Importing tables with automatic numbering

So I’m on day one with Scrivener. So far so good… but the reason I bought this program is because I want to organize a massive document I’m writing. This document has roughly 2000 numbered examples, each one like the one below:

(02) chicken meat horse.
{lchicken cchicken chicken}
work-NMZ-AFF husband-3POSS go-CPL1-3FR-TOP
‘Her husband had went to sleep.’ [MBF6w2.1]

See how it’s all lined up into neat columns? I did this with a table in word and there’s an automatically-generated sequential number to the left, in the leftmost column of the cell.

Anyway, as you can imagine, when I import this into schrivener, I get a big mess. I spent quite awhile looking around for an answer, to no avail.

Does anyone have a solution to this or know how I can best address it?

I sure appreciate any creative ideas or suggestions. Otherwise I may have made a mistake getting this program… but probably I’m just too stupid to see the answer.

Thanks, all!

Unfortunately your nicely formatted table doesn’t translate to the forum either… :frowning:

But as a possible quick solution: have you tried copying and pasting the entire table into a new Scrivener document (cmd-N).

For me this works OK – although you may have a bid of tidying up and verifying to do.

Hey, you know what, that works ok – though the “tight wrap” I had on the tables is missing and I cannot drag the borders to fit the contents like I can in Word, so it is functional but, well, ugly.

Personally, I could care less – but I don’t think I could submit this for publication – it looks to sloppy.

Am I better of abandoning MS Word tables and entering the examples in manually?
If so, is there a way to get them automatically numbered?

Thanks for your response. I really appreciate it…

Well, the basic concept behind Scrivener is:

a) Outline / create the draft in Scrivener, using its unparalleled facilities to swap sections around and other drafting tools until you’re happy that the text and order are exactly as you want them.

b) Use the ‘compile’ function to prepare an rtf file which you then tart up in Word for submission.

So, Scrivener gets the contents right, Word makes them look pretty. The final appearance and alignment of tables is very much something that would be easier in Word.

In your case, if the table of examples is the whole or vast majority of your document, then there’s probably not much point in using Scrivener. However, if you’ve a lot of text to be written around the basic table, then it’s definitely worth doing, because Scrivener offers you so many ways of structuring and drafting your text. Copy and paste the table in, then worry about what it looks like when the whole document is finished and you’ve got it back in Word.

If you do decide that’s the way to go (and I’d strongly suggest it is if you’ve got much text around the table), then have a look at the interactive tutorial on the Help Menu before you go much further. It’ll give you a good background to what’s possible in a bit more detail than I’ve just done (but still only take about an hour…).

Hope that helps


Also, if you want to have the neater version of the table for reference within Scrivener, you can print that table to a PDF file, and import that PDF into your research folder. Save the original for later, which you can just paste in once you’ve compiled out of scrivener into a Word document.

Thanks, guys. All good suggestions. I’m going through the manual now, but don’t think I’m going to find the ideal solution.

I don’t want to exploit your expertise here, but I hope you’ll tolerate one more question:

Is there some way to treat each little table as “an object” in a separate file and insert it that way into the text?

If not, no problem. I’ll abandon the idea of including those examples and just move on.

If you want a reference that is made of a rich-text table, then no, but you could convert the table into a png graphics file (or jpeg, maybe a few other formats), put that in your research folder, and then drag that up into one of your text documents. Probably not what you want. The limits of Apple’s text engine at work, I’m afraid; Keith doesn’t currently have the resources to address that yet.

If you’re not afraid of markup languages (like html, xml, etc., but simpler), you might want to dive into MultiMarkDown. You can create tables that look very 1990’s with ascii characters, which can then come out the other end looking very slick. But the output options through that route only include a few formats, so make sure you can get the output you want before diving down that rabbit hole.

One other tip, not related to MMD, is that you can do auto numbering at compile-time using Scrivener’s Insert->Autonumber menu. There’s also a list of the “tokens” that the menu inserts under Help. I don’t use them extensively, but I’m reasonably sure you can use them to number things and to cross-reference those things throughout your text; the advantage is that if you reorder the sections of your document, you don’t have to manually change the numbers to keep them in sequence.

Thanks a lot. Much obliged!

Since the whole principle of Scrivener is splitting up your text into little bits, each in its own document, then obviously, each of your tables can be the sole content of its own document, no matter how you get the table in there … import, copy and paste, use a PDF or other image type. In fact, that’s what I would do anyway.

Seriously, do go through the tutorial, it only takes about an hour and is an actual Scrivener project, so you will learn what Scrivener is all about. There are also videos on how to achieve certain things or use aspects of the app.

The first thing you need to do is to get it out of your head that Scrivener is a word-processor like Word. It’s not, and the sooner you stop expecting to use it the way one uses as word-processor, the sooner you’ll get into understanding and using it.



Thanks Mark. I see what you mean. I need to change my way of thinking a bit.
Thanks for the help with the transition.