Big Sur is coming closer ...

Hello swarm intelligence, I am someone who would like to update to the new macOs (11.0) quickly and I know that some of you are probably using the Apple beta program. Have you noticed a fatal showstopper in the now 6th public beta that appears when using Scrivener 3.x under Big Sur?
Greetings, Thomas

Some known issues:

  • Text override colours don’t work (so all text will appear black in dark mode and composition mode no matter what your settings).
  • Text can get cut off at the end of pages in page layout view or when printing or creating PDF files thanks to a nasty Big Sur bug that I’m really hoping gets fixed. So if you need to print or generate PDF files from Scrivener, I’d hold off installing Big Sur.
  • You can’t create new bulleted lists in Scrivener thanks to a really silly Big Sur bug.
  • Some UI elements in the toolbar and elsewhere get cut off or truncated.
  • Various other minor UI issues.

Based on the current beta, I’d say that Big Sur still needs a lot of work, but I daresay it will get released in the next month or so regardless and that developers will just have to work around the horrible bugs Apple doesn’t get around to fixing - so nothing new there!

Wonderful. Why am I not surprised? Once again I will install MacOS Bug Sur about a month before the next rev, if at all.

Thanks for the heads up, Keith!

I first got a MacBook Pro only a couple of years ago (new but older model) and had to update to Sierra to run Scriv 3. One thing that kind of surprises me about Mac users is how so many update the operating system annually. Can someone tell me why they bother? I have a desktop running Windows 7 now. It will run like that until it dies. I don’t care if MS no longer supports it. Everything works. Same with the MBP. Why should I bother with OS updates unless a software I want to use won’t run on it?

I understand wanting some new feature such as dark mode (I don’t, but I understand), but I don’t understand why people seem to upgrade Macs just because Apple puts something out there.

Almost every new macOS is either new features, or bug fixes, or security patches. The latter 2 should always be installed, IMO (They make your computer more secure/easier to use). The first is up to you; however, I always prefer getting new features. I consider Big Sur’s new (and better) UI to be a definite “feature” and will definitely upgrade once it comes out. Besides, updates only take ~30 mins, and I’ve never encountered any show-stopping bugs.


In the “why is Windows Scrivener delayed” threads, people often mention the much more comprehensive toolkits that Apple offers developers. Lots of applications – not just Scrivener – use those toolkits, which means that you can’t get the latest features in your favorite application without upgrading your OS.

I do wish people were a little less eager to test those features, though. Especially lately, Apple’s initial release quality has been fairly poor. I don’t upgrade my own system until at least the x.2 or x.3 release.


One reason is that new Macs come with “automatically keep my Mac up-to-date” set to ON. Many users never change that. Then the new system major rev comes out in the fall, and they’re all saying, “Why doesn’t my Mac work? It’s YOUR fault, developer! It can’t possibly be Apple’s or mine…”

Not you, @Thomas Rabenstein, :smiley: You seem to understand the risk you’re taking.

I’m feeling very cynical right now…

Thanks for your effort to summarize the problems. It was very helpful. I’d better wait until the release because I urgently need Scrivener for the production of my eBooks. Thank you very much.

One additional thing I have noticed with Big Sur and Scrivener is that I can’t get any line spacings to hold (editor, preferences, compiler).

Not a complaint. Know it’s a beta. Just logging the info here for anyone thinking about hitching a ride on Big Sur right now.

Beyond that, really enjoying the OS developments and redesign.

(Mentioned by another user in this thread:

For anyone reading this thread, you can circumvent this particular issue by creating a new list in TextEdit (when in RTF mode) and copying & pasting into Scrivener. The list is then editable in Scrivener.

A-ha - it looks as though the underlying Big Sur bug has been fixed in beta 6. So you can in fact also make bullets in Scrivener, but you have to do so by going to Format > Lists > Custom List… Apple had completely broken this in previous betas, both in TextEdit and Scrivener. You can’t use any of the bullet presets in Scrivener yet, but I’ll be fixing that (that’s down to an underlying change in how bullets work in Big Sur).

I’m not seeing this problem at all - line spacing works fine for me in Big Sur. Could you please provide details on how to reproduce? (The other thread you link to mentions it was a problem for the user in Catalina too, so that doesn’t seem to be a Big Sur bug.)


Thanks for the news. Good to hear that beta 6 moves things along in terms of lists.

I can’t give any credence to the spacings issue being apparent in Catalina. I noticed it in Big Sur before I read the other thread, but didn’t post until I saw this beta-aware discussion.

In the animated gif below, I have started a new project and selected two paragraphs of Lorem ipsum in the editor. I adjust the spacings, but the adjustments aren’t made in the editor. When I reopen the spacings sheet, the numbers have all reset, i.e. the adjustments made previously have not been committed to the project. This happens (for me) in the editor, preferences, project settings, and compiler. If I open the same project on a Mac running Catalina, the adjustments do work, suggesting that the issue isn’t with Scrivener or the project but with Big Sur (or with my instal of Big Sur).

I am only on the public beta, which is currently one iteration behind the developer beta.

Replicable on your Macs?


Ugh, yes, I can reproduce it - and I’m not quite sure how it seemed to work for me yesterday.

This is part of the same stupid bug that broke lists. Basically, Apple has moved a bunch of its private action methods - methods the lists and spacing panels use - to a new private class, but they have forgotten to update the UI elements (such as the spacing panel) to point to that new class. Thus, when you try to do anything, it breaks, because it’s now asking the wrong object to perform the actions.

The bug is present in TextEdit, too, but, curiously, only if you use the spacing menu by going to Format > Text > Spacing… If you use “More Options…” from the spacing pop-up in the TextEdit ruler, spacing options work fine. So it may be that Apple has created a new panel that points to the right place, but hasn’t updated their standard “order front list panel” action to point to the right panel.

I’ve reported the bug to Apple, but I’d be glad if you could too. Please send them a bug report about TextEdit’s Format > Text > Spacing… panel not working.

Thanks and all the best,

Thanks, Keith.

Have filed a bug report with Apple.


I had this problem of Scrivener crashing when running the Big Sur public beta, but I’m up and running again.

Step 1
I was using the App Store version of Scrivener.
I uninstalled it.

Step 2
I bypassed the App Store and downloaded directly from Literature and Latte.

Once I installed from here, I had no issues. Booted fine. Loaded projects fine. Hope this helps all of you Mac testers out there. In short, don’t use the App Store version. When I tried uninstalling and reinstalling from the App Store, it didn’t work. I had to install directly from the website.


In TextEdit, this is working okay in public-beta 9. Not working in Scrivener. Expect you already know this, but posting in case you don’t. (Know it is a beta… not complaining.)


it crashes each time i open in big sur now

So have you upgrade4d to 3.2.2?


downloading 3.2 now