Is there an easy way in Scrivener to convert a story

formatted as a short story to a novel format?


I don’t understand this question. A short story is just some text. You can copy that and put it anywhere.


During Compile, you can easily change most everything of the text.

Exactly what is it you want to do?

I want to go from a current short story format to a novel format without cutting and pasting a thousand times.

It’s still not clear exactly what you want to do. Scrivener can’t tell the difference between a short story, a novel, and a screenplay: from Scrivener’s point of view, it’s all just text. The supplied project templates are just starting points: the “novel” template doesn’t have anything that you couldn’t do from scratch on your own.

If you have a project that started out as a short story but is now a nearly finished novel, your best solution is probably going to be to use one of the book-oriented Compile Formats.

If you’re in the early stages, you could create a new “novel” project from Scrivener’s New Project dialogue, and simply drag your existing material from the old project to a new one.


You currently have a “short story”. This consists of words arranged in paragraphs. It may also include headings which, if it became a “novel”, would become the titles of chapters.

Scrivener allows you to make a selection and then split the document in two at that point. What was one file becomes two files. When I had a long piece that I wished to make into a book containing a series of chapters, I went through and clicked where I thought a “chapter” would end, and then split the piece at that point. To break apart one long piece (imported from Word if I remember correctly) into sixteen potential chapters, I only needed to click sixteen times. No copying and pasting was involved.

To make certain that I could backtrack, if I later decided that I had split it up wrongly, I imported the Word document twice. That way I had both the original all-in-one file AND the newly broken-apart chapters. If the original had been in Scrivener as a single “short story” then I would have achieved the same effect by duplicating it before start to split it apart.

Does this go any way towards helping you?

If it doesn’t them, like the others who have answered, I am not sure what difference you think you would expect to see once you had copied and pasted the current “short story” into a “novel” template. As Katherine said, a template is just a pre-made arrangement of standard Scrivener folders and files.

You can turn any template into any other template simply by adding or changing the content of the binder, and possibly some styles. It would help to know exactly what effect you want to achieve by changing the template, because then I think people would be able to explain how you could achieve what you want.

I assume the OP has a project that started out as a short story but which has spun out into a novel-length work, and is wondering how to manage it in Scrivener. I actually was searching for this same question myself and this thread was the first to pop up. I’ve got a project of my own in mind which I intend to begin as a short story, but which might take off into novel territory.

I appreciate the answers that have been given, it’s good to know it’s doable! Now to start writing…


By the way, the user manual addresses this topic directly, as it is a frequently asked question. Look up §5.4.2, Converting a Project to a Different Template.

There you will find that (a) as others have been saying here, it’s not really necessary in most cases, and (b) tools for migrating content around between projects. If you really do want to switch the shell of the project to what you get when you start with Novel, then you should find everything you need to do so.

Copy and paste between two Scrivener projects should, in nearly every case, not be the solution. At the very least you can drag and drop whole outlines from one binder to another. With a little preparation, that can even mean a very minimal loss of metadata and other things you might expect to lose, like internal cross-reference, bookmark networks, and so forth. For large scale migrations/merging, you can even use File ▸ Import ▸ Scrivener Project… to dump the entire binder from one project into another.

So, while strictly speaking this type of migration is rarely necessary—it’s also pretty painless if you really want to do it.

Exactly! Short story has morphed into a novel.

Well, now we both know how to address it, thanks to our more knowledgeable friends here. Good luck!