Round-tripping from Scrivener-to-Word-and-Back ?

Hi, (Searched the boards for a simple solution for this, but couldn’t find it…)

I’ve writing a book and have my binder divided into Folders with multiple documents inside each folder. My editor insists on working in MS Word. He wants a file that has headings so he can view it in outline mode in MS Word. And he wants to be able to make comments using the Comments feature in Word.

Is there a (relatively) simple method for sending my work back and forth to him which would allow me to continue to work in Scrivener and be able to read his comments? He would prefer one long file, but would probably accept multiple files based on my Folders, with sections within each file based on my individual documents.

Eventually I’ll have to abandon Scrivener when he starts using Words revision tools…

Suggestions greatly appreciated!

Hopefully someone experienced can answer.

In the meantime, here’s my naive thoughts… which may well be wrong…

There might or might not be something useful in the following thread.
Pay attention to AmberV’s notes. Disregard mine.

Scrivener will let you export and compile in Word and other formats. You can do some tweaking in compile (for example, see File > Compile> Separators) that might facilitate this.
You can do splitting during import (File > Import > Import and Split) that might facilitate this.

It’s possible that the current state of things are that, technically (lack of robust round-trip capability or less editorial markup support in Scrivener(?)), it may be best to just stay with Word once things have reached this point…

Or you may be in a situation (submitting to a publisher’s editor or having to satisfy a particular editor that you really want to work with) that leaves you no choice.

Then again, things change… and it may be time to push for editors to begin working in Scrivener… particularly if they work for you (i.e. you are paying them). If Scrivener is new to them, they may resist… or possibly want/need to charge more.

It would be interesting to see what a good experienced editor, skilled in both Word and Scrivener as an editorial tool, would have to say on the subject.

There’s always the scenario of putting Scrivener and Word up alongside each other on the screen and manually reviewing and recreating the editorial markups/changes (presumably captured in “track changes”) from the Word doc in the Scriv project. … l-process/

Here are a couple of other folks thoughts… … 0622#10622 … -for-word/

Whether or not I’m a good editor is subjective, but at 30 years and counting, I’m at least experienced.

I use Scrivener for every aspect of the magazine I edit, from reading manuscript submissions and sending the authors edited copy for review, to the final transmission to Production where it’s converted to InDesign. But because, like it or not, Word’s .doc format (and increasingly .docx) is the lingua franca of publishing, all those things happen as Word files exported from Scrivener. I’ve never had an author mention using Scrivener, though I know several of them do. As our (and practically everyone else’s) submissions guidelines say, “we accept digital files only as .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt.”

I’ve never liked Word’s track changes feature–to me, it creates more problems than it solves–so I have authors work on a .doc file I send them (created from Scrivener), with instructions to highlight and bold-face all new text, and highlight and underscore all text they want cut. Then I transfer their changes, or the ones that work, at least, to the working document in Scrivener.

But this is just me. I’m the boss, I’m only publishing 50 freelance essays/short stories a year plus 49 columns from seven columnists, and I can do what I like. But in a more corporate environment, you would need to be a very powerful writer indeed to get an editor to shift to a different platform merely to accommodate one of what will be, in an average year, maybe 20-30 books edited. To buy, install, and learn a whole new program for each writer? That would take a remarkable editor indeed.

It’s worth a shot, of course. All they can say is No. And some, who’re lucky enough to make their own calls, may well take Scrivener for a test drive. Except for the revision marks conundrum (which, when I work with other editors and my own writing, I deal with by using Apple Pages), some editors in a non-rigid publishing environment will find Scrivener a much better way of managing everything from the slush pile to author back-and-forths than a less mission-specific tool like Word.

My advice, for what little it’s worth:

Take the word document, “accept” all the changes and then import the Word document into Scrivener (this should preserve the comments). Split the editor so you can view the imported Word document and your main binder side-by-side. Take a snapshot of each scene in Scrivener, then copy & paste each scene to the appropriate Scrivener document, overwriting the text there (I suggest using Paste & Match Style). Then expand the snapshot view and use the Compare feature to highlight the changes. If there are any changes you don’t want, copy them back out of the snapshot and put them into the working copy of the scene. If you don’t like ANY of the changes, restore the snapshot. If you do like the changes… then you’re done with that scene. Mark each document with a Status indicating that you’re done with that round of edits (“3rd draft done”, for instance). If your initial snapshots are all titled to indicate they came just prior to that particular round of edits, then it’ll be easy to see how things have changed over the course of your revisions.

Once you’re done with the compare, and you’ve confirmed that the comments are successfully copied over, then you can dispose of the imported Word document version of your manuscript.

Well, I mentioned Scrivener to my editor and now he refuses to use anything else. So there’s always hope.

But barring that, it really depends on what stage the manuscript is in. If you’re down to adjusting commas and individual sentences, then pulling it back into Scrivener probably isn’t worth the effort. But if you’re still moving sections around, Word is horrible enough to be worth quite a bit of trouble to avoid.

I like robertguthrie’s approach, except that I would use the Import and Split command to re-import the Word file. I also tend to ignore previous versions: I don’t care how the current draft differs, I want to evaluate it on its own terms.


My suggestion, though, was to bypass using Track Changes, so snapshots & the compare function on the Mac version (which the OP seems to use) would be necessary to spot every change suggested by the editor. Splitting on import wouldn’t be a bad idea, but since the manuscript is organized in folders & files, it still might not split on a one-for-one basis, so I figure it’s less confusing to just copy and paste as you go.

I think Robert’s approach (to be henceforth known as ‘The Guthrie Procedure’?) is a good one (and FWIW I’ve consigned it to a reference folder).

If I’m going to have a procedure named after me, I demand that it rhyme! Or uses alliteration. Or Haiku.

Edit: Or an acronym derived from a Haiku would be acceptable. Bonus points if the acronym rhymes. :unamused:

TGPTGP - The Guthrie Procedure to Garner Productivity
TGPPGT - The Guthrie Procedure Preserving Grander Themes
TGPPPP - The Guthrie Procedure Processing Proffered Prose

Haiku is tough since we start from a 6 syl mandatory phrase…
The Guthrie Procedure
Preserving editor notes
Saves your sanity

The Guthrie Procedure
Is never in doubt
Often error

I have too much time
so The Guthrie Procedure
I attempt to rhyme.

I went back and forth with my supervisors with several individual chapters, and then a few full versions, of my thesis. I tried many methods (although sadly not The Guthrie Procedure). Because I did not want to simply accept all my supervisors’ recommendations, I would import their edited and commented Word documents into my Research folder either as-is or as PDFs (PDFs allowed me to preserve the visual look of their versions). PRO TIP: if importing as a Word document, highlight all their changes (or simply change font colour) so that they are visible after importing to Scrivener. Comments will import as annotations.
After importing, I would then work in split screen mode, with their version in one window and mine in the other, as I reviewed their suggestions. This meant I read through my manuscript, every word, twice as I compared the two versions. While not fun (certainly not fun), this was incredibly helpful as I picked things my supervisors (and later, volunteer editors) missed and was sometimes able to see why they had missed things that otherwise seemed so clear to me.
I love split screen for editing… :slight_smile:

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I prefer “The Guthrie Protocol.” :upside_down_face: