Importing attachment from email

I sent a compiled version of my book in Word to my editor. She has returned it as an attachment, annotated in red, which h I can open and read on my MacBook. but I cannot work out how to import it into a new project in Scrivener. I would like to put it in Research for easy reference. Ive transferred it to Dropbox. But how do I move it from there into Scrivener. Copy and paste just copies the front page. Yourvadvice would be much appreciated.

The short answer is use Drag & Drop.

Use Finder to open your actual Dropbox folder and find the actual file. Or alternatively open that reply email and drag the attached file to your desktop. Either way, in Finder grab the doc file and drop it into the Research folder in the binder of your project. Scrivener will import it in the usual way it does with word docs.

Unfortunately, not as simple as I had hoped it would be. I cannot get the attachment to leave the gmail page, it will move about on the page but won’t come off the page. I can move the attachment from Dropbox folder in Finder into the research folder, it doesn’t show any of the annotations the editor has made. Ditto with my iPad. I can only see her red annotations when I double click on the attachment at bottom of email. I was hoping to have her comments in the research folder. Is there a way of doing this?

Some clarification is required

  • Are you using Google Mail via their web site with Safari?
  • or are you using Apple Mail, or other?

I’m guessing Google Mail in Safari. When you open the mail in Google Mail, you shoudl be able to point at the attachment with your mouse, then find the downward pointing arrow. When clicked it will download, default folder is ~/Downloads. Then in Finder, you can drag/drop the file into the Research folder. No?

You are correct - I access gmail through Safari. Yes there is a download button. Yes I can move it into the Researcg folder But there are no red annotations. Scrivener appears to weed those out.

You don’t say what kind of file it is (Word DOCX, PDF, Pages, … ?). So maybe have better luck with viewing the file with Word.

Rather than opening from within Scrivener Resarch folder if this the block, open the file from the files system using your app of preference.

Markup associated with the track-changes function in Word are not imported by Scrivener’s import function. That might likely be what you are seeing.

I guess it might worth asking why you are importing the marked up document into Scrivener at all. If you mean to walk through what came back and approve changes and edit in that (path of least resistance), then you could just as well do that in Word at that point. If your idea is to edit your original Scriv manuscript with the editor’s document just as a guide, then you will just be working with the two side-by-side anyway, so again, why not just leave the doc that came back in Word? (If you just want to keep a permanent record of what came back, you can convert the Word doc to pdf ((print to pdf)) and drop that in your project.)


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I’ve found that by putting the marked up version on desktop, I can read and compare with unedited version. So that’s one problem solved.
Next problem is that the project, unabridged version, has been uploaded to research, but when I try to access it, Scrivener crashes. It is maybe the length, 135,000 words, which is causing this. But I need to access it because it has all my source material. Advice please.

135,000 words for a Scrivener project is surely easily handled and is still small by Scrivener standards. But your project, based on what you say, is in the “Research” Folder and all bets off how performance will be for that non-standard approach. How it got there only you can say as it wouldn’t have happened by itself.

That being said, and without actually seeing what you have, what I would do if I’m close to understanding this, is:

  • create a new project with your preferred template. Blank a good one. Call it “Unabridged” as that’s what you call it–I’m not sure i understand what that means.
  • Open the existing project and the new project, in side-by-side windows.
  • drag the “project” files and folders from the existing project’s “Research Folder” (where you say they are) to the new blank project but drop it below the “Draft” folder–which is the proper place to put stuff that is your document. Don’t drag/drop the entire “Research Folder” by selecting its name–just the project files subordinate to that folder. Do it in pieces if you still see the crashing.

Now you will have two Scrivener projects. The exisiting project, and a new one called “Unabridged”. Edit whichever one is the current version of your project. I can’t tell from here which it is.

Edit: Oh, and before you do anything, make sure you have a good full backup of entire machine, from which you can restore, should anything go wrong and you need to recover your project and start again.

Do you mean you have 135,000 words of text in a single document down in the Research folder of your project? That is a mighty big single document alright, but it shouldn’t cause a crash just on that account. Must be something else going on here.


p.s. Trying to understand the situation here. You compiled an abridged version for your editor — the docs for that must be in the Drafts folder. But somehow the unabridged version is a whole separate thing from that and is one big document in the Research folder. Am I getting that right?

As a general rule there is little reason to work with huge documents in Scrivener, and doing so deprives you of a great deal of the ease and utility of Scrivener. Just saying!

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Sorry that my request for help sent out a confused message. I hope this clearer

  1. I have started a new project called Version 2
  2. Project Version 1 which has editor’s annotation is on Desktop where I can read her comments (these do not show up in Scrivener)
  3. Version 0 is all the source material, diaries etc. these are in a Project called Unabridged. Because all the source material is here it would be useful to have it in Research section of Version 2. But it crashed whenever I tried to open it from Research. I have now put it on Desktop where I can access it.

I’m still not at all sure what you have in Scrivener … but, my bottom line:

  • open in Microsoft Word the document with revisions by your Editor. Put that Word window on left 1/2 of screen
  • open in Scrivener your last working version of your document project, which is the pre-revisions version of the document you sent to you edit. remove any versions of the project in that Scrivener file that are in “References” folder. Put this Scrivener window on the right 1/2 of screen.
  • review he changes in Word and make the changes you want to make in Scrivener

If you want to keep a copy of what your editor sent you in the Word Document, I recommend you “print” to PDF, with revisions showing. Put that PDF into “Research”. The PDF is “for the record” and unchangeable. Save the Word document somewhere on your computer, but not in Scrivener.

If y “Project” you mean a Scrivener project, then that was probably your problem … you can’t put one Scrivener project inside another!



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Ah thank you! That explains it.

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You can, though, drag documents and folders from inside one Scriv project’s Binder and drop them into the other Scriv project’s Binder. This will copy all those materials to the target Scriv project. This sounds like something you might want to do.

((Though it might be / have been easier to have just duplicated your original Scriv project using the Finder.))


P.S. And, yeah, going forward, it will be helpful to bear in mind that the fundamental object in Scrivener is called a “project”. So, when you say “project” around here that is what people will be thinking of!