Importing PDF files

I realise that importing a document from word means that it has to be converted beforehand to an RTF file; however, whilst I can import a pdf file, once its in my scrivener document I cant alter it or highlight anything in it - is there a way round this? Should it also be converted to something else? I tried converting it to an RTF file but all the text was down the left hand side of the page, so clearly that isnt going to be very effective.
Any ideas please?


Hi lulu,

Non-text documents–images, PDFs, movies, music, etc-.–are imported into Scrivener without being converted in any way: the original file is just copied into the project. As a drafting program, Scrivener doesn’t have the tools to be a graphics editor, PDF editor, and so on, but it allows you to keep these research files easily accessible inside the project and to view the material alongside your writing. You can right click on the PDF in the binder and choose Open>in External Editor to open the file in the default program (whatever the default on your machine is) and edit it there, then save it and the changes will be visible in Scrivener.

As a side note, there’s a bug with the third-party tool Scrivener’s using at the moment for PDF reading, so highlighted text doesn’t appear properly. Lee’s looking into ways to fix this, but in the meantime if you’re highlighting text you may want to highlight at a lower opacity, if your PDF editor allows it, so that your text will show through the highlight color (essentially the highlight is placed as a layer of color over the text, so using full opacity covers the text). Alternatively you may want to use another indicator for the important text, such as just a highlight mark (drawn as a line) in the margin along side the text, so it’s not covering the text itself. Sorry for the inconvenience; hopefully the PDF reader will fix this or Lee will come up with a workaround soon.

Thanks MM :slight_smile: