Importing monstrous Word 2016 document

I am new to Scrivener, brand new. This past Thursday new. I heard about it from the man at the Apple store where I took my iMac after encountering last-straw afflictions with my manuscript in Word 2016. I’m one week short of submitting it to the publisher, finally bringing an end to the three-year project. Or so I thought. Over the last month, while making edits or typing in new text, the screen has increasingly and inexplicably frozen up (spinning beachball and message, “Microsoft Word not responding”). Each time, of course, requires a Force Quit, interrupting train of thought and, over time, saps momentum (putting it mildly). On Thursday, after 4 freeze-ups within two hours, I took my iMac to the Apple store.

After running diagnostics, the Apple assistant declared the iMac healthy and suggested looking into Scrivener because of my document size: The manuscript itself – 200,000-plus words, roughly 425 pages, 450 endnotes and contains several tables.

He said that size likely accounts for other issues as well –
(1) Format irregularities:
• A single word of a chapter heading will lose its bold property despite its Style properties.
• Style properties must be repeatedly modified
• If I make a sub-heading bold or italics, the entire previous section follows suit. Clicking the Undo icon fixes it, but still a nuisance.
(2) Gaps in the endnote numbering sequences.
(3) Numbering of sub-headings must continually be “restarted”

Can anyone help me? I just downloaded Scrivener’s free Trial with intent to purchase. I’ve watched five tutorial videos and read some blogs on importing Word docs. It’s obvious the creators of this program are both smart and real human beings, but I’m an old dog and my learning curve is nearly flatlined.

Steps I’ve taken:
o In Binder, I selected the Non-Fiction category and then the General Non-Fiction template.
o In Project Settings under “Section Types,” I made the recommended changes.
I was confused by “Defining Default Section Types by Structure,” specifically the “section type pop-up menu in the inspector. Change the setting to ‘Section.’ Does that mean to change the “Section” in the Binder to “Structure-Based”? I did and then went back into Project Settings, “Default Types by Structure” but did not see three rows – “All folders,” “all file groups” and “all files.” Only “all file groups” appeared. The others listed were:
Root folders (blue folder)
Level 1 folders and deeper (blue folder)
Root files
Level 1 files
Level 2 files and deeper

o I saved my document as an RTF, inserted “#” before each of the 10 chapter headings.
o I placed my cursor on the “Manuscript” folder, then imported with “import and split.”
o Everything except the endnotes appeared in the Binder. All the text lost its formatting.
o I created a new folder for each of the 10 chapters and dragged all the sub-docs into them. (At first, I converted each Section number to a Folder. But in doing so, I could not see the text. So I started over, creating a new project as before, this time inserting new folders instead.)

I’ve discovered that writing a book is like going on a fast, not from food but from life. After three years, I’m ready to reconnect with family and friends, making my current dilemma more existential and my request to an experienced Scrivener user more earnest.

Are there credentialed Scrivener agents with authorization to perform a screen-share with users? Any assistance is much appreciated!

Hey, Olddog,

Fellow Scriv user here. Sounds like you are off to a good start! (And, yes, it was rather crazy to put the text of your entire book into a single Word doc!)

If your endnotes are footnotes/endnotes in Word, then they are footnotes/endnotes in Scrivener – each note lives in association with its footnote/endnote mark in the text (also true in Word, though you might not realize it). So, those should all still be in place, if you are not seeing them in the body of your text as inline footnotes, then they are viewable in the Inspector as inspector footnotes. Not until you Compile your book for output will they windup as footnotes at the bottoms of pages or endnotes gathered at the end. Within Scrivener, all such notes are just “footnotes”, though if on Compiles to certain formats you can have all the footnotes be compiled as endnotes.

I am not sure what sort of formatting you have lost, but Things like italics should certainly have come over. Anymore, I usually just drop into the Binder Word docs I want to bring in, but I suppose the rtf import function should likewise have imported font speceifications as well. So, I am wondering what sort of formatting your speaking of having lost. (If you are talking about page layout-like formatting, like margin settings and such, these have no meaning inside the writing software, but the basics can be controlled upon Compile.

Thank you! I’m still familiarizing with basic functions. Like learning a foreign language – "OK, this (Word) is that (Scrivener).

Lost formatting –
All headings/sub-headings lost bold/centered
Citations not indented

It was encouraging to receive a reply. Much appreciated!

FWIW: My current story, 100% written in Scrivener, is 397,000 words (and counting), all in one manuscript. The only time I get the spinning color wheel on either my iMac or MacBook Pro is compiling. Even then it doesn’t spin for long.

I have exported it to MS-WORD and it works fine there as well, though pages and word cont seem a bit sluggish in WORD.