Unique situation with Scrivener

Let’s say you’ve written a whole non fiction book and compiled it to a Word docx file. And suppose that you spent countless hours formatting the book in word to make it look perfect. Now suppose that in a few months time you decide that you needed to add and modify a lot of sections in the book. Now, if you go back to the original scrivener project and make a lot of modifications and then compile to a new Word docx file all the formatting you did a few months ago becomes useless and you have to do all that over again in addition to the new material you added or modified. So, how can you avoid this unnecessary formatting work duplication?

Once you have moved everything into Word, stay there.
Lesson to learn: don’t start working on layout etc until you are absolutely sure about the content.

In case like that, where you are thinking of future revisions to an already finished work, I think lunk has the right idea: the project has moved on out of Scrivener and unless it doesn’t take long to get back to where you were from it, there is little sense in using Scrivener just to make a few edits if you’re going to spend hours and hours on the layout again.

This isn’t really a unique situation. Any writer who chooses to write in two different tools will face a similar challenge, unless their usage is completely sequential.

I agree that this may be the point at which you leave Scrivener behind.

On the other hand, I’ve had editing projects so massive that I’d have become a mountain hermit rather than attempt them in Word. If that’s you, before you re-import to Scrivener, save your Word formatting as Styles, a formatting Template, and so on. That should allow you to at least partially preserve the work you’ve already done and make it much easier to re-export.


You mean I should save the formatting as individual styles in word? How would this make it easier to re-export from scrivener? Is there a tutorial on this process? thanks.

In Word, assign styles to your unique formatting.

When you import to Scrivener, don’t allow Scrivener to change the formatting. Compile back out “As-Is.”

Use Word’s Find by Formatting feature to locate the formatted text and re-assign the styles you want.


Ok. That makes sense. I’ll give it a try and report back if I have any issues. Thanks.