Even better export options

Export v1 brought you the ability to export as .docx, .pdf, .odt. This is a darn good start, but some of you have made some great suggestions as to how we can improve the export options:

  • Exporting individual chapters
  • Passing formatting options like paragraph indents across into the export
  • New chapters starting on a new page in exports

These are just some of them – please put your suggestions or thoughts in the comments below. Thank you.


This feature was proposed by a user!


25 replies
  1. Graham Brand says:

    A number of magazines still prefer RTF as the format for submission, and it would also be good if you could export to the clipboard.

    I think the export discussions are related to the pretty printing discussions, as it would be helpful to be able to have templates for export. For example, I may want to write in the nice proportional Serif font, but one magazine might want double-spaced, 12 point Courier, while another might want the story in plain text with additional line feeds between paragraphs, or in Times New Roman. (Bear in mind that you may make minor revisions between submissions, and without such a template you’d need to reformat in another word processor each time.)

  2. Graham Brand says:

    I’d also like to be able to export without chapter titles. For short stories, it would even be good to be able to have ‘chapters’ run on with just a line break, as I use them to separate out short sections rather than scenes or chapters.

    Ideally I’d like to have a set of export controls that would also apply to direct printing, which would include:

    Formatting options – fonts, point size, and line spacing for chapter titles and separately for body text. Paragraph indentation, additional line between paragraphs, curly vs straight quotes, double dash vs em dash.

    Separator options – line breaks, page breaks or particular characters to include between chapters (and other page sections if prefaces, epilogues and scenes are added).

    Include options – where each chapter, scene, preface, epilogue, notes section could be marked as include / exclude, with an option to also include any associated notes.

    Header/Footer options – header/footer text and page numbering.

    More important than that full list though, would be the ability to save templates of the preferences. Particularly with short stories, I find the need to tweak the output for each new magazine’s submission process.

  3. Morgan says:

    I think the most important upgrades to export system are options to exclude the chapter titles and have chapters either only numbered (“Chapter 1”, “Chapter 2” etc.) or just on a new line. As it is, I have no intention of naming my chapters and use the name field to describe the chapter content so I can find the one I want to edit easily, and including this description in the output only ‘spoilers’ the upcoming events.

    I would also really like to have exports to Google Drive in the native Google documents format and have a “current” version that gets updated every day instead of new dated versions being added each day in PDF. Up until I started using Novlr I was using Google docs to share my work with friends for comments and feedback and I would like to continue doing so, a native format export to Docs would enable this in advance of implementing any sharing features in Novlr which could be incredibly time consuming to develop.

    (Obviously the export options such as not including titles for chapters would have to apply to the Google Docs exports too!)

    • Graham Brand says:

      Wow. Native backup to an ongoing Google Docs document would be an extraordinary feature. That would be an incredible selling point, particularly for Chromebook users.

  4. Ryan M. Williams says:

    Yes, I think it’d be great to be able to export to the Google Docs format instead of PDF, ideally I’d like to specify the folder where the doc would go too. I’d also like to see a TXT/Markdown export option.

  5. Michael says:

    Exporting to standard manuscript submission formats would be useful (margins, spacing, fonts, headers, etc.) Maybe have export templates to choose from and the ability to modify.

    Another fun feature would be exporting to hardcover or paperback layout. This would give writers an idea of how their novel would layout and it would be a fun way to read your manuscript!

    • Clare says:

      Hi Michael. It’s great to know what you guys want with this feature and how we can develop it further so thanks for your suggestions!

  6. MG says:

    Right now with it set up to back up to google drive, each backup creates a new file. So my Novlr folder on my drive has over 100 files for what is only a handful of stories. Most of these are identical to one another because I’ve only been working on some of them. Google drive supports having multiple versions for a file that is stored on it so it would be nice if there was a way you could make it so that each time it backed up there it created a new version on the same file on the drive instead of creating a new file every time. I’m not sure how difficult that would be, but it would be nice if it is possible.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks MG. This is something we would have to look into to see if it’s possible but get where you’re coming from not wanting multiple files of the same document.

  7. Ryan M. Williams says:

    I wanted to chime in on the option to export individual chapters — that’d be great! Like others, one use I have for Novlr is to write stories and it’d be nice to be able to just export the chapter containing the story I want.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Ryan! Individual chapter exports will definitely be looked at as you say it would be a very useful feature for lots of people 🙂

  8. Graham Brand says:

    Please could passing italics to the export be made one of the top priorities?

    While things like font choice, double spacing and paragraph indenting are cosmetic, the presence of italics directly affects the meaning of a sentence. Exporting without them doesn’t fully save the text as it was intended.

  9. Jeannie says:

    when exporting to Doc files you’ve got to make it more agent/publisher friendly. I can write a whole novel in novlr but when I export it for my publisher it takes an extra 5 days to format it in a way that my publisher want’s it. Even if it’s as simple as being able to set up margins and add the header and footer automatically, standard manuscript requirements for writing submissions to publication. 1″ margins, 12pt fonts (with general formatting) header and footers, page numbers, double spaced. Until these basics are down, this tool will only be a secondary tool for writers who use scrivner, celtx, or Word professionally.

  10. Daniel says:

    With the new scenes feature, I like to label my scenes something obvious so I can recall what the scene actually contains. However, I don’t want these labels to appear in the exported version, but I do want the scenes to be obviously divided. I think typical manuscript guidelines dictate scene breaks should be identified by a row of three asterisks or some such thing. Could you design it so that this is automatically included, but scene titles are not? Other Novlrs, does that sound right to you?

    • Clare says:

      Hi Daniel, thanks so much for your comments – they are really useful for future iterations of each of these features for when we get round to revising them 🙂

  11. Matt Wilkinson says:

    Could you implement an option to choose text separators now that we have scenes in chapters? Maybe let us upload a simple image?

    • Clare says:

      Hey Matt, being able to upload an image has been requested by a few users so is on our consideration list at the moment 🙂

  12. Laura S says:

    I echo the above sentiments.
    I have praised Novlr high and low the last year as a tool that allows you to write without distractions but now that I am subbing to agents and editors I find that I am frustrated beyond reason. I am spending several weeks to format an entire novel into basic form ( indent, paragraph, spacing, type, font, size). Why can we not do this natively and have those items export with the document. As it stands I may cancel my subscription and keep looking for another tool to write with as this has killed my writing momentum.

  13. Kev Partner says:

    My request is, I think, a simple one. It would make the .docx export so much more useful to me if you applied the Heading 1 style to chapter titles since that’s what all the ebook formatting software I’ve ever used demands. At the moment, I have to export to .docx and then go through and manually apply heading1 before I can use that in, say, Jutoh or Draft2Digital to generate a mobi. In practice this means I have to export the first draft, once complete, into Word and do all further editing in that because, otherwise, I have to add H1 every time I want to import to my ebook compiler.

  14. Rebecca K Sampson says:

    Is there an update on when this will be going into the pipeline? I re-subscribed to Novlr because it helps me stay more organized and dedicated to my writing, but I unsubscribed in 2015 initially because of these export difficulties. Hoping it’ll get put into the pipeline before I start seriously preparing my work for querying agents.

  15. Helena says:

    Yes, this is very important!

    I would very much like to be able to specify:
    – font
    – font size
    – line height
    – spacing before/after paragraphs
    – margins
    – whether or not to print chapter numbers and chapter names
    – whether or not to start chapters on a new page

    If I could get a pdf file to look the way I need it to, I would be very happy. It’s a hassle if I have to do these adjustments myself in an exported document and then turn it into a pdf. My novel is too big for me to be able to edit it smoothly in the word processors I have (that’s my main reason for considering Novlr as it’s very smooth as long as I use the feature of splitting everything into chapters).


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