Scrivener and Other Writing Tutorials, Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

Scrivener Basics | Import Your Non-fiction Manuscript From Microsoft Word Split into Chapters

If you want to import non-fiction from Microsoft Word, you first need to set up Styles inside Microsoft Word to define the document’s hirarchy.

1. Select the Draft/Manuscript folder in Scrivener's Binder because this is where you want your document to land when you import it. 

Open your non-fiction document in Microsoft Word and make sure the sidebar is open at the List tab. That’s Main Menu > View > Sidebar > Navigation.

A non-fiction manuscript is likely to require more folder levels than a novel so instead of applying hash signs where you want the document split it is better to assign Microsoft Word Styles to the document in the first place.


I will demonstrate using a non-fiction book which comes in two parts.


  1. The very first heading will be the name of the entire book so I have clicked inside its heading in the editing window and assigned a Heading 1 style to it.
  2. The second level of documents have a Heading 2 assigned to them.
  3. The third level of documents have a Heading 3 assigned to them.

Save your changes in MS Word.


Back in Scrivener go to Main Menu > File > Import > Import and Split.

  1. Navigate to the file you just saved.
  2. Toggle on the Split using document’s outline structure radio button.
  3. Decide if you want to Remove first line of text when splitting by outline. I will toggle this on.
  4. Click on Import.

Your manuscript imports directly into Scrivener's Draft/Manuscript folder in the Binder with a new file for each of the titles you assigned styles to, pulling their titles in from Microsoft Word. 


  1. Heading 1 style created the top level file which in this case is the book title.
  2. Heading 2 style created the Part level documents.
  3. Heading 3 created the Chapter level documents.
  4. Note that if I had not selected Remove first line of text when splitting by outline, the titles would have been duplicated beween each scene within the text in the Editor. 

If you don’t include the titles in the Editor you have to choose the option in the Compile menu that pulls your folder and file titles in from the Binder as headings when you export or print.

Convert files to folders in the Binder by right clicking on them and choosing Convert to… from the dropdown menu

View Details
Buy Now
Sold Out