Importing Word file of entire novel

I want to do a rewrite of an existing novel. My designer will convert my existing pdf file (print version) back into Word. From there, when I import, is there a way to have it put my chapters into folders vs ‘scenes’, or do I have to create 60 folders and drag the scenes into each folder. Most of my chapters are short and I have one scene, maybe two, per chapter.

Probably many ways to approach this … what I would do is

  • create a new project
  • drag the docx file into the “draft” part of the binder. This puts the entire novel into one Scrivener document.
  • start at the top and at the start of each of your chapters, use the Menu → Document → Split → at Selection (take note of the hot keys) and split the document into individual douments for each chapter. Then go into each chapter and do the same to spit each scene into a new document.
  • in the binder move the scenes documents in each chapter to be subordinate to it’s chapter document
  • if appropriate, do same for spitting up scenes into subordinate Scrivener documents.

Once you get a rhythm down using the hot keys, should go fast.

Others may have other ideas. I think splitting is probably covered in the Scrivener Manual.

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It depends on how the converted Word document is set up.

If the headings for Chapters and Scenes are both using styles (e.g. Heading 1 and Heading 2), then all you should need to do is to use File > Import > Import and Split. When you select the Word document to import in the file dialogue, you should see the option to ‘Split using the document’s outline structure’.

This will (not surprisingly!) import the document into the binder, creating a new binder document for each Chapter and Scene, with the scenes as children of the chapters to reflect your structure and the titles completed. Make sure you tick ‘Remove the first lines when splitting by outline’ so that the chapter titles are removed from the text – you don’t need them as they will automatically be added in compile.

So the first thing to test is just to Import and Split the Word Document with those two options (use the outline structure, and remove the first lines). That should get you much closer to the desired result, even if you have to make a few manual changes to tidy up later.

E.g. if your initial document has Heading 1 for Chapters, but not scene titles/styles, it’s still worth doing import and split as a starter to get the chapters in, then using @rms’s manual process in the post above to do the final split into scenes.

BTW, it’s still possible to use import and split even if your Word document doesn’t use styles, but it’s a little more complicated, involved a lot of Search and Replace with styles, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it… :grinning:


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