Import as unsupported

I know the subject is vague, but I’ll try to be clear :slight_smile:

The recent “import unsupported file” feature was a revelation to me, because any file can now be imported, and a double-click on it opens it in its own application. To me, it sounds like the binder is becoming the graal of the file organization, because I can now organize my files with my research topics, todo lists, etc., instead of let them lying anywhere in obscure folders on my computer.

The only problem is that now, I’d want to generalize this feature to all my files, and this includes supported files. If, for example, I have a Word file which I want to keep as a stand-alone Word file, I cannot drag this file to my binder : the normal behaviour is to import it, so it imports it. Thus, the result is I do not have a Word file in the binder, but instead a new text sheet with the content from the Word file in it.

Would it be feasible (and in the line with Scrivener’s objectives) to add a feature to import as unsupported, so that the file is copied in the .scriv package and referenced in the binder, but not imported ? Maybe an alt-drag would do the trick ?

Thank you again for this great program.

All the best,


I’m afraid this is out of scope, as Scrivener isn’t intended as a general repository - it is meant for working on text - but what you could probably do as a workaround is create an alias to the file and import the alias instead where this is necessary.

All the best,

Interestingly, creating an alias of a supported document type and dragging that into the binder works, but Scrivener doesn’t seem to want to let you do it via the File>Import option (importing the alias as a regular file just imports the document in the usual way; import research as alias doesn’t allow you to select .rtf, etc., or the pre-created alias).

Just note that with the alias trick, the original file isn’t in the .scriv package, so if you move your project to another computer the link will be broken unless you also bring over the external file the alias points to.

It’s unsupported behaviour, a workaround, that’s why. :slight_smile:

Noted. 8)

How are you getting this to work? I tried just regular old copy between computers but that breaks the pair. I also tried housing the research files on an external drive and physically moving the drive to the second computer; but the pair breaks there as well.

Thank you Keith for the workaround. It may prove useful some day, but for now I think I will avoid it. The main advantage of putting the files directly in Scrivener are that I don’t have to be bothering where they are saved. And if I delete them in Scrivener, they are effectively deleted.

This won’t do with alias or links since I still have to manage files externally. In fact, this makes things even worst, because If I delete an alias, the file is still there. Eventually, I’d have no way of telling which files are still linked to my Scrivener project, and which I can delete without risk.

I guess I will just change the way I work.

On a side note, and this is to be taken with a big grain of salt, for what I think, I don’t believe Scrivener is only for writing. Yes, the draft section is for writing, but the research section is for research… In my very humble opinion, it absolutely makes sense to import the text from the dropped files in the draft section; but in the research section, I believe the dropped files should stay as they were dropped unless it is specified. But then again, it is only the opinion of one user :slight_smile:

Anyway, thank you !

There are a wealth of great applications out there just for research - DevonThink, Evernote and suchlike. Scrivener allows you to bring research files in and refer to them while writing, definitely - but if you want to refer to a Word file and you want it imported into Scrivener, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want it imported as text. I don’t see any advantage over having it opened in Word. Perhaps the formatting won’t come across perfectly depending on the file format and contents and suchlike, but if this is for reference then that shouldn’t be an issue; and if the file has complex formatting then you could always save it as a PDF from Word and import the PDF into Scrivener.

All the best,