways of working. It is designed to solve specific problems if you work in those particular ways. It is not a piece of software where anyone can just start using it immediately and do anything they want with it – that way lies most conventional word processor packages, which try to do everything for everybody and in the end make a hash of it and require a large team of people to create and maintain.

Scrivener IS a program where the use MUST RTFM in order to get the most out of it – but must also work with it and make changes in the way THEY work to get the most out of it. There’s no shame if that’s not for everyone – but it isn’t a flaw of the program.

As the majority of writers work in year 2017 pdf files seem to be more a part of a manuscript for most people than jpg files are, so there is no logical truth in what you are saying. It should be more usable ( following your logic ) to have pdf files and not jpg files in texts… so the end of your statement can not stand really, it should be considered a flaw of the program not to be able to have pdf files in the text the minute you accept that jpg files should be part of the text. Pdf is a more usable format for graphics in books than jpg files - that Scrivener is using.

In fact every time I want to use a pdf file, where most of my graphics are, i have to convert it to jpg to put it in my text at all. That seems to be a very basic feature - to illustrate a book…

Thank you for that good idea, Aron.

I guess, a big drawback might be that the files (not only PDF files) would not be searchable anymore, do not know at the moment how important that could be.

As I have to convert the htm(l) / mht, etc. files (I want to download / get into Scrivener) to PDFs because the download option in Scrivener does not work here it might become a bit too inconvenient, will try it in everyday life.

Yes, there are very much information on the Internet about Scrivener, indeed.

Oh yes, indeed, a very nice software for special needs. Yes, very good, that there are many such special programs availabe for special needs. And, yes, yes, that all appears to be the nature of such kind of (special, complex) programs offering special functions / work flows, manners “for specific ways of working”.

Yes, yes, absolutely, again the nature of such a program, I assume, there is much to learn without a shame, thank you Devin, and a very nice forum you can ask.

According to whom? In my experience and the experience of designers I’ve worked with, PDF is a terrible format for book production (rather than book sharing) because it’s nearly impossible to do even the most rudimentary editing. That’s not Scrivener’s fault, it’s a flaw in the PDF format.


Or, depending on your point of view, a feature. PDF was invented to allow publishers to precisely control the presentation of their material, making sure it looked the same on any platform. (Something HTML and .epub formats explicitly do NOT do.) It’s designed as a delivery format, not a production format.


I’m posting my situation here regarding PDF files because it fits in, but it could also be in the wish list because that is what it is. The idea is to solve the problem somehow. There are many ways it could be done. Another poster wanted a link in drafts to refer to pdf files. That also should be solvable. I’m assuming Katherine can forward to the developer(s).

My situation is that I am making a presentation with 2 others and I am revising drafts according to their feedback. There are parts of the presentation which refer to 3 pdf forms. It could be an appendix. So something like: Refer to appendix A with a link would be great. I’d like to be able to compile the whole thing.

As it stands, I must either compile each draft and then add each of the 3 forms to the end with another program and repeat the adding the three pages and creating the links every time I do a revision. Or, - Which is what I’m doing, make the appendix with the 3 forms a separate document, skip the linking, and just compile to pdf each draft.

When everything is done, I’ll put the whole thing together with links in another program.

It would be nice if this was handled better in Scrivener.

Hi Kathrine,

first of all, thank you for your comment.

I think it is a more accurate presentation of this dispute to say that it is not the PDF’s fault that Scrivener does not know how to use PDF :wink: In other words, if you are not good at making PDF files, you should not blame it on the format :wink: :wink:

The PDF format is a portable DOCUMENT format :wink: :wink: I don’t know if the D for DOCUMENT in PDF is clear enough, but maybe your designers should focus on that particular letter a bit more then… and use it for what it is made for. I am on the other hand noticing that you in your second post call PDF a delivery format and not a development format (somehow it contradicts your previous post where designing was relevant for your argument but never mind, now that you clarified.)

I do not know if we agree that Scrivener is a document processor… and, maybe I’m wrong about that as well ?? maybe it is just me but to me a document processor should be able to import the widest spread document format. PDF is more widely used than RTF - and that says allot when we know that RTF is so compatible that close to all text editors and word processors can use it. So why in the world not PDF that is used way way wayyyy more… ??

Do you not find it strange that PDF can be used to DELIVER to most systems that handle text, except to Scrivener? If PDF is a great DELIVERY format, it should be able to deliver to Scrivener ??? Or not ?? :wink: :wink: Scrivener acts like a stubborn kid, and say’s NO ! I don’t want it… because I’m such a special system. :wink: :wink:

According to ME !
My words and the logic here is quite sufficient on its own for the reader that is reading to understand. The one that is reading just to find ways to dispute, is of no importance to me - and convincing them by referring to experts is of no value.

… but I am always willing to change my mind if you have something convincing to add…

Scrivener should be able to import PDF files. We should have the option to import them directly as additions or appendix to the compiles document, or as a list of pages where we can remove individual pages - select a few of the pages of a PDF file and disregard the rest.

We should be able to also import a pdf file as images, jpg files(other formats), that we can place in our text just like we place images.

Finally we should be able to import them in to Scrivener as text + images. We can partially do this manually by copy and paste from a pdf file in the research folder, but it should be possible to just point and click …

It is a very time consuming weakness in Scrivener that this is not possible to do. To manually handle PDF files take lots and lots of time, and requires skills.

This might not be interesting from a developers view, where his goal is partially to make money, and therefor has to evaluate the cost of maintenance and development against paying customers.

From a users perspective, this is absolutely a fundamental feature that definitely should be in a program like scrivener.

Scrivener is built for writing new text, writing books, not for handling pdf’s. There are other softwares built solely for handling pdf’s.