Final Revision, copy and paste to Word, odd characters

I write my novels in Scrivener until I get down to the revision process and copy and paste to Word 365. I get these weird characters that appear, I assume they’re related to a space or a tab setting. Is there a way to avoid these? They appear enough to be problematic and klunky when I’m revising. Thanks for your help. Hoping this uploads as a screenshot but, if not, it’s a char that has a dotted line square with an L above SEP within it.

Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 8.52.15 AM

I would recommend either exporting your files (File → Export) or compiling your file for .docx (File → Compile) rather than copying and pasting between programs. You’ll generally get a cleaner result that way. Exporting will create a separate file for each binder document (all bundled in folders) and compiling will give you one document output.

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thank you JenT. If I compile, doesn’t that mean I can’t reopen in Scrivener? It feels too final for me if that’s the case, so I never do, I just copy each chapter and revise. I will make a backup I suppose that is one way to be able to reopen. I appreciate your response.

Compile just copies the text from inside scrivener into a file outside of it, in the format specified. So compile to DocX just copies your text, adding in headers where directed by the compile formats, and writes all that to a single, MS Word - compatible document. The contents of your project don’t change, and are not locked or erased. You can compile the same contents an unlimited number of times, to the same, or a variety of output formats (like epub, PDF, etc…)


Thanks so much everyone. I’ve always had an irrational (apparently!) fear of the compile function but you’ve made me feel confident. Appreciate it!

You can compile all day long and never affect the content.

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Thank you. I might just start doing that!

Some people don’t start learning Compile until they have a publishing deadline. Bad idea. Compile early and often. Try something every day and see what happens. Ten minutes a day makes you a Compile expert by the time the writing is done.


Think of it as “Print to file” in Windows. :blush:

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Why, if I may ask, do you need to become at expert at Compile? I’ve written two novels on Scrivener but I do the revision process in Word. What is it about the compile process that is helpful to your final product?

Thanks, it’s certainly easy enough. I’ve learned a good feature here. No more odd markings on my manuscript.

Skim these example workflows, two radically different exports from the same content.

chapters, headings, etc.

synopsis/epigraph report

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