Blog How to Use ProWritingAid Using ProWritingAid's Chapter Bar

Using ProWritingAid's Chapter Bar

Hayley Milliman

Hayley Milliman

Content Lead

Published Jun 16, 2020

ProWritingAid chapter book

Are you working on a long text, like a full-length novel? If so, you’ve probably run into the “large piece of text” message before:

Large piece of text message

Previously, it would take a long time to run one of ProWritingAid’s 20 different reports on large texts.

Not any more!

We’re excited to introduce our new chapter bar!

ProWritingAid chapel panel

Now, if you’re working on a large document, you have the option to split it into chapters so that you can work on one chapter at a time.

Here’s how it works.

1: Upload a New Document

In order to use the chapter bar, you need to upload a new document as a .docx, .rtf, .odt, or .fdx file. Your document needs to be longer than 10,000 words with formatted headings for each chapter (e.g. "Chapter 1" must be formatted in your text as a heading).

2: Split the Document Into Chapters

When you upload a document that fits the qualifications outlined above, you’ll see a dialog box that asks how you want to open the document. Select that you want the document split into chapters. (Note: If you'd prefer to run your checks on the whole document, you still can!)

Split your document into chapters

3. Select the Chapter You Want to Work On

Once your document is uploaded in ProWritingAid, you can select the specific chapter you want to work on.

ProWritingAid chapter

4. Run Your Favorite ProWritingAid Reports

Now you can run your favorite ProWritingAid reports on each chapter one at a time. Say goodbye to the large document notification screen! Your reports will run faster and more efficiently. When you export your document, it will come back to you just the way you sent it in... chapters and all!

Have you tried our new chapter bar feature yet? Let us know in the comments what you think!

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Hayley Milliman

Hayley Milliman

Content Lead

Hayley is the Head of Learning at ProWritingAid. Prior to joining this team, Hayley spent several years as an elementary school teacher and curriculum developer in Memphis, TN. When Hayley isn't hunched over her keyboard, you can find her figure skating at the ice rink or hiking with her dog.

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Cool! It would be nice to have it in the Word ad-on as well!
Okay. So, I've formatted my Chapters using Headings in MS Word.docx. .I have uploaded a document which has about 10200 words. I've entitled as CHAPTER 1, CHAPTER 2 etc I get the dialogue box but no options for Split. Natalie at yours says click on Use App. No mention of Chapter Bar. . Where do I go next?
I uploaded aWORD document with Chapter Headinfs entitled, Strawberry Pie HUNT (2).docx I did not ask to SPLIT? Help!
Hi there! See if you can close out of PWA (save your work first!!!) and try again. Sometime this does the trick. If it doesn't, let me know and I'll find another fix for you.
I could split my novel using the app in my browser but not through the desktop app. Did I miss something?
Hi there! The split feature is only available in the web editor. Thanks for reaching out!
What do I do if I already uploaded my book that already had chapter titles and page breaks with every chapter in Open Office or odt. How do I then create the chapter bar? Also I have 3 chapters I worked on with PWA free version that I can't merge with the rest of my novel, about 6to 8 hrs of work. How can I do that?
Hi there! Great questions. In order to use the Chapter Bar feature, you'll need to re-format your work in the odt file to match the directions listed above. Once you've done that, you should be good to go! As for your other question - it sounds to me like you may have two accounts. Please email us at so that we can take a look at what's going on and help you bring your writing together in one place. Cheers! :)
I am extremely frustrated! I previously sent a message stating that I was having problems with page delays on Web Editor. I was sent the suggestion to use the Chapter Splitting Function. I followed all the instructions and it won't split. I uploaded my document in Word docx and there was no box asking if I wanted to split it. May I please have some assistance because it is impossible to work with the document like this. I just changed from a monthly subscription to annual and I'm wondering if it is worth it. The software is great for the number of suggestions and reports it has but it is taking me forever to try and work with a large document (75,000 words).
Hi there! I'm so sorry that you're frustrated. Usually, when something like this happens it indicates that there is something off with the formatting. Do you have an index or a cover page as part of your document? Could you please try removing it and then re-submitting the document to the Web Editor? If this does not work, please play around with your headings. If that still doesn't work, please reach out to us at! We try to answer queries within 48 hours, so I apologize if the turnaround time lags a bit. That being said, we'd be more than happy to help you get this sorted out!
One of my chapters is long and I want to divide it into two chapters. Can I add another chapter into the document. I've already imported it and have been working on it. I don't want to do this all over again. I just want to slide it one more teeny tiny little heading.
Hi there! Thanks for writing in about this. Unfortunately, I don't think that it's possible. Your best bet is to export the document, and the longer file with the new chapter properly formatted. I'm so sorry! I see how this might be a pain. Your idea is a good one! I'm making note of it.
This is working like a Champ for me. It was the last thing I needed to make my life of copy and paste to be over. Thanks.
We are so glad to know that! You are most welcome. :)
Like the others here, I tried the suggestions and fixes. I still can't get this to work. I removed the cover page, the header, and special formatting, then resaved it as a new document. It still don't get the dialog box to divide into chapters. Very frustrating.
Hi there! I'm so sorry to hear that. Please send us an email with your document attached to so that we can test the document and try to locate the issue.
Hi- I use Word's style guide extensively, so the chapters of my novel are already marked as headings. Preceding chapter 1, I have a title page, intro, prologue, and section heading. After the last chapter, there are a few maps, an epilogue, an author's note, and endnotes. Do I have to remove all of these in order to get PWA's new chapter heading feature to work? Also, the entire novel has 36 chapters and 98,800 words (11.7mb). I tried uploading this .docx file to the PWA editor, but I got the same old "Upload failed because the file is too large" message. I thought the whole point of this new feature was to allow the user to upload a single large document, and then let PWA recognize the chapter breaks and process small chunks. Is there a hard limit on the total number of words in the overall .docx file?
Hi there! Yes, please try removing anything that comes before or after the actual chapter. The tool won't recognize the formatting if your document starts with a title page, index, etc. I hope this helps!
Could I enter one story of maybe 33 separate ones and finish each on its own and then move on to the next?
This can easily be achieved if you blend all 33 stories into one document (with the heading titles Chapter 1, 2 etc) and then use the split function. However if you would like for the documents to remain separate you may be better off uploading them all as separate documents.
I have over 30 stand-alone stories that I need to mold into one complete story flow. Could I use the chapter tool by entering each as I have them in sequence rather than all at once?
Hi there, unfortunately this is not possible. I would recommend that you copy and paste all of them in order into a word document (or similar) and then upload that to ProWritingAid. You can then apply the split function and it will can formatted in the way that you require.
I'm loving this chapter break feature but am experiencing difficulties when trying to save the document. The only option beneath 'FILE' is 'SAVE AS'. When I click 'SAVE AS' there's an ongoing failure/error message. Am I doing something wrong???
Hey there! We're sorry this is happening! If you haven't already, can you please send an email about this to our support team at They'll be happy to help you.
how many times do I have to reply with the same problem with no response from prowritingaid
We are sorry to hear that the chapter feature is not working correctly for you. Our support team at will be happy to sort this out for you.
your chapter bar uploads sucks
Hi there, I am sorry you are having problems with this. Please could you send a few details of the issues you are having to From there, our support team would be happy to help sort this for you.
I did everything you said, and the chapter bar thing doesn't work for me, either.
Hey there! We're sorry you're having trouble with the Chapter Bar! Could you please send an email to our support team at We'll be happy to help troubleshoot it for you.
I formatted my novel into chapters of the appropriate length for PWA, added chapter headings, and have been using the chapter bar feature. Up through Chapter 12, it worked fine, but as I begin work on Chapter 13, I'm no longer able to change the type of writing from General to Historical Fiction (my genre). Please advise how to fix this! Also, should individual chapters be exported back into the original document as I finish them, or do I need to wait until I've finished all the chapters? Also, are changes I make or authorize automatically saved? If not, how can I save them? I'll appreciate a timely response.
Hey there! As there's not really room enough for me to answer all these questions in an article comment (and in order to help you receive more timely responses), could you please send an email about this in to our support team at They'll be happy to help!

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