Importing from InDesign into Scrivener--or would importing from the EPUB be better?

Hi. If anyone has experience importing from InDesign into Scrivener, I’d be most appreciative for your advice.

I’ll soon be starting work on the 10th edition of my book that is 60 chapters and close to 1,000 pages. It is in InDesign, but I’d like to import it into Scrivener for doing the rewrite. I think the best way is to import each chapter individually, and am wondering if I should I strip the formatting and styles in InDesign first? (I don’t want to keep the InDesign text formatting because it is justified, except for paragraphs and subheaders. I just want a regular plain or rich text format that I’ll be able to export back into InDesign when I’m ready for the final typesetting. I’ll then go through and set the styles in InDesign by hand.)

I also have an EPUB version of the book that I could import into Scrivener if you think that would be a better option.

Thanks! Paul

What export options does InDesign support?

Scrivener’s native format is RTF, so that would be ideal. Word format is a close second. With other formats … the more layout information is embedded in the file itself, the more likely you are to have problems. For example, web pages are notorious for using tables to create visual layouts.


An ePub is basically html, which is easily converted into Markdown (use Pandoc).
So you could go, ePub=>Markdown and import that into Scrivener.
Why not try different options and see which one works the best?

I assume you didn’t write the book in InDesign. Do you still have the manuscript that you used to create the InDesign file in the first place?


:smiley: I published the first edition in 1994… I’m not thinking I’ve got the original manuscript hanging around. I was one of the first publishers to use a brand new and highly suspect program called “InDesign” to publish the 2nd edition with. People thought I was crazy to not use Quark, which was the industry standard back then.

InDesign should only be used for the final typesetting and final layout. Anyone who edits a manuscript in InDesign is inviting untoward amounts of grief. However, I do make corrections with reprints in the InDesign files, being very careful to not mess up the layout of the entire book. That’s why I’d like to port the current 9th edition that’s in InDesign into Scrivener to begin the rewriting process.

Thanks, that’s very helpful.