3.2.1 compile is exporting "unreadable content" in DOCX files?

Hi there,

This just started happening today (11/23/2020), but I haven’t used the compile feature for a few weeks. When I compile my project and export it as a DOCX file, I get this funky error:

[attachment=1]Funky Error[/attachment]

I click YES and get this:

[attachment=0]Yeah, it doesn’t do that[/attachment]

Which, despite instructions, doesn’t do anything (selecting items and clicking GO TO does nothing). When I click CLOSE, I get my document and all seems well, but the problem persists after I save and try to reopen it. Even if I rename it.

A few weeks ago, I was playing around with the new compile stuff (it’s so much faster!) and I wasn’t having this problem.

My work around here was to save the file as a .DOC file (Word 97-2004), which seems to have dropped whatever unreadable bits there were. When I saved it back to a .DOCX format, Word opened it without error.

Has anybody had this happen to them? Any ideas on what the problem could be?


MacOS 10.15.7
Word for Mac 16.43

Scrivener 3.2.1 hasn’t been out for very long, so if this just started happening it’s probably a 3.2.1 issue.

Compiling to .RTF is another possible workaround. RTF is Scrivener’s native format, so compiling to RTF essentially uses Word’s format converter instead of ours.

Would it be possible for us to take a look at the project? This would help us identify any issues with our conversion engine.


Hi Katherine,

Thanks for the quick response. As an update, I tried compiling a newer (and smaller) project and had the same error. I’d be happy to share my project with you. Let me know what the best way to do that is.


Use the contact link in my previous post to open a support ticket. – Katherine

Hi Katherine,

I am having precisely the same problem as reported here. The struggle with Word is the same, as well: I can’t actually use the Word message box to locate what they’re complaining about! Although I have noticed that the latest compile is changing a bulleted list in my MS to a numbered one in Word, FWIW.

This is a large (210K word) MS I’ve been working on for a long time and compiling to docx without these difficulties, so I suspect 3.2.1 (or, possibly, a change in the behavior of Word for Mac. (Word version 16.43 (20110804))


Please use the link above to open a support ticket. It’s impossible to troubleshoot this without looking at the source project.