Exporting into a Format suitable for Defined Thesis Format

I am currently undertaking a PhD with Cranfield University and using Scrivener to put my thesis together. The software is certainly helping in putting my thoughts together into a coherent manner.

I have been exporting as ‘unformatted’ documents but am now getting the stage where I need to be adding a little more formality to the structure.

The thesis template which we are supposed to use as a basis is here https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2216291/word2010_thesis_template_double.docx, although we can produce the product in whatever format we need as long as the mandatories are included.

Is there a way of formatting the compilation so that it aligns with the template linked above or is that a post-processing task? If the latter, can someone point me to a simple workflow which will take a compilation from Scrivener and have a standard word format applied to it? Is there a read across between the paragraph formatting styles e.g. Title, Heading, Sub-Heading to Word Heading 1, 2 ,3 as this might help in the formatting if it has to be done ‘manually’?



There is no automatic conversion between presets and Styles since presets are not part of the text. That is they are, simply and literally, a preset combination of font settings you apply. Scrivener has no knowledge of the preset after it is applied - same as when you manually apply italics, the system doesn’t remember that as special. This is unlike Word which “remembers” every application of each Style.

A couple of suggestions:
(1) Set up your compile to export with all the correct page settings (margins, etc).
(2) Make each formatting preset in Scrivener unique enough (typeface, point size, indent, etc) that you can subsequently search for each one using Word’s find by formatting. Then it is a simple matter of using find and replace to convert each formatting preset to an equivalent Word Style.

I didn’t think of the latter until I was way too far along, so needed to manually go through my thesis converting text to styles. The first time it took about 3 hours to go through the entire thesis, second time (I had several drafts) I used a little find & replace and roughly halved that.

Note that you can copy styles between different Word documents (using the Style Organiser under Format> Style…), so you don’t need to recreate each style.

Other suggestions (based on my memory of the process last year, take or ignore as needed):

  • make (or recreate) any tables in Word as OS X’s base support for tables (which Scrivener uses) is poor
  • make use of front matter in Scrivener (check the manual)
  • I had better results creating a ToC in Word, based on Heading styles, than when compiling from Scrivener
  • I used EndNote and left the creation of my bibliography until after I exported to Word. This worked well and if you use a similar citation manager is recommended. Remember to then convert that to styles too (one for the reference list heading, another for the references themselves).

I am new to both Scrivener and Endnotes, so please forgive me if the question is a bit basic…

I am beginning my literature review for a PhD dissertation, and purchased Scrivener for this purpose. The school is providing me with a copy of Endnotes, but I won’t receive it until I am back on campus in a few months (I am a nonresidential student). So I really have no working knowledge of that program.

I am planning on having the vast majority of my literature complete before I head back to campus, so while I am writing in Scrivener how should I reference the various journals? With a footnote, citation, or maybe each one having a specific keyword that I could then do a “find/replace” once exported? I have seen that people recommend to use endnotes once exported and will do so once it is available to me, but again I don’t really know how it works. I just don’t want to write 10,000 words and then end up having a formatting nightmare. I appreciate any feedback!

Because EndNote will format your citations into the style you want, you are best to keep it simple. I suggest using something that is easy to find later and that you won’t use for other purposes. e.g. use angular brackets to surround a listing of each reference. Do not use curly brackets {like these} because EndNote uses them and so it could confuse things for you later. What matters is that you can easily find each reference later and that you can correctly identify each and every citation. THere’s nothing worse than coming across “<Smyth, 2002>” and realising you don’t have 2002 reference for “Smyth” but you do have a “Smith” for 2001, a “Smythe” for 2002 and “Smyth and Jones” for 2003. Which was it? OR, just as bad, that you have 3 references for Smyth in 2002 and you don’t know which is which. When in doubt, put in too much data. If you write something like, <author, part of title, data> (e.g. <Smyth, When the bee stings, 2002; Smyth & Jones, Favourite things, 2003>) then you should be able to identify everything easy enough when you format later.

Formatting later though will be the challenge. The two problems will be entering all your references into EndNote later (it’s much easier to do it as you go) and then manually converting all your in-text references to EndNote citations. I’d see if you can download EndNote from your school now (for example, my university allows staff and students to download it). If not, it may be worth purchasing Papers if you have the funds (40% discount for students). It is very easy to use, allows drag and drop entering of citations. It also has it’s document citation management system but, if you don’t like it, you can easily transfer everything to EndNote later. Papers is now owned by Springer publishing.

I know that others here use Mendeley (recently bought by Elsevier publishing) and other alternatives to EndNote. I recommended Papers only because (a) I use it and think it’s great and (b) it readily shares information with EndNote if you still choose to use EndNote later. I used both EndNote and Papers when writing my thesis.

Hi Rob,
If you are just beginning your research, you might want to look at Zotero as an alternative to Endnotes. This is free bibliographic/citation software that can be downloaded (from www.zotero.com) either as a Mozilla Firefox add-on or a standalone. It works reasonably well with Scrivener - there is discussion elsewhere on these forums about the ins and outs of this, but I find the best workflow is to set the default Zotero ‘style’ to RTF scan, then copy-paste citations into Scrivener where they will appear in the format {Name, Year} (and you can add pages eg: {Name, Year, 23-30}). When you compile your Scrivener project later into rtf format, then you run a Zotero rtf scan to convert these to full citations and add a bibliography.
These means you don’t need to wait till you get back to campus to begin working the way you will need to continue! Also in my humble opinion Zotero is way better than EndNote, particularly in (a) its ability to automatically add bibliographic details from web pages, databases etc, and (b) ability to add (and search) reading notes and attachments including pdf.
Cheers, good luck with your project! Evan

Thanks for the great suggestions!! Unfortunately it looks like I can’t use Zotero because it doesn’t support the use of internet explorer (yes, I understand that using IE is the browser equivalent of an abacus, but I primarily write on my company laptop which only allows IE) so I will try the < XX > approach.

This may be the wrong thread for this, but as a follow up I have moved my research articles into a research folder so I can view side by side with the writing. However, while I am able to copy/paste from the .pdf articles if they are opened in a seperate file, when they are inside of scrivener I can’t copy/paste text. Is there a work around for this? I am doing my intial information gathering, so am copying/pasting a lot of text to cull my way through the mountains of research material. Can anyone assist? I work off of one monitor, so having to continually flip between the two windows is time consuming, and being able to read & work simoltaneously is one of the things I liked most about scrivener. Thanks!

Try opening PDFs in QuickView windows in Scrivener. I don’t remember having any problem copying & pasting from them doing this (but not something I did often from within Scriv, so I may have forgotten).