How to Import a Book You Have Created in Word into Scrivener

Earlier this week, one of my students on my Scrivener course asked the question of how he could import a book he had created in Word into Scrivener.

His question was as follows:

I recently bought Scrivener, and I am looking forward to do my future writing on it. I have a question. Is there a way I can use my old stories and work on Scrivener?

I answered the student within the discussion area of the course, with the help of a series of screenshots, explaining how it was possible to import his old stories into Scrivener. However, I then decided that this topic merited an actual step-by-step walkthrough.

So please find below a video showing how to import a book created in Word into Scrivener:

TOP TIP: If you have yet to purchase Scrivener and are wondering what all the fuss is about, then make sure you read my blog post on “Scrivener and Why She’s A Self-published Author’s Best Friend”

For those of you interested in the answer I gave within the discussion area of my Scrivener course please see below:

In order to import the book that you have written in Word into Scrivener, you simply click on File and then Import and then Files, before selecting the Word file with your book and clicking on Import:

This basically imports the text of the book into a single file within Scrivener (as shown below), which you could then copy and paste into different files, chapter by chapter or scene by scene, as you see fit. However, this is probably not an ideal solution.

Personally, I prefer to use Scrivener’s Import and Split feature.

In order to use this, you will need to go into your Word file and mark the different chapters (or scenes) using a particular symbol. In this example I have used a hash tag (#).

You then import the book by clicking on File and then Import and then Import and Split, before selecting the Word file with your book and ensuring that the same symbol is used to signify where the document will be split (in this case a hashtag). You then click on Import:

Once the book has finished importing, all your chapters (or scenes) will be split into different files within Scrivener, as shown below:

You may also be interested in reading the article:
Scrivener and Why She’s A Self-published Author’s Best Friend

2 comments… add one
  • Anthony Mar 10, 2016, 7:37 am

    Hello David,
    Thanks for the tutorial. This is very helpful. One more question though; is there a way to bring in styles as well that may have been created in word? I have paragraph styles, chapter heading and subhead styles, block quotes, etc. all set up and looking nice in word. Can I bring them into Scrivener as well?

    • davidjamesault@gmail.com Mar 10, 2016, 8:51 am

      Hello Anthony,

      Thank you for your comments.

      Personally, I have never imported any styles from Word into Scrivener, only plain text, but my understanding is that Scrivener doesn’t actually support Word’s paragraph and character styles.

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