Please help me reorganize without losing anything

I started this book project—full speed ahead, and probably did not create my folders in the correct way. Please help me reorganize without losing things.
Instead of creating a folder and then putting pages under each one, I just started writing in the folder. I have confused myself, as now when I open a folder all of the copy is there, but if there is a sub document it shows up in the folder. So can I divide the folder without copying and pasting and taking the chance I will lose something? Any tutorials or videos would help.


Okay, I’m guessing the thing that is confusing is that you have some folders in this list (like “06- 3D printing”) that contain text content themselves. In Scrivener, a folder is really more like a text file with a different icon and a different default behaviour when you click on it. Folders will be default use the current group view mode, whereas text files and stacks of files (like the “Title Page” group) open as text initially.

However what happens when you click does not in any way dictate how you must work with that piece of the outline. You can click on a folder, see a Corkboard, and click the Corkboard icon in the toolbar to switch it off and view the text editor (which, incidentally, will be saved as a sort of soft “preference” for how you view all folders from then on, until you change it back to Corkboard or whatever you prefer). Likewise you can turn on the corkboard view for a single text file. It will be empty by default, but you can add cards here, turning the original text file into a text group. Unlike switching view modes on folders, this won’t change your view mode preference, it’s just a temporary thing—that’s the only major difference between files and folders while writing, in Scrivener, what happens when you click on them.

All right, as for the best way to disperse this text into subdocuments—that’s really up to you. It looks like you’ve already built out some outline in some of these, so it may be easier to just relocate the text into the outline items they pertain to. If you are nervous about copy and paste, you can always select the original text, right-click on it, and choose to append it to the target document, then remove it from the original once that is done. For folders that do not yet have subdocument breakdowns, you could just use the Documents/Split/ features to break out a file into multiple pieces.

Splitting documents into several pieces is my preferred way to do this. Once I’m done, I’ll just select the new documents that need to be sorted together into a logical section (like a chapter) and use the Documents/Group command to enclose them in a new folder.

Just a quick addendum to what Ioa said: it’s never a bad idea to take a backup (File -> Backup -> Backup Now) before embarking on a major reorganization. That way, no matter what happens, you can get back to your starting point.

And I definitely agree that splitting documents is a much better solution than cut and paste. Having a large chunk of material in limbo on the Clipboard is pretty much guaranteed to cause your power to fail. Split documents keep everything safe and sound on the hard disk. This is one of Scrivener’s most valuable features, imo.