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Tech Tuesday: Split and merge in Scrivener

Have you ever created a long scene and then decided it should really be two scenes? Maybe there's a great hook in the middle, or you missed a time change. Or maybe you imported your MS from Word, and now it's one long scene that you need to break up into 80!

No matter why you need to do it, splitting scenes is amazingly simple in Scrivener. Here's how:

  1. Place your cursor within the text where you want the split to occur.
  2. Go to Documents–>Split–>At Selection.
  3. Scrivener moves all of the text after your cursor into a new file with the same label as the original plus “-1”. For example, if my scene were called To Doctor, the section I split off would become To Doctor-1.

Voila! Scenes split. If you're splitting a large amount of text into many scenes, it's worth learning the shortcut for Split, which is Command+K (Mac) or Ctrl+K (Windows).

Okay, but let's say you wrote two scenes and they really should be one. Or you split a scene five months ago and you want to merge it back together. No sweat. Just use the Merge feature:

  1. Select the scenes you want to merge.
    – use Shift+click for contiguous scenes
    – use Command+click (Mac) or Ctrl+click (Windows) for non-contiguous scenes
  2. Go to Documents–>Merge.
  3. Scrivener merges all of the scenes into the top selection, in order from top to bottom. So, if you merged Scene 1, Scene 2, and Scene 14, all of the text would be moved to Scene 1 (in order).

That's it! If you like shortcuts, you'll find them on the menu. The one for Merge is Shift+Command+M (Mac) or Ctrl+M (Windows).

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

[Edited 6/16/14]

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