scrivener split screen

Scrivener: Import Documents and Files

Throughout this ongoing series on Scrivener so far, you’ve been experimenting with a blank project. I highly recommend my students learn first with a blank project so they can screw it up and experiment thoroughly before they start importing their own writing. Few listen. Either way, it’s time to talk about how to import your writing into Scrivener, and practice first on your experimental project.

There are two ways to get your content into Scrivener.

You can copy and paste from your word processor. Take care doing this as it will often bring in code and formatting that you might wish to remove later. You can also import the content directly into Scrivener.

We will cover both methods, but to do this right (or at least wiser), start with formatting a blank Scrivener project.

Remember, importing your writing into Scrivener makes a copy of the original files. It does not modify them. They remain untouched. Save them off your computer in a protected and secure place as backups.

Formatting a New Project

Go to Tools > Options > Editor.

Scrivener - Options - Editor - Interface - Lorelle

This is where you format Scrivener for what you will use on the screen. This is NOT how the document will look when published. Get that thought out of your head immediately.

The Editor creates your writing environment. How do you wish to write? Single spaced lines? Double spaced? Wide margins? Narrow? Indented paragraphs? Not? Large fonts? Serif or sans-serif fonts?

With the Editor, you can set up a writing environment the way you wish to write. When the writing is compiled (exported), you may control the end result there.

Changing the formatting of the Editor is best done before you add your writing. It applies only to new documents, not previous ones. I’ll cover how to fix the older styles and formatting in another tutorial. (more…)

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Scrivener: Split Screen Feature

In this ongoing series on Scrivener, the powerful writing software tool, I’ve been helping you learn about the basic features of Scrivener including the organizational benefits of Scrivener, starting a blank Scrivener project, and tips on how to use the Scrivener Research section in the Binder. This tutorial is about one of the powerful features of Scrivener, the split screen.

Many of us use white boards, sticky posts, notebooks, scratch paper, even napkins for our notes and ideas. We create storyboards with pictures of our characters tapped to them along with maps, drawings, photographs of places and things, and all the bits and pieces of visual information we use to write our stories. In Scrivener, there are many ways to duplicate that same process.

Using the Split Screen in Scrivener

Scrivener - Split Screen buttons on interface - Lorelle VanFossenIn the test Scrivener project you’ve been experimenting with, let’s pretend that you are writing your draft novel in it and you wish to refer back to a detail in a scene you wrote in Chapter 1 from Chapter 2.

Click on one of the Chapter 2 scene sections you created in the tutorial on creating folders and files or chapters and sections in Scrivener.

Where the title is above the content area and below the toolbar, look to the far right. You will see a down arrow, up arrow, and two split boxes.

Click the box with a split down the middle.

This is the vertical split screen view. You should see two versions of the same text file. (more…)