#Scrivener vs. #MicrosoftWord

Recently, in my post To Scrivener or Not, I talked about using Scrivener, then switching back to Word. In the comments of that post, I was challenged by author Tammy Dennings Maggy to continue giving Scrivener a try. I will. The jury is still out, but I’ll have to play with it as I can find time. For now, I’m still using Word, utilizing its Document Map feature and bringing in my character pictures using the Side by Side view feature. 

Margery Scott also requested I blog on how to document map in Word and keep my character pictures in view at the same time. So, that’s what this post is all about. 

In my opinion, document mapping is of most value to a writer when the entire manuscript is kept in a single file, just as Scrivener keeps all the chapters and scenes, research items, pictures, etc in a single “Binder.” In writing this, I’ve discovered I don’t know how of if I can keep the character photos open while working on the manuscript in Scrivener. They show when I have the character profile open. Perhaps someone out there can help me with that?


As a point of reference, I’m using Word 2007, so any instructions may be slightly different if you’re using another version. However, finding the features should be similar or can be found by clicking on the question mark button in the far right side of the toolbar. 

Creating an outline in Word
using the Document Map feature:

Just to be on the safe side, open a duplicate file for a current WIP and copy your work into it so you’re not playing with your original.  

In your menu bar, click on View, then in the Show/Hide section, click on Document Map. Now you should have an additional column to the left of your manuscript. Most likely there will be nothing in it. To create an outline or document map like the one shown below, you must format paragraphs slightly differently.  


To form a Document Map of my manuscript, I label Chapter headings as Outline Level 1 (found under Home, Paragraph, Indents and Spacing tab). The first paragraph of each scene I format as Outline Level 2 so that each scene shows under its respective chapter. (Note: You’ll want to format these after you’ve written past them, so that the formatting* isn’t carried on as you hit enter for a new paragraph.)

*I do my formatting using Styles I’ve created, based on my Manuscript style sheet to do this with one click, but I won’t cover that here. I can address that in another post if anyone needs me to.

Go through your manuscript and create your Document Map by adjusting the paragraph outline levels as needed.   

Bringing Character Photos Into View
Using Side by Side Feature

Don’t close your new manuscript file, but create a new file. I usually name this file something like “Reid-Erin_PICS.doc” Bring your character pictures into this file using the Insert, Picture commands. Arrange them as you like. Add names if you wish. I usually redo the side margins on this file to be only slightly larger than the photos. 

Now, go back to your manuscript file and click on the View tab. Under Window, click on View Side by Side. Synchronous Scrolling will automatically turn on too. Click it to turn it OFF. In this instance, we’re not comparing two files, so we don’t want the picture file to move.  

Your files will probably be equal widths. I arrange my pictures on the right side, and adjust the window size to just large enough for the pictures to be seen (see below). I also turn off the Doc Map in the photos file. Voila! This gives me room to see my entire manuscript, the Document Map, and the pictures simultaneously.


I’ve discovered that if I save these files in this configuration, they usually reopen in the same size/width, so I’m able to easily arrange them again using the side-by-side feature.

Additional tips:

If you don’t want to see the Document Map/Outline all the time, you can toggle it on/off using the View, Document Map commands.

If you don’t want so much detail, you can click on the minus sign button beside the Level One headings in the Document Map and the detail will disappear. To bring it back, click on the plus sign button.

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Any questions?

If you’d like a PDF of this tutorial to print out, let me know in the comments or e-mail me using my Contact form. Protect your privacy. There’s no need to post your e-mail within the comment if you’ve signed in with it.

About Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn

Carol Burnside is an award-winning author of "Sizzling romance with heart and humor." She almost always has a glass of sweet tea within arm's reach.
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2 Responses to #Scrivener vs. #MicrosoftWord

  1. I’m doing the edits on the novella from that week and I still haven’t picked Scrivener back up yet either. I got it loaded on my new computer but I just don’t have the time I need to devote to getting all the program’s assets learned.


  2. Susan Carlisle says:

    Impressive. You’ve shown me the document map before but I didn’t know about the picture ability.


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