Is there a good way to move documents from Google docs into Scrivener?

Hello, I’m testing out Scrivener because its features - specifically the binder - are very useful in organizing my writing. Thing is, most of my writing is done in Google Docs because of the collaboration features. I prefer writing in Scrivener, but I can’t find a good way to sync or transfer data between the two.

Moving stuff OUT of Scrivener is easy - I just compile as a word doc, then upload the word doc into docs. Even if the word doc is too large for word to open, Scrivener still compiles it and docs still accepts it. The problem is specifically moving things from Google Docs into Scrivener. I naturally want to import edits my co-authors have done into Scrivener, but there isn’t a good way to do so.

Export Doc as word (or anything else), then import that into Scrivener
There are two issues with this - first, the resulting word document can be massive - so large in fact that Scrivener cannot import it! Second, when Scrivener does actually import the document, it strips out all the images, meaning they will of course still be gone when I try to upload my edits and additions back to the docs version. Re-adding them every time manually takes far too long to be a practical option.

I know someone is going to suggest altering my workflow to add all the images at the end. But the document is an ongoing collaboration. I can’t tell all my collaborators to not insert their images until the end because it suits MY workflow better - they all have their own workflows.

Copy paste the text/images from Google Docs into Scrivener
I realize this is a problem with how the browser sends the data to the clipboard (as opposed to an issue with Scrivener or Docs), but seldom does the formatting of the text copy properly, and I end up wasting time correcting it. Same thing with the images - any scaling or cropping applied in docs does not carry over, and Scrivener’s cropping is apparently non-existent, so I can’t fix it myself every time even if I wanted to.

That appears to be it for transfer. I can’t see any other way to update changes on docs in Scrivener. Is there a better way?

Just how large is this document?

Have you tried opening it in either Word itself or another editor that can open Word files? Scrivener shouldn’t need to strip images, so there may be something odd about the Google Docs export.

In word count, not really that much. Most of our documents are between 20,000 to 30,000 words. I’m thinking it’s file size that’s the problem, but Google Drive doesn’t show file sizes of Google Docs.

Word will open it if it’s under the 512 MB limit. Word pad doesn’t seem to have this limit, though. Still, maybe the export does to something odd that Scrivener doesn’t like?

Google Drive may not show you the file size, but Windows Explorer will.

To confirm that the file size really is the problem, create a smaller chunk – say 3,000 words or so – using whatever tool is convenient. Does that import to Scrivener successfully?

The most recent document was 373MB in size. It would not import, presumably because of the file size.

Editing a copy down to 24 MB in another editor allowed it to import, but again only the text, no images.

Is it possible there’s a certain type of image that Scrivener doesn’t like that’s triggering the removal?


Please create a test document directly in Word, with placeholder text and a couple of images. Does that import successfully?

If not, please open a support ticket, here:

and attach a copy of the test file.

Just tried it. I created a new document directly in word. Nothing but placeholder text and two images - one a screenshot of your post and the other some dollar signs with a circle and a line through them I drew in paint. File size was measured in KB.

Text imported, images did not.

I went ahead and sent that ticket.