Issue with exporting Scrivener document to Word!

Dear Scrivener Community!

Does anybody know how to properly export a Scrivener text document into Word by keeping all italics, formatting etc. intact at the same time fitting itself into the Word document margins?

When I export a Scrivener text document as word file or even just copy/paste the text within the Scrivener document directly into a Word document, the text doesn’t fit into the margins of the Word document. The text leaks out of the right margin of the Word document. Please see screenshot attached below!

The only way I found around this is to “paste without formatting” but then I lose all my formatting and I’m using a lot of italics. It’s a nightmare to do it manually myself after exporting to Word.

I would just love to be able to go to File>Export>Files and then save it as Word. But what I get is what you see in the attached screenshot (see below).

I’m on a Mac running Sierra using Scrivener version 3.1.4 and Microsoft Word for Mac 2018 Version 16.16.16

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 11.18.10 AM.png

You should use Compile, not export.

I am having the same problem, and I AM using compile. I’d love to understand what I’m doing wrong. It’s very irritating to have to go through 200 pages to adjust the Word margin settings after I compile. It’s not even every paragraph - it’ll do it with a few, and then some will have appropriate margins, and then it will do it some more.

A very common cause of this problem is the presence of hidden tables in the Scrivener editor. You can un-hide them with the View -> Text Editing -> Show Invisibles command, and remove them with the Format -> Table -> Remove Table command.

If that’s not it, another possibility is that you’ve set different Section Layouts, with different indents.


I have the same problem on a PC (Version: - 14 Nov 2019). I didn’t find any tables in my documents. In the editor, the margins are set at 1 cm and 28 cm. I didn’t put them there, at least I don’t remember putting them there.

It seems that it’s this margin setting that carries over to Word.

In Word, I have margins at 2.5 cm and 16.5 cm. Which is kind of sensible for a normal A4 portrait page layout.

How can I avoid resetting the margins manually on a large number of documents. And how to I ensure that new documents use sensible margins for the page layout I use?

Thanks you for your help! – Chris.

Invisible tables were the problem - all fixed now.

Many thanks!

I have no idea how that would work with the Windows version of Scrivener. Sure, I can make invisible formatting visible. But how would I then find an spurious empty table? Do I have to scroll through my entire project of 37 chapters??? Other than in the Mac version, I couldn’t find a specific Search function.

Any ideas?

The first place to look for a spurious table would be at the location of the misformatted text.

Yes, of course the Windows version has a Search function. Have you looked on the Edit menu?


Well, all text is misformatted, in that the right margin is set wayyyyy to the right in comparison to Word. It is consistent. I have never added a table.

And the specific search function I am referring to is the ability to search for tables. Couldn’t find that in the Windows version.

Just to clarify: attached is a screenshot showing the rulers of Scrivener and MS Word next to each other. Both rulers are set to units of centimeter. The zoom in each application is set to 100%. The screen is a 4k monitor.

It is clear that the same screen distance is covered by 21 “cm” in Scrivener and 16 cm in Word. I put the unit in Scrivener between apostrophes because measuring with a real world ruler on screen, one real cm on my ruler corresponds to 0.7 Scrivener-cm. A Word-cm closely equals one real world cm.

When I increase the zoom factor in Scrivener to 175%, the right margin is at 17 cm. Exporting this to Word, I get a document in which the right margin is set at 15.25 cm, which is kind of OK. But this is totally confusing. I thought the zoom factor was only there for my convenience, i.e., to ease the eye. Instead, it has a direct influence on how things are getting exported. This is like changing the font size!

What gives? I’m totally confused. People are talking about hidden tables in this post, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem here.

Greetings and with a desperate plea for help, – Chris.

You are more likely to get relevant help if you post in ’Windows - technical support’ and not in the Mac part of the forum.