Word document comments

I’m about to start writing up my PhD thesis and want to use Scrivener, but I’m a bit worried about integrations with Word. I will likely send off sections to have them reviewed multiple times. My supervisor leaves comments on Word. Would I need to address the comments in Word, then copy and paste back into scrivener?

When I do that sort of stuff, I try to avoid messing with the technology and follow this authoring practice.

  1. Compile the document in the reviewer’s preferred format. Word is commonly preferred as it has a really nice commenting and revision tracking system.

  2. When the commented document is received, open a renamed copy of that (keeping the reviewer’s comments secure in a seperate document … might import into Scrivener Research section to retain easily) in that app and put in a Window on my left hand second screen (or in the left 1/2 of a single screen MacBook). Scrivener in the right side (or main screen)

  3. Review the comments and any revisions suggested by the reviewer. Accepted revisions and comments are put into the Scrivener manually. Rejected revisions are not put in Scrivener, but put back into the reviewer’s comments (copy of) as explanations of why rejected. Send back to reviewer.

  4. Rinse and repeat.

Hi Louise, welcome…

To answer your question—with a disclaimer… I don’t have Word, if your supervisor inserts comments they should re-import to Scrivener without problem. If s/he uses change tracking, you’ll need to deal with those before re-importing to Scrivener.

To add to what @rms has said:

  1. when renaming the imported copy, just add the date to the beginning of the name, as that way you know which is the latest version—note, Scrivener only opens the files on disk for the document you’re actually working on and only automatically saves changes as you pause, so you needn’t worry about the size of the project except if it’s taking a long time to produce and save the back-up.

  2. Set Scrivener to back up on either close or open—some people set both, but I think it’s pointless as the two back-ups would be the same and it means extra time spent while Scrivener does its work; I back up on close as I don’t want to sit around while scrivener is backing up while I want to get to work—make the back-ups zipped with the date in the filename and set it to save to the cloud service of your choice.

  3. Increase the number of backups to more than the default 5 for safety’s sake.

  4. Take a snapshot of each document before you start revising it. But keep an eye on the number of snapshots and regularly prune old ones which you no longer need, as they can grow your project substantially, adding to time taken in backing up.

  5. Check out “Format → Revision Mode”.

  6. Use a good bibliography manager and set it up in “Scrivener Preferences → General → Citations” to give you Cmd-Y access back and forth. My preferred reference manager is Bookends, but there are others and your university may well provide you with one.

Apart from that, try to persuade your supervisor to use Scrivener, so you can simoly share the project with him! :grin:


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