Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter / Yoga Instructor

How To Export Documents From Scrivener

Scrivener Export

Let’s look at how you can export files from Scrivener.

Since Scrivener can hold many documents inside one project, you will want to export one or more of those documents from time to time to hand it to other people who don’t use Scrivener.

And even if they do use Scrivener, you might not want to hand over all your notes and research documents, but rather just one document, or a selection of document that is specifically for them.

Exporting vs. Compiling

Let me say one thing here about the difference between exporting and compiling.

Because what you will maybe do most of the time later, to get stuff out of Scrivener, is compile documents, rather than just export them.

The difference is that compiling strings together a selection of documents and creates a completely new document out of them, which can look very different from what you see in Scrivener. We will talk about the compiler in other videos because it can do so much that it deserves to be looked at closely.

Whereas exporting refers to exporting one document mostly out of Scrivener and converting it into another format. And although you can export several projects at once, Scrivener will not attempt to create one new document out of those, it will just take those documents and convert each one of them into the format you specify.

Exporting Files

So, let’s look at how this works.

With any file selected in the binder, go to “File – Export – Files…”.

I think this process doesn’t need too much explanation, it’s a simple file operation, basically very similar to the “Save As” command you have in most programs.

In terms of formats to export, you can choose:

  • RTF – Rich Text Format
  • RTFD – Rich Text With Attacments
  • DOC/DOCX – Microsoft Word
  • ODT – Open Text Document
  • HTML – Web Page
  • FDX – Final Draft Screenplay
  • Fountain – Screenplay Format
  • TXT – Simple Text
  • MultiMarkdown

If you don’t know what all of these are right now don’t worry, just pick the one you know and need. We’ll go through most of them in its own section.

If you want to export to Microsoft Word, which probably many of you will, this is the simplest option to do that. Just choose DOC or DOCX here and export.

Below, you see some options.

Again, what each of those do exactly will be covered in other videos because these refer to other Scrivener functions.

But you can choose which Metadata to export, and in terms of options you can choose whether you want to export subdocuments also, if you want to number the exported files, and if you want to remove comments and annotations in your export.

Exporting OPML Files

Then, let’s look at the other options in the Export menu.

You can also export to OPML format, that is a format that can be read by many outlining applications, because it can save document hierarchies. So, if you want to do outlining in another program and that program can import OPML files, try exporting your whole binder, or the part of your binder that you want to see in the outlining program with this. Just select the documents and export them.

You get a couple of options to choose from, depending on what kind of content you want to export here.

Exporting as CSV

You can export the contents of the outliner as CSV.

If you don’t know what the outliner is, it’s the third view mode button at the top if you click that you get a hierarchical view of the contents of the binder, and you can display and edit a lot of information about your documents.

If you want to know more about it look for the video that explains the outliner.

In case you don’t know what a CSV file is, CSV stands for “Comma Seperated Values” and it’s a text file format that can be read and written by spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel, Google Spradsheets and the like.

Exporting Comments & Annotations

Then, you can export comments and annotations only, if you want to have them on an extra document.

Again, if at this point you don’t know too much yet about comments and annotations, don’t worry about it too much for now.

You get a few export options here, you can choose to export comments and annotations for selected documents only, include the titles, and include links back to Scrivener.

This is actually a nice feature, this places a link in the exported document that opens the document inside Scrivener that the comments and annotations belong to if you click it.

Exporting Scrivener 2 Project

Alright, we’re almost done, the last format for export that you can use is “Scrivener 2 Project”. This exists because from Scrivener 3 on, the Scrivener project format changed because of a lot of changes and adhancements that they made for version 3. So, in case you want to exchange projects with some one or with another device that only runs Scrivener 2, you need to use that export function so that it can be opened on Scrivener 2 by the other person or on the other device.