Importing large file

As a newbie, I need some advice.

I have a piece 35,000 words, 40 short chapters, that I would like to pull into my newly purchased Scrivener. I’ve done the tutorial, so I’m guessing that the best way to do that is to read in the whole file, then go through the splitting process mentioned in step 18. I have my own versions of character sheets, etc. that I will bring in separately, though it’s not clear to me how I get them into the ‘Research’ part of the software. Advice?? :mrgreen:

Drag the files from Finder into the Research folder of the Binder? :slight_smile: It’s just wherever you drop things, like anywhere else on the Mac. If you are using File/Import/Files... then just select the location you wish to import the items to, first.

You’ll probably want to sort them into a character folder though to organise things a bit. So once you’ve got them all imported and moved where you want (again, just drag and drop stuff around), select all of the items and use Documents/Group to group them together into a folder. Then you can select the folder and use Documents/Change Icon/ to give it a nicer icon.

Hi John,

With regard to bringing in existing work, you have a couple of choices from a practical perspective:

  1. Yes, you can just import it and then use the Document > Split features to cut it up into smaller documents. This gives you the most control.

  2. If there are some sort of markers in the existing document that would indicate where they should be split (e.g. a # symbol, or at page breaks), you could use File > Import > Import and Split… This allows you to enter a character or sequence of characters that Scrivener will look for in the imported document. It will then split the document whenever it encounters these characters. (For instance, to import a single document into Scrivener so that it is split into multiple documents where previously there were page breaks, you would use Edit > Insert > Page Break to insert a page break character in the text field in the Import and Split panel).

From a more philosophical perspective, you might also consider whether you want to break things down by chapter in Scrivener or into smaller chunks (scenes, for instance, if it is a novel). It’s entirely up to you of course (and with short chapters you probably don’t need to break them down further anyway).

As for character sheets and suchlike, the main thing to know is this:

• You can designate any single folder in the project as the template folder using Project > Set Selection as Templates Folder. The folder will get a blue icon with a white “T” on it to indicate that it is the templates folder. (This is exactly how I set up the templates folder in the templates that come with Scrivener.)

• Any document contained inside that folder will then be available as a basis for new documents in the Project > New From Template menu. Essentially, when you select something from New From Template, it just takes the document in the templates folder and makes a copy of it at the current selection.

So, all you need to do is import or set up your own character sheets and either place them in an existing templates folder (if you are using the novel project template, for instance - and you are free to delete existing template documents), or create your own templates folder for them.

It’s useful to know that all project templates (novel, short story etc) that come with Scrivener were created from the “Blank” project.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Keith, Amber V,

Both comments very helpful. As a recent convert to Mac, I have the Windows disease of starting with the assumption that whatever I do will be complex and hold the likelihood of a Blue Screen of Death. The Import and Split worked like a charm. After a couple of false starts, Amber’s advice re: character sheets & Keith’s re: templates have me sailing straight.

Many thanks! :smiley: