Importing Tables


I’m currently trialling Scrivener and like it a lot. I’ve set up a trial project importing some small files and research notes. Most are going well but I have a lot of tables and these are causing me no end of problems. It doesn’t seem to matter what format they’re in (.doc/rtf/.docx) when I import them they’re garbled. I tried making a new small file of my own. I did one of 2x3, saved in RTF and imported it. It was fine. So then I did another one 2X25 but when I imported that it was gibberish. Any thoughts? (I’m pretty sure I’ll buy Scrivener anyway but I’d really, really like to be able to have my tables in place too!)

thanks very much


Thanks for trying Scrivener.

How does TextEdit handle these files? Try opening one of the ones that gets garbled in Scrivener in TextEdit - does that garble it too? I ask because Scrivener uses the built-in OS X text system (which admittedly has only very poor tables support). If TextEdit handles them okay, though, then presumably it is something going on in Scrivener, in which case send me a sample file that causes problems when imported to support AT literatureandlatte DOT com.


Scrivener uses Apple’s text engine for tables and this is very flawed. My suggestion-which I’ve posted elsewhere:

  1. Write your tables in word or Nisus–whatever will be the program for final formatting. Save them as individual document, preferably in rtf format. I keep these in the same work folder as the Scrivener project.

  2. Link these as document or project references.

  3. Copy them into Scrivener documents; do not try to edit them in Scrivener. They serve as place holders more than anything else.

  4. When you do the final compile draft, delete the tables you pasted into Scrivener from the compiled rtf or Word document. Finally, copy the “real” rtf or .doc tables in their places.



Thank you both. The suggestion you made is a good one Steve, especially for the cumbersome tables.

I have to apologise, though, because I realise that although I had saved the files in the diferent formats I hadn’t appended the file type to the file name which I think is probably a rookie mistake. (How, I don’t know as it had been selected for my written files.) So once I manually added .doc etc to the filenames they imported just fine.

You will be getting my order shortly!