exporting into Nisus?

I feel like a moron but this is the first time I have tried to send my Scriv data into Nisus. I have rechecked the tutorial & spent the morning searching for the answer to this question without success. When I select “compile” I am allowed to move my Scriv docs into “applications” but not Nisus.

Do I need to export to the desktop first & then open in Nisus?

Is there some way to export directly into Nisus?

What’s the difference between “compile” and “export?”

I need to get my Scriv docs into Nisus & can’t figure out how. I am most appreciative for any help with what must be one of the simplest questions of all.

PS: Have you changed the appearance of the forum page?

Compile assembles several Scrivener documents into a single file, then exports that file into the format you specify. Export exports the documents you select as individual files in the format you specify.

I’m not sure what you mean by exporting “into Nisus.” You don’t want to put the document in the Nisus folder in Applications, which is what it sounds like you are trying to do. That folder is exclusively for the Nisus program itself. Even if allowed, putting documents there is asking for trouble. Documents should be stored elsewhere, usually in your Documents folder or on the desktop. (The same is true for documents belonging to other programs, including Scrivener.) Once you do that, the document should open in Nisus just fine.

Hope this helps,


And to put it another way: Neither Scrivener nor Nisus are “database” style applications upon which one needn’t worry about individual files being opened and closed, and can rather just open the application and “import stuff into it” (which is a bit of a misnomer as even these programs still operate on files, but present themselves as if they do not). Nisus is a word processor, which means it operates on specific files that have been saved to your hard drive. Scrivener generates these files using Compile.

It sounds like you might be expecting Nisus to act like DEVONthink, Yojimbo, or some other type of program that stores files in its own little place.

Katherine: Thank you for clarifying the differences between “compile” & “export.”

I must be expressing my dilemma incorrectly. Let me try again: I want to convert/ get/move/copy/compile/transfer (I’m searching for the correct verb) the words I wrote in Scriv so that they become Nisus docs. I need to share my work in the form of the Nisus docs with a colleague who has Nisus but not Scriv.

Should I compile my Scriv draft docs & send them to the desktop first? Then open them in Nisus?
Or is some other method correct?

Amber, thank you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it. However, I’m not a techie, know nada about “database” style applications much less the other items like Devonthink & Yojimbo you mention.

I’m just a writer who needs to transfer/transpose work created in Scriv into a Nisus doc to share with a colleague who has Nisus but not Scriv.

It’s the a-b-c’s of the transfer/export process I can’t figure out & I feel like a total idiot because it must be basic & yet here I sit clueless.


This will be a two step process.

First, in Scrivener, use the compile draft function and save that single file that contains the combined content of your draft documents. Save it to the desktop or your documents folder in the finder. The Scrivener help files will explain how to compile your draft and get that single file created.

Second, in Nisus, open that file that Scrivener created. Here you can do whatever you like, format, send to your colleague, whatever. The Scrivener help files will not help you with this, because Nisus has its own help files.

Nisus uses the RTF format, so just compile (if you want your draft as one document) or export (if you want separate documents) to RTF format. Then in Nisus just use File > Open to open the RTF file, or ctrl-click on the RTF file in the Finder and select Open With > Nisus Writer.

Hope that helps.
All the best,

Thank you, Keith & Janra!!! “A two-step operation” and “open with Nisus” were the magic words. I somehow thought I could send my scriv files directly to Nisus but now understand that there is an intermediate step.

It’s so obvious in retrospect.

Sort of like being stuck on a plot point, goings bonkers looking for the solution, then finallyfinally finding it & realizing it was blindingly obvious all along & I was an idiot not to see it instantly.

Thank you both again…