Import Book from MSWord

In MS Word, my unfinished book has a Cover Page, a Forward, a Table of Contents, and several Chapters, Sections and Sub-chapters, plus several Endnotes, References and an Index, all in one Windows file. I want to move all of this structure, including the text already in some of the chapters, into Scrivener. Can someone suggest or point out a step-by-step procedure? I have spent several hours of frustrated effort trying to make my Binder reflect my book’s structure. It just gets messier and more messier. I feel that I could really make hay writing again in Scrivener, if only I could get my book into the system.

You should be able to import the entire file into Scrivener, then use the Document > Split feature to divide it into the different sections. If you have a particular marker used to indicate section breaks in the Word document, you could use the Find to jump to each instance and then make your split. Once you’ve made all the divisions you want, you can further organize the flat list of documents in the binder with additional folders or moving documents around in the hierarchy as makes sense to you. (And you needn’t, of course; if a flat list fist the project, that’s fine. It can also always be done later, as you continue working, if you discover that you could benefit from a hierarchical structure.) You can move documents around by dragging and dropping them or via Documents > Move and the corresponding keyboard shortcuts.

Table of Contents, Endnotes, and Index are all going to be handled a little differently once you’re in Scrivener. ToC and Index are best handled in Word, after you’ve compiled your project; Scrivener doesn’t have the tools for these (particularly indexing, which is a complex feature), but in a few minutes of post-processing you should be able to whip them together in a dedicated word processor. Endnotes are created inline in Scrivener using Format > Inline Footnote, but when you compile you can set them to be compiled as endnotes, so the numbering and so forth will be added at that stage and they’ll look as you’re used to when you open the compiled document in Word.

Final note, you should be able to import your file into Scrivener if it is saved as .doc or .docx but if you find you’re having trouble, try saving as .rtf and importing that. Some of Words fancy styles or embedded objects can cause a problem trying to import, so the .rtf save may fix that. You can also try switching the import converters used by going to Tools > Options… and select Import/Export, then enabling the option to use MS Word’s converters and restarting Scrivener. That’s not usually necessary, but if you’re having any trouble it’s good to give that a try.