Paragraphs lose formatting on import of word doc into scrivener

Hi, When I use Scrivener’s import function (any of them, including import and split), all text comes in without any formatting at all, other than paragraph breaks. No indents, no double space, no italics when they were there, etc. And, importantly: no comments.

There should be nothing to this. You see it done in videos – and I even did a test on my own at some point.

Any ideas about why this is happening?

I’ve tried a lot of random things: deleted headers; turned section breaks that were breaking chapters into page breaks; copied text with all formatting into a blank document, and tried importing that. I also created a fresh Scrivener document to import into. No go.

Thanks in advance for the help

Is it a DOC or DOCX file?

What version of Scrivener do you have?

Have you tried dragging & dropping the document directly into the Binder? This will automatically invoke the import function Scrivener thinks is the appropriate thing for that file.

Trying this will helpfully remove from the troubleshooting equation the possibility of user error. :wink:


Hi, Kewms,

It’s a DOCX file. Version 3.2.3


I narrowed down the problem - and found a solution. In case anyone else has this issue, here were my steps to figure it out and do a workaround:

  1. First, I identified that the problem was with my Word doc, not with Scrivener by creating a test word doc with some formatting and a comment, and it imported flawlessly.
  2. I created blank scenes in Scrivener and copied the text from each chapter in Word into each of those scenes, instead of importing. The text came in with the comments intact. It even had the first paragraph without an indent, which is how I had it in word.

One thing of note: I believe that the problem was with the last paragraph of each chapter, which had a separate formatting attached to it. I’d gone through and thought I fixed that paragraph by paragraph, in each chapter, but I guess it didn’t stick.

The reason I know this was the culprit is that when I copied and pasted the word material into empty chapters, the final paragraph came in without the right formatting. That was easily fixed inside Scrivener.

Kewms, gr, that’s so much for the help you offered.

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Are you using the Heading 1… styles in Word to establish your structure? Scrivener will only look at those to establish the structure during auto-splitting. I had that issue the first time I tried it. I also have found that ODT files import and split better that DOC/DOCX.

(later note)
See you have fixed it. Obviously was not what I thought.

Glad to hear you’ve resolved the problem.

To help us improve our converter, would it be possible to send one of the problem paragraphs and a link to this thread to our support address?