Importing files from USB - HELP!

Hi. I’m trying to import word files that are saved on a USB stick. they were written on my old PC but I’ve recently changed to Macbook. When I try to import into scrivener (on Mac) it sees the usb stick and just says “Converting” It doesn’t give me the option to change the format. When I try to open the file in scrivener it is just a load of symbols and gobbledegook! I’m new to Mac and Scrivener and don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

It could be the Word format is too old for Scrivener. Can you open them up in Word itself? Or if you do not have Word for Mac you could try Pages or the free LibreOffice. If the file opens successfully somewhere, then you could try saving a copy on your desktop using the RTF format (though Pages is very simple and only supports .doc/x, but it might work to open the thing and save it to a new location as .docx).

There won’t be any options to change the format by the way. You might be referring to how on Windows if you import a plain-text file it asks for the encoding? That won’t happen on a Mac because just about everything on a Mac uses UTF–8 natively.

Used to be that Scrivener cared about the files having their .doc or .docx extension. Don’t know if that is still true.

I usually get Word text into Scriv by simple copy and paste. Open in Word (assuming you have this on your Mac), select all and copy, then paste that into a fresh document in your project in Scrivener.

On occasion, I will open my existing Scrivener project (the one I want to import my docs into) and just drag a Word doc from my desktop into the Binder and drop it there.


Could be something in what “gr” says about extensions. Macs have always had the option whether to display the file extension or not. I’ve always found it better to have them always displayed, that way any import problems due to no extension don’t crop up.

If you’re new to Macs, go to the Finder, then menu Finder > Preferences, open the “Advanced” pane and make sure “Show all filename extensions” is turned on.

HTH :slight_smile:

Mr X

Ah, that’s a good point as well. The files came from a PC so they really ought to have extensions, where having extensions is even more strictly adhered to than on a Mac, but Scrivener definitely does depend upon them. If there is no extension, it will assume the file is plain-text—which will of course result in a spray of symbols and nonsense as that is what a Word file really looks like on the disk.

Thanks all,

Finally figured it out. I had the word docs password protected. When I removed this and updated to the USB it downloaded into Scrivener no problem. Thanks for all the replies…learning as i go!