Import .docx documents

Hi, there!

Quick question. I want to give my editor my novel, but when she gives me back her work on .docx I have to open Scrivener and with both documents opened edit my scrivener file while I´m seeing the word document. I do this because I don´t want copy and paste chapter by chapter from Word to Scrivener.

Is there a way to do it faster?


From your description it sounds like you are using Microsoft Word or another word processor to open the .docx for reference, have you considered dropping that file into your Binder instead? For one you can open that document into a split view beside the parts you are working on, just like you would reference research or background material while writing. There is also a neat trick in the View/Editor/Other Editor/ sub-menu for paging the opposing split view up and down while you are writing and working in the other. Obviously the keyboard shortcuts are a much more efficient way of doing that than the menus. When I’m proofing or going over external editing notes, I put the whole thing in one split like this and then jump around from section to make fixes to the Draft, using those remote control page down keys to proceed.

But even without the remote control bit, having everything in one window will surely be better than two. By the way if your editor uses the track changes feature in Word, make sure to go through those and commit them one way or the other before importing into Scrivener, as it can’t read track changes.

I was thinking more to edit the document with Pages, and then import the .docx (or pdf) to Scrivener. Is there a way to import the chapters as they are originally from the .docx document? That way I avoid copy and paste each chapter.

Thanks, AmberV, for your great support.

Yes, that all fits in with what I was describing. It doesn’t matter if you edit the .docx file in Pages first and then import it.

No, the way Scrivener and Word (and similar programs) work is far too different for there to be a universal format that could seamlessly and safely break a text file into a thousand known fragments, then merge them together into a one file, and later on—with no markings at all to denote where one section begins and the next ends, fragment it back into a thousand pieces.

There is one approach that dodges the problem by not “flattening” all of your outline into one .docx file: instead, every section of your outline is exported as its own file. That is the external folder sync feature, and although most people use it with something like Dropbox to edit pieces of their projects from a tablet or phone, all the feature really is is a folder of RTF files that Scrivener uses to check for modifications that it will update the original project with.

But that requires an editor that doesn’t mind working in slices of text as small as whatever you tend to use in the Draft. If they are full chapter-length documents, that might be workable, if you’re the sort that breaks things down into tiny pieces, with potentially hundreds of files in the Draft—well, nobody would want to edit that way! :slight_smile:

I´m using a Mac so I have split view with Pages and Scrivener. My main problem with that is when I´m seeing the file of my editor in Pages, is very hard to jump from one comment to another because I have to find the right place in my Scrivener file. I have to find the chapter, then the paragraph… it takes a time.

With the split view in Scrivener, can I do it better?

Thanks for your great support.

You’d still have to find the location for the edit in your scriv project. There is just not going to be an automated way to do that (and given that you don’t want to just paste over your original text).

I would get my whole draft up in the editor pane using scrivenings mode, so it looks like one long piece of text just like the thing in Pages/Word. Then your best way to find the next edit location is often going to be to do a Find (cmd F) for a nearby phrase. Unless the next edit location is a short intelligible span away from the last, using the Find function is far easier than trying to geolocate the spot yourself.

If you haven’t been working this way (and I suspect most of us underutilize Find), you might find this a bit of a relief.


I would try your advice next time.

Thanks for your help, gr and AmberV!

While Scrivener can’t import Word’s Track Changes markup, it can import Word comments. So if your editor makes use of those, you can use Scrivener’s Comment features to jump between marked sections in the edited version, then use Find to track down the matching text in the original version.


To speed up finding text from one document in another, try Cmd-E to load the currently selected text into the system search buffer, and Cmd-G to then find the next occurrence of whatever is in the search buffer, can dodge the whole Cmd-F and then type in some stuff, step. And yes, since it is a system search buffer, nearly all Mac software shares a universal “silent” search entry that Cmd-G and Shift-Cmd-G will make use of. So this method will work fine between Pages and Scrivener.