Scrivener for Me?

Have just spent 2 hrs in tutorial & experimenting & still not sure. I need a tool to export my word docs into rtf and/or pdf for submitting to editors. Currently I use a Mac OS X 10.4.11 and whenever I export docs on it, it loses my headers and formatting.
Questions: Can Scrivener do this? So far I can’t even figure out how to CREATE a header in it, let alone preserve it. I’ve gone into Compile and its options, but it’s all Greek to me…
Please, I have other things to do. My children are getting hungry for their supper.

All you need to do is convert a Word .doc file to .rtf? Maybe just try It’s a free word processor that does a good job of this. Scrivener isn’t really a word processor, and in fact for most things the best format for it is RTF, not .doc, so you’d be going the wrong way around with it—lost formatting as you noted.

What the program addresses is the period of time before you need a word processor. We’ve all been using word processors for the whole writing process rather than just the formatting and finishing. Scrivener provides a more comfortable and powerful interface for the content part of the job. Since for most writers, generating content is 99.9% of the job, it makes sense to find the most flexible and creatively conducive environment as possible.

Hi, maidentheshadec,

I suggest you go get your kids dinner first. Hungry children are not conducive to a peaceful writing environment. :wink:

If all you’re looking for is a way to convert already finished manuscripts to another format, Scrivener is not what you need. It is a fantastic writing and organizing tool, and has a powerful compiler that can export to many formats, but it is not a layout manager and is intended for the earlier stages of working with your draft. It is possible to set up headings when you compile, but you’re not going to be converting pre-existing ones that way but rather making new ones, and if you’re trying to do anything particularly complicated with them or other layout options (such as section headers), you really need a dedicated layout tool. If you don’t have a word processor like Word or Nisus Writer Pro on your Mac, you could try downloading OpeOffice for free.

So at this stage, I wouldn’t recommend Scrivener for you–it sounds like you’re already at the point where generally people transfer their work out of Scrivener, either to send directly to an editor or to do the final formatting in another program. When you start your next manuscript, you may want to look at it more–the tools Scrivener offers for building your draft will be much more relevant to you then and the tutorial may make a bit more sense. And we’re always happy to help on the forums.

Best of luck with submitting your draft!

EDIT: Haha, double answer! I’m so good at getting delayed in the middle of posting…