exporting bullet points and lists to Word

I’m sure that this has been covered before, but I couldn’t find anything when I searched the forums.

When I try to export my draft to Word, my formated lists and bullet points are converted to oddly formatted ‘quasi-bullet points’ (for lack of a better description) that all begin with blinking 0s and that seem to lose any of the spaces and tabs that I have built into them. Is there something that I am not doing correctly? The text remains intact, its just that the formatting has gone haywire.

Do other word processors handle these kinds of exported structure better than Word? Difficulty wrangling structured text (outlines, bullets, lists) has always seemed like the most frustrating part about using Word.

Scrivener is using the default support for lists just added by Apple in Tiger. Apple’s code seems very buggy. Although Word’s list interface is quirky, in this case I think it’s Apple’s code that’s to blame.

I tried exporting a numbered list to Mellel, and I found that it imports the text without a problem, but drops the list attributes, giving you plain text with bullets or whatever. If you create a list, it also converts that to plain text on export.

On the other hand, Nisus Writer Pro Beta maintained the list attribute itself but lost the specifics of the list formatting, just like Word.

It wasn’t too hard to fix this in either Nisus Pro Beta or Word. In Nisus Pro Beta, there are two ways. The easier way is to just choose View > Style Sheet. Use Window > Palettes > List to ensure that the List palette is up. There will be a list style for each an every list in your document, so just click on each one in the left pane and then edit it. Another way is back in Draft View. Select the lines where the gray boxes appear indicating that you had a list. Choose a list style from Format > Lists > Edit List Style that matches your list, if one exists, or if not create a new one using Format > Lists > New List Style

In Word, I had to select each line in the text that was a list and select a list style from the Style palette. Unfortunately (and this is what I meant by quirky) the numbering did not restart in the second list and I had to manually put in the correct number for each list item.

In summary, it seems like lists might be more trouble than they’re worth at this point for the sake of styling, although if you’re using them to aid in speed and accuracy in text entry, then it might be worthwhile if you can master the quirks of the Apple text system, and don’t mind clean up work in Word/Nisus afterwards…



I think cyberbryce may have hit the nail on the head, unfortunately. Try creating a bulleted list in TextEdit and then copy and paste it into Word. If you are seeing the same sort of thing as you are seeing with Scrivener, then it is indeed the Apple text system that is to blame, unfortunately. Both tables and bullets in the OS X text system (used by TextEdit and Scrivener) are rather buggy at the moment, unfortunately.


Thanks for such a quick reply.

I tried Keith’s suggestion, and as both of you suspected, the problem does seem to rest in Apple’s textedit system.

Similar to cyberbryce, I found that I had to manually reformat each line after I had exported my document to Word. Fortunately, I only had a couple of very reasonably sized lists to deal with.

Moving from Scrivener’s great writing spaces into a word processor - even if only to format a draft to share with collaborators - once again really highlighted for me how much more I enjoy writing when I write with Scrivener. At a risk of personifying inanimate objects too much, Word always seems to want to pick a fight with the way I want to do things. Scrivener, on the other hand, is always looking for ways to help me write better.