Rich Text Outline to Scrivener Conversion

How do you get a rich text outline (eg Microsoft Word) into Scrivener? I tried a lot recently, for example, converted the rich text to MultiMarkdown with Unfortunately Scrivener 2.5 did not like the generated MMD files, no idea why :cry: .

Today I more or less stumbled into a solution, that I would like to share :smiley: :

  1. Copy the rich text outline in Word to the clipboard and paste it in an open Freeplane mindmap (I had the all new Freeplane 1.3.11).

  2. Save in Freeplane/Freemind format (*.mm) and/or export as OPML file, import it into Scrivener, done.

Works on Mac and Windows alike.


Thanks for sharing that tip with your fellow Scriveners!

Thanks for the tip. I found Scrivener after banging my head too long against Word’s outline tools.

I am trying the get my Word outline moved into Scrivener as document titles or something like this. The outline in Word is 37 pages long with 1100 items… hoping to automate this somehow into Scrivener. My Word doc is an outline using Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. to structure the content.

I’m only having partial success with this.

  • I select-all my outline in Word and paste it into a blank Freeplane map.
  • Freeplane makes a map structured exactly like my Word outline. Good, it seems, so far…
  • I save as .mm.
  • I import the .mm to Scrivener
  • I see an outline of unnamed and empty documents that seems to follow the structure of my imported Word outline.

I have tried both .mm and .opml from Freeplane. Using a raw file viewer I can see that the .mm file has my content embedded. The .opml file seems to have the structure but is missing my content and just has a bunch of <“outline text=”"/> and the top doc in Scrivener is titled “elbowarthros.opml”.

My total experience with Freeplane is only the hour of trying this and with Scrivener is about two days.

Any ideas on settings that could cause this? I couldn’t find any export options in Freeplane and tried all the import options in Scrivener.

I’m using Word/Office2013, freeplane 1.3.11 and Scrivener


In your position, I would operate through a text-based intermediary format or two. Specifically:

  1. Save the word doc as html, clean it up
  2. convert the html to markdown
  3. import the markdown file to scrivener.

this preserves all your hierarchical structure and your documents are named by the headings you already have. It is a good deal of work, though, to clean up the html that word typically produces. I have not used Word in awhile though, so maybe the newer versions have an option to save as clean html?

A simpler path would be to

  1. save the word doc as html, partial cleanup
  2. place a special character at the head of every heading (a character you do not use elsewhere)
  3. Import into scrivener, splitting at the character

this gives you a flat outline, all your documents are at the same level and to subordinate them you will have to work through the document by hand. But all your docs will have their names, and you can use the scrivener ‘Group’ function to combine and subordinate bunches at a time.

  • asotir

Could you just export the Word file as plain text? I don’t use Word or the other apps you’re using, but that’s how I clean up formatted text for posting on the web. Actually, I usually copy it into a plain text editor (IaWriter) and then paste from there into the web editor, but a plain text export would do the same thing, I think. Again, have never tried this with your workflow but it does work on .doc and .docx files for me.

Thanks for all the assistance.
I ended up just Shift-K and Ctrl-Shift-K splitting the one large document. It’s not that bad because I’m also cleaning up and reviewing the whole document at the same time.