Publishing To Word best practices

I’d like to ask what workflows people here use for writing in Scrivener on a Mac and sending to publishers in Word. I know that Scrivener is very capable but there are so many options I don’t know which is best.

Kind Regards

It’s really hard to say without knowing how you prefer to work and what your publisher’s requirements are.

I generally compile pretty much “as is,” and so what my editor gets looks more or less identical to what I see on the screen. But if your publisher has very exacting formatting requirements and/or their requirements make your eyes bleed, you’ll need to do a bit more. If you’re trying to produce “photo-ready” output and have a lot of complex formatting, you’ll need to do even more than that.


Hi Katherine,

Would you be able to post a screen shot of your Compile preferences for Word? I just need some kind of guideline. Do you do any post processing in another Word compatible application?

Kind Regards

Note that I mostly write feature-length articles, not books. I’ll tend to keep multiple articles for a single client in one project.

  • Start with the Original preset.

  • In the Compile -> Contents pane, check the boxes for documents you want to include.

  • In the Compile -> Formatting pane, check the boxes for the text elements you want to include. The big decision here is whether to use your document titles as headings in your final manuscript. See Section 24.11 of the Scrivener Manual for a detailed discussion of this pane.

  • In the Compile -> Page Settings pane, set the Header and Footer information you want.

  • Look at the Compile -> Transformations and -> RTF Compatibility panes. You’ll probably want the same settings for most projects, so it’s worth saving your own preset for these if your choices are substantially different from the defaults. (See Section 24.5 in the Scrivener Manual to learn how to do this.)

  • Click Compile. The first couple of times, you’ll want to open the output document to confirm you have what you want, but I rarely bother now unless there’s some kind of unusual formatting.