Getting a Word document to look right in Scrivener

Hey all.

I now own and am learning to use Scrivener for Windows. For new projects, I’m starting to get the hang of the thing. I like it. I’m learning.

However, I’ve run into a problem and it’s a significant one because it’s a stumbling block and I don’t want to move my half-completed novel over to Scrivener until I know how to solve this.

You see…

…I’ve already had one project that I’ve moved over from MS Word to Scrivener. It was a short project, so it seemed an easy one to move over as a test case.


When I brought the manuscript into Scrivener from Word, Scrivener picked up and inherited all of the existing documents properties.

That’s fine when it comes to retaining bold, italics, and such, but…

I find it annoying in this regard:

When I start fresh with a new-from-template Scrivener project, the text flows all the way across the Editor screen.

Not so with this imported-from-Word project.

Scrivener somehow picks up/inherits the rulers that were in the Word document, and so instead of the text flowing all the way across the Scrivener Editor screen, it flows over to about the 6.5 inch mark and then continues the text on the next line down. So that instead of filling the page, there’s a column of text and then a lot of unused blank space to the right of the text.

Now, granted this is probably just my level of picky-ness, an aesthetic issue and not a functional issue, or whatnot, but… it bugs the living daylights out of me.

Also, if I’m moving text into Scrivener, I want the text to behave like it was created in Scrivener from scratch. No special “picked up from Word” ruler margins.

So I guess what I’m asking is, how do I get rid of the ruler settings that Scrivener picked up from Word, and get an imported document like that to conform to my default Scrivener settings? Preferably a method that allows me to NOT lose bold and italics and such in the bargain?

However, if it could, at the same time, get the existing imported manuscript to conform to my preferred font and font size in Scrivener also, while still not losing bold and italics, well… then someone here will end up being a bit of a Scrivener hero to me.

(And “Well, if you had Scrivener for Mac 2.0…” solutions won’t help, thanks. Whatever fixes someone suggests have to work in the copy of Scrivener I’m using and own, not a version/OS I don’t own.)

That’s my request.

Here’s why it’s important to me:

For this one short project I’ve noticed this issue in, it’s not a big deal. At all. I could almost just start over from scratch in Scrivener.


That’s not the case with my next novel. I have something like 45K to 55K words already written, and I really want to move the manuscript into Scrivener before I start moving forward on that project again.

To bring it into Scrivener and feel comfortable with it, I need to deal with this issue and have a way to get it all looking right.

Advice? Help?

Have you tried selecting a document or set of documents in the Binder and going to Documents->Convert->Formatting to Default Text Style?

I second Robert’s suggestion. I was having a similar problem with an RTF file, I think, that I imported into Scrivener. I was foreseeing all sorts of aggravation with this sort of thing, and then I remembered reading something about a function to convert a document’s format to the default, which would include a right margin that expands or contracts with the resizing of the editor window. Doing that conversion fixed the problem.

Thanks for the advice. I am new to Scrivener and was having the same issue when I imported Word documents. Might not seem like a big deal but this really helps.

Those tips did the trick. Thank you. :slight_smile: